Late night revellers in Mansfield on Saturday were able to see first hand the devastating impact of drinking and driving.
People gathered at Clumber Street and Toothill Lane to witness a simulated car accident which was organised by members of Mansfield Partnership Against Crime (MPAC).
The event was promoted on social media, while posters asking ‘Guess what will happen in Mansfield town centre on Saturday’ appeared in pubs and other venues.
People were alerted to the crash by blue flashing lights and the sirens from fire engines while Mansfield Fire Station Manager Mark Dooley gave a running commentary, explaining that one of the cars had been driven by a drunk driver who had run from the scene, leaving his passenger trapped in the car.
He also said that fire officers refer to the passenger seat of a vehicle as the ‘sacrifice seat’ because the driver always drives to protect him or herself which means it is often the passenger who takes the brunt of any impact.
Samantha Yates, licensing officer at Mansfield District Council and chair of MPAC’s Town Centre group, said: “This underlined the point that by getting into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking you are putting yourself at huge risk.”
Police and council officers chatted with members of the crowd and they said that the feedback was good, with many saying that the crash, which was funded by MPAC and Mansfield BID, had got them talking about drink-driving. In addition, street pastors, who look after people at night, were on hand to help anyone affected by the exercise and bar and door staff at town centre handed out water and lollies.
Insp Neil Williams, Vice-Chair of the Town Centre group said: “We wanted the exercise to have maximum impact and we certainly achieved that.”