Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service has today launched a brand new vehicle, as a new and innovative way of delivering road safety education.
The ‘Hazard Express’- The Virtual Insanity Experience – is a unique road safety vehicle, which utilises virtual reality technology to help to educate drivers through an immersive learning experience. It was created in conjunction with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership.
The Hazard Express started out life as a plain panel van, but has been transformed over the past 24 months to become an interactive experience. Tiered rally seats with three-point harnesses, motion platforms and virtual reality headsets helped to turn the van into a priceless educational resource for the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR).
Six films have also been created as part of the experience, to help engage and educate drivers. The films cover several instances drivers may come across on the roads – including cyclists, pedestrians, motorbikes and horses.
Callum Faint, Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, said: “The ‘Hazard Express’ is a fantastic addition to our road safety strategy, using emerging technology to help to both entertain and educate drivers, both new and experienced.”
Paul Speight, Watch Manager Road Safety, said: “I am proud that we are launching this vehicle, after months of hard work alongside our partners in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership. We all hope that the use of this fantastic resource will help to educate drivers across LLR, helping to reduce the numbers of those killed or seriously injured (KSI) in accidents, and reducing the number of road traffic collisions (RTCs) on a whole.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership added: “Driving down casualties is very much based on an evidence led approach, delivered through collaborative working. As an important member of the partnership, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service play a key role in helping to reduce death and serious injury on our roads and, in particular, to highlight risky driving behaviour and habits.”
About the Service
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service provides emergency response, prevention and protection services from 20 stations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Its headquarters is based in Birstall, Leicester.
During 2019/20, we attended a total of 8,541 emergency incidents, including 2,079 fires and 748 road traffic collisions. A total of 7,274 Home Safety Checks were completed and we fitted 4,720 smoke alarms. 305 schools were visited as part of the Service’s schools programme, delivering fire and road safety education to 26,218 pupils. Staff organised or took part in 1,218 community safety activities, totalling over 11,000 hours of time engaging with members of the public.
The Service’s prevention, education, enforcement and inspection programmes have resulted in significant reductions in the number of incidents. In the last ten years, fire-related incidents have reduced by over 30 percent.
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