A GROUP of 250 apprentices, undergraduates and graduates have converged at the world headquarters of digger giant JCB to attend a road safety course.
The employees, from all 250 of JCB’s UK factories, arrived in Rocester for the firm’s new ‘Crash Course event last week, which bosses hope will change attitudes towards risk-taking and driver behaviour.
The Staffordshire Police-backed course is aimed at young drivers aged 16 to 25 and is designed help its audience see collisions and accidents from the point of view of being the driver, a casualty or the relative of an offender or casualty in a road traffic collision.
JCB HR Manager Miles Pixley said: “Generally we have been exploring ways for our latest intake of employees to be more aware of motoring, the consequences of their driving and road safety.
“There are a lot of rural roads near to our factories and in bad or wintry conditions they can be very hazardous. So this was taken into account too.
“Crash Course gives a 360 degree perspective on a road accident, enabling people to get some understanding of it from the driver’s viewpoint but also, victims and relatives too.”
The one-day event included a series of presentations one of which was delivered by JCB employee Steven Kotara who was involved in a single vehicle accident, which resulted in his car being written off.
The 21-year-old maintenance fitter and former apprentice, said: “Fortunately, I walked away injury free but it did made me realise how vulnerable you can be in your vehicle and how easy it is to become over confident.
“I am hoping that feeding back my experiences to colleagues can help them learn from my experience.”
JCB Consumer Products Business and Marketing Apprentice Kierran Tunstall, who has just passed his driving test, attended the course. The 18-year-old said: “It is very important for young drivers to attend a course like this – especially young men who can become over confident with their abilities.
“It can help people understand the real implications of unsafe driving and help to bring them down to earth when they see the true consequences.”
course co-ordinator Ann Morris said: “Companies such as JCB have to have road risk policies and by signing up to our course they are making road safety awareness very accessible to their employees. JCB is a major employer in the area and is responsible for a lot of vehicles on the roads.
“By taking part they are demonstrating responsibility not only to their own employees but to the community as a whole.”