Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) is working closely with partners at Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) to address the issue of road safety for students in the city.
Working with London-based theatre company Box Clever, SSRP is aiming to appeal to their younger audience in an interactive and engaging way. Their performance, ‘The Passenger’, looks to inform and educate young people about travelling in a vehicle as a driver and a passenger, but also the responsibilities that come with being a passenger.
This programme is not just limited to the city. It is essential that this valuable education is delivered across Sussex, and there is an extensive programme for this in the following weeks.
‘The Passenger’, delivered to Year 11 students, has been developed using an original witness statement, and uses audience engagement and suggestion to craft the performance. There is an interactive workshop involved in the performance, and the idea is to create discussion and use the students’ ideas about how to make journeys safer. Overall, this piece of theatre intends to put across to the young people how they can be a positive influence on their driver, and equip them with the essential knowledge they require to keep them safe on the county’s roads.
Thankfully, in Sussex, collisions involving young people are low compared to other user groups, and the partnership strives to keep these numbers down. Passengers aged 14 -19 represent 3% of total casualties in Sussex: however, within all casualties for this age group, passengers make up over a quarter of this. They are still developing their knowledge and risk awareness of roads, which is where educational programmes such as ‘The Passenger’ play a vital role.
Mark Trimmer, Operations Manager for the partnership, said “The partnership has supported this innovative approach to road safety across schools in Sussex over a number of years. Evaluation from participating students show that the message is being received and whilst sadly there have been tragic incidents involving young drivers and passengers this year, these remind us of the importance of ensuring we still engage young people to help them and raise awareness. We hope that the performance stimulates conversations between the students, their peers, teachers and families."
SSRP have supported the ‘Theatre In Education’ programme for a number of years now, and have just finished a run of ‘Streetwise’ by Yorkshire-based company Performance In Education, to Year 7 students. The partnership is also supporting East Sussex and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services presentation of ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’, to Year 12 and 13 classes. As with all road users, the partnership’s aim is to keep all road users safer for longer.