Op Dragoon team joins forces with the military

12 Dec 2016 11:35 AM

Army reserves [View Full Size]

Northumbria Police's Op Dragoon team have been getting some help from the military to spread road safety messages this winter.

The force's road safety team visited the Army Reserve centre in Walker, Newcastle, to talk about the dangers of drink driving in the lead up to Christmas.

It is an annual event run by the Dragoon team as figures show that more soldiers die on UK roads than in combat overseas.

However, this year the event had a different look to it as the soldiers themselves took on the task of leading the workshop in their own task alike to those seen in The Apprentice.

The 30 soldiers in attendance had to think of key messages for road safety and creative ways to engage their peers.

Thankfully for them none of those in attendance heard the words "you're fired" and the day was a massive success for everyone involved.

PC Jami Blythe, of the Op Dragoon team, said: "It’s been a pleasure to work with the Reserves at Walker once again. They threw themselves into the task and it was clear how much thought they had put into their ideas.

"We are often asked to deliver talks about drink driving but carrying out a more interactive session and coming back to see their hard work realised worked very well.

"We know that incidents around drink driving spike at this time of year and it is important that we continue to do events such as this to ensure we can share road safety messages with as many audiences as possible."

Captain Stuart Mason, the Permanent Staff Administrative Officer at Walker, added: "This was an excellent and well organised event and we are grateful to Northumbria Police for reinforcing this important message as we start the festive season.  

"All three services run regular Alcohol and Substance awareness sessions as part of their annual programme but we welcome the collaboration with our local police force in highlighting the additional dangers at this time of year."

The day saw the 30 military personnel split into three teams and given the subjects of fatigue driving, drink / drug driving and distracted driving to work on. They then set about thinking how these topics affect them directly, creative strap lines and how to deliver these within the military environment.

To conclude the session, officers from Op Dragoon returned to see the fruits of their labour. A new drink drive poster, designed by one of the groups, was revealed, as well as email signatures as a way of reminding people to stay safe.

In a more fun session, one group designed a ‘beer goggle assault course’ where personnel were asked to tackle festive dot-to-dot drawings, water measuring and physical challenges which simulate the roadside impairment tests.

The results highlighted how difficult it is to carry out the most simple of tasks when under the influence.

Note to editors:

Members of the UK Armed Forces are 80 per cent more likely to die in road traffic collisions than the UK general populations. Personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq accounted for 62% of the fatalities  between 2009 and 2013. More information can be found in this report:

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