Sidmouth Army Cadets learn from fire and police talk

Fire officers and police give Sidmouth cadets some straight talking over road safety

FIRE officers and police visited the 21st Army Cadets’ centre in Stowford on Wednesday to give them some straight talking.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service road safety partnership team and traffic officers from Devon and Cornwall Police’s Road Policing Unit (RPU), gave presentations on road safety - with cadets, aged 12-17, taking part in various activities.

They watched and discussed a video compilation of bad driving examples and tried to negotiate a small obstacle course wearing special ‘beer goggles’ to simulate being impaired through drink or drugs.

They also completed a hazard awareness test to see how distractions, such as mobiles, can affect driving.

Traffic officer John Larcombe-Ford, of Devon and Cornwall RPU, showed cadets around a high performance traffic car to examine various equipment on board, from criminal detection devices to traffic management and life-saving gear.

They took turns in deploying a training version of the stinger; used to blow out vehicle tyres, and were impressed by the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) computer.

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PC Kevin Druce, of the RPU, showed a video of a police pursuit he was involved in, to explain what driving skills and aids the highly trained traffic officers employ.

Staff Sergeant Adrian Smith, detachment commander, said: “It was a busy, successful and very enjoyable evening.”

He thanked both services for passing on important road safety messages to the cadets.

Cadet Lance Corporal George House, 16, a Sidmouth College student, added: “Meeting the traffic police and the fire service was a really good experience.

“As I am close to learning to drive myself, it was a good opportunity to see how the police and fire service operate, and how wrong it can go if you drive too fast.”

Organiser PC Kev Druce, said: “The object of the evening was to promote road safety to the cadets, highlighting the real dangers on the roads and to show how easy it is to fall into that danger zone.”

He said the emergency services were there to help, were approachable and keen to remain so.

l The ACF parades 7pm to 9pm Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Chambers Close cadet centre. Visit and click on Sidmouth Detachment. The Road Safety partnership vehicles and staff will be at Devon County show in May.