Young drivers educated on road safety at speed dating-style event
SPEED dating is usually a way for people to meet potential partners.
But road safety campaigners are using the format to educate young drivers.
Students at Hull College are taking part in the events, in which groups of young people spend five minutes with one of five services.
After five minutes, a whistle blows and the groups change until they have seen everyone.
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PC Keith Ward, casualty reduction officer for Humberside Police in Hull, said: "It is about changing attitudes and behaviour about safety among young drivers.
"We know drivers aged between 17 and 24 are a high-risk group who are more likely to take risks and be involved in accidents."
In the events, young people speak to staff from Humberside Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and Hull City Council.
They also meet Rosie Atkinson, who set up the road safety charity Take One Moment after her son Tom was killed in an accident in August 2005.
As she speaks to them about the pain of her loss, a slideshow of photographs of Tom is played on a projector behind her.
She said: "I tell them my own story, which I think is hard-hitting, but in a very different way to the others.
"I have had girls in tears and boys very upset. I try to make them realise Tom was no different to any of them and it really can happen to anyone.
"The pictures I show were taken just a few days before the tragic accident."
Tom was 19 and a passenger in a car when he was killed in Germany in 2005.
Mrs Atkinson said: "I want them to be more aware and, if they are getting in a car with someone, to take more of an interest in their behaviour.
"If they are driving, it is about ensuring they take care and remembering their actions while driving can change lives."
Members of the emergency services and the city council talk to the groups about their roles after an accident.
PC Ward said: "I put them in the driving seat and tell them to imagine they have just been involved in a crash and someone has been injured.
"I explain how they will be breathalysed, may be tested for drugs, and that we will seize their phone.
"Normally, when you say that, their faces drop because they can't imagine being without their mobiles.
"I tell them they may be arrested, and face between six months to a year on bail while the investigations are carried out.
"At the end of that, they could be prosecuted and jailed or banned from driving.
"That's the police side of it, but having Rosie there to tell them about what it's like for families seeing a police officer come down the garden path and telling you that you've lost your son is really powerful."
The events are being held this week at Hull College sites across the city.
Louise Marritt, road safety team leader at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This event is an ideal opportunity for us to work alongside our partner agencies to highlight the risks faced by not only young drivers who have recently passed their driving test, but also the passengers they carry.
"We are committed to engaging with young people to raise awareness and help make people safe on our region's roads."