Emergency services from across the county are joining forces at this year’s Devon County Show to host their first interactive road safety display.
Visitors to the Vision Zero South West Emergency Service Road Safety village will be able to compete in reactions tests on Batak walls and in-car timers, try their hand at CPR using an interactive simulator and even take a virtual tour on board the Devon Air Ambulance helicopter.
The village also includes a display of unique road safety vehicles including the police Ford Focus RS, an interactive NHS ambulance, a fire service van with VR headsets and a BMW M1000RR superbike and off-road ATV used by police.
Young visitors will be able to have their picture taken in two miniature National Highway patrol vehicles, clamber aboard a Devon Air Ambulance Critical Care car, have their fingerprints taken and even meet some of the Devon & Cornwall Police dogs.
The road safety village has been coordinated by the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership and includes many of its partner agencies such as Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Devon Air Ambulance and National Highways. There will also be a representative from dashcam supplier Nextbase, supporting Devon & Cornwall Police’s Op Snap.
Last year, 48 people were killed and 708 seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads. The partners of Vision Zero South West are committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured by 50% by 2030 – and eventually, to zero.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is also chairman of Vision Zero South West.
Commissioner Hernandez said: “It’s easy to reel off numbers, but we must remember that these are people’s loved ones – parents, sons, daughters, friends and partners.
“We believe that every serious and fatal collision on our roads is avoidable – and we are determined to drive those numbers down.
“The Devon County Show is a huge event which attracts all manner of people from the South West and beyond, so it’s a great opportunity for us to talk to people about road safety and offer helpful advice on how we can protect lives on our roads.
“If you are attending the show, I’d highly recommend you pay the Road Safety Village a visit. There will be lots to see and do and you can hear first-hand about the innovative projects being undertaken by Vision Zero South West.”
Watch Manager Chris Boston, Road Safety Lead with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: “One serious or fatal road traffic collision is one too many.
“Within the emergency services we stand united in our quest to drive collisions down, striving to be proactive rather than reactive, and using education to promote safer driving.”
Charlotte Leventis, Head of Communications at Devon Air Ambulance, said: "We are really looking forward to being part of the first Interactive Emergency Services Village this year, helping to raise awareness of driving safely on Devon's roads and avoiding collisions that sadly, are often fatal.
“Come and meet our Pilots and Paramedics and make sure you take part in our Devon Air Ambulance quiz to win a Family Visit to our Airbase."
Rob Penney, National Highways’ Head of South West Service Delivery, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in the South West Emergency Service Road Safety village at this year’s Devon County Show.
“We work closely with our emergency services partners in the South West and we’re proud of the work our traffic officers carry out to keep motorists safe and moving on our network.
“The needs of our customers are central to everything we do. We’re committed to making a real difference for road users and the communities who live and work near our roads, our traffic officers in the South West play a big part in that, and we hope show visitors are able to find out a little more about our work.”
A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said, “We are looking forward to being a part of the Show’s first ever Road Safety Village at this year's event. Helping to keep people safe on the county's roads is hugely important to us.
"Members of team SWASFT will be on hand to offer free CPR and defibrillator awareness training to members of the public and to answer any questions they may have."