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27 June 2017, 06:00
Norfolk's PCC Lorne Green is trialling virtual reality goggles in a bid to educate young people about road safety.
The headsets are aimed at young drivers and are set to be piloted at the Royal Norfolk Show this week as part of Lorne’s #Impact initiative.
More than a dozen of the Samsung Gear VR goggles are being introduced in partnership withNorfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).
They take the user through a 360° simulated car crash experience highlighting the results of being distracted at the wheel while using a mobile phone.
Lorne Green said:
“I take very seriously the commitment I have made to do all I can to prevent young people from being seriously injured or killed on our roads,” said Lorne.
“#Impact has toured schools the length and breadth of the county educating over two thousand students to date about the dangers of the fatal four, whether it be drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone or excess speeding.
“It is crucial however we come up with innovative ideas in which to engage with young people.
“While a difficult watch, we hope the trial of the headsets and accompanying film will help young drivers think twice about driving inappropriately when they get behind the wheel.”
The film and VR sets are already used by both Leicestershire Fire Service and Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, who will be lending their support at the show.
Garry Collins, Head of Prevention and Protection at NFRS, said: “The goggles will give young people the opportunity to experience a crash simulation in a safe and secure environment.
“We hope the trial will help promote a better understanding of ‘crash consequences’ for both drivers and passengers using Norfolk’s roads and in some cases, lead to positive changes in behaviour.”
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of Norfolk Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit, added: “This is an excellent initiative which shows drivers the consequences of not giving the road the full attention it deserves. The Norfolk Show is the perfect place to debut these goggles where Roads Policing will also be in attendance. If you have any questions about road safety please come and see us in the Emergency Services Village.”
The #Impact campaign was launched by Lorne Green in November 2016 in a bid to highlight the issue of road safety among young people.
The initiative continues to be spearheaded by Thomas Semmons, 19, who speaks to students about his personal experience of being involved in a serious road collision.
Thomas, from Scarning near Dereham, was seriously injured after losing control of his car in bad weather on the B1145 in Norfolk last summer. The car Thomas was driving forms an important part of the #Impact campaign as it tours schools and colleges in the county.
During the event each student is given a pledge card and asked to sign it as a personal commitment to road safety.
#Impact is actively supported by Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service.