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Hard-hitting play aims to increase road safety awareness
A HARD-HITTING play has been helping to get a road safety message across to Basingstoke school pupils.
Pupils in Year 7 at The Costello School watched the award-winning educational performance The Decision, showing events that lead to a young boy being killed in a road accident.
Following the performance, the students at the school, in Crossborough Hill, were asked to act as a jury, considering the circumstances of the accident, and reaching a verdict on whether the driver was guilty.
The event was held as part of Road Safety Week from November 19 to 25.
Between 2007 and 2011, there were 773 casualties involving pedestrians or cyclists aged 11 to 16 in Hampshire.
In an attempt to reduce this figure, Hampshire County Council arranged for The Decision to be performed at various schools in the county.
For students at Costello, the event was a poignant reminder of the death of 14-year-old Louise Eames, who was fatally injured while crossing London Road on her way to the school in February 2011.
Bob Denham, senior guidance leader at Costello, said the death of Louise, from Popley, Basingstoke, had prompted the school to bring the play into the school.
Referring to the production, Mr Denham said: “It was quite thought-provoking.
“There were only three actors who played about six or seven different characters.
“A couple of years ago we lost one of our students and that initiated us having the play here. I think this play will make the pupils think when they are crossing the road.”
Councillor Mel Kendal, deputy leader and executive member for environment and transport, said there has been a gradual decline in the number of people killed or seriously injured on Hampshire’s roads during the last three years.
He added: “I fully support Road Safety Week but road safety awareness is not a one-off, annual event for us and we work very hard throughout the year to help reduce the number of accidents on our roads and prevent serious injury or, worse, fatalities.”
Many of the county’s Junior Road Safety Officers also took part in the safety week, including those from Hook Junior School, who borrowed road safety materials from the county to use in an assembly for their peers.