Safety first at Pitmedden School

ASCO's head of transport operations Willie Smith with Pitmedden pupils following his road safety presentation.
ASCO's head of transport operations Willie Smith with Pitmedden pupils following his road safety presentation.

Pupils at an Aberdeenshire primary have been reminded of the importance of road safety.

Youngsters at Pitmedden School were visited recently by representatives of oil and gas services firm ASCO.

For the last four years the company have supported Road Safety Week, which is co-ordinated by the charity Brake.

ASCO’s head of transport operations Willie Smith said: “It’s a charity we adopted, obviously because we are very visible in the local community.

“We generally go into schools, do a presentation, let the kids see from a driver’s perspective the dangers that could be there.

“We let them sit in the driver’s cab, some of their pals will stand below just to give them an idea of where the blind spots are.

“We are just basically raising awareness, especially with the North-east unfortunately having such a high level of road death statistics.”

Mr Smith added that the feedback from the pupils was positive.

He said: “The presentation we did had a lot of relevance. We covered Usain Bolt and how fast he can run, trying to put that into context so they could understand about stopping distances with cars.

“By merging the two, a bit of learning with some of their interests like famous figures, that gets their attention.

“We cover a whole range of safety-related topics which affect them morning, noon and night.”

The visit was part of a week of road safety-related activities at the school.

Pitmedden head teacher Janet Hill said it had been a good exercise in raising awareness of the importance of safety when out and about.

She added: “The children were particularly enthused when they had the chance to sit in the lorry. It gave them an idea of how it is for the lorry driver and for the need for them to be responsible and thinking about road safety.”

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, organisations and community groups every year.

Set up in 1997, the event is co-ordinated by Brake each November, and aims to encourage grassroots action on road safety and raise awareness about the part everyone can play in preventing tragedies and making roads safer.