Ambulance technician Callum Wright knows a thing or two about fatal road accidents in the north and north-east.
In his youth, four people from his year at school lost their lives in crashes.
It was the shock of those incidents that forced people to take road safety seriously.
Years later, he’s right in the thick of seeing some of those mistakes being repeated.
“It is us climbing into the car trying to do our best to keep them alive to get them to hospital,” he said.
“It is hard when you are trying to do your best at the scene and you know when things aren’t going to work out.”
‘Education is massively important’
Mr Wright was one of several members of the emergency services who gathered in Keith recently.
Police, firefighters and ambulance staff are eager to stress the importance of road safety after a Moray teenager lost his life in a crash last month.
Keith youngster Stuart Begg, 18 died in a road collision on the A96 near his hometown on July 26.
Mr Wright is among those pleading for people in the area, particularly youngsters, to slow down and think about the potentially fatal consequences.
He said: “Education is massively important. The bottom line is we are sick and fed up of going and seeing these youngsters mangled in wrecks.
“We have to live with seeing that.
Mission to save lives
Efforts are being made to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in car accidents.
And those efforts come under the microscope in the wake of preventable tragedies like Stuart Begg’s death.
Constable Callum Hogg, from the Elgin road policing unit, said that it was important to remind people that they continue to learn even after passing their driving test.
While Kevin Mitchell, station watch manager at Keith fire station said: “I have dealt with these type of accidents and last few weeks there has been a few just within the Keith area.
“It has affected a lot of people in Keith and a lot of youngsters are well aware of the lad.
“Hopefully if we can send a message even just to one person, it can save a life.”
Education is key for road safety
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service watch manager Willie Tocher believes education is key in driving the message of road safety home.
He said: “Education is the key for road safety and getting people with experience passing on their knowledge.
“The recent accident is in everyone’s minds in Keith.
“A lot of people knew the young lad.
“It is a tragedy for the family, we are here to offer support to people affected.
“We also want to reinforce the message that roads are safe but just change your attitude and slow down a bit.
“It comes down to common sense and keeping focus.
“The number of people killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads is very high and every bit of engagement can help young people and make a difference.”
Road safety advice to always remember
- Using a mobile phone that isn’t hands-free whilst driving is illegal. Even if you’re using hands-free, talking on a mobile is distracting – turn it off or put it on silent, and put it out of reach.
- Just drive – eating, drinking and smoking whilst driving reduces your reaction time.
- Set your satnav or your sound system before you drive. If you need to adjust them, pull over in a safe place.
- Always wear your seatbelt and make sure that your passengers do too.
- Your braking distance is affected by weather conditions. If it’s been raining or the roads are icy, reduce your speed.