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 young people in the city.
Working with Yorkshire-based theatre company Performance In Education (PIE), SSRP is aiming to appeal to their younger audience in an interactive and engaging way. Pedestrians are vulnerable road users: the start of the new school year is a great opportunity for the partnership to highlight the dangers young people are faced with on their journeys daily.
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.
These performances, entitled ‘Streetwise’, is delivered to year 7 students, and looks to raise awareness with young people about the risks when using the road system as a pedestrian. It focusses on peer pressure and how to resist it, how to identify distractions such as music players and mobile phones, how to remain vigilant even on a route you know well, and how to build confidence when using the roads, and to 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 group, and the partnership strive to keep these numbers low. Although numerically they may not be deemed ‘vulnerable’, they are still developing their knowledge and risk awareness of roads, which is where educational programmes such as PIE’s ‘Streetwise’ 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 some tragic incidents involving some young pedestrians 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 after the run of ‘Streetwise’, the London-based company Box Clever will be delivering their performance of ‘The Passenger’ to year 11 classes across the county. In November, the fire services begin delivering their 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.