Car lovers are gearing up for one of South Yorkshire’s biggest car shows this weekend.
For the first time, the popular ‘Elsecar at the Races’ event is being held at the Doncaster Racecourse this Sunday, (April 10), and it has one very important message - safety.
To be officially opened by Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson, the event is one of the largest VAG –Volkswagen and Audi Group - shows in the country.
It has grown over the last 18 years from a small meet of enthusiasts to one that requires large amounts of indoor and outdoor space – the reason for its move from its original home in Elsecar to the Racecourse.
With a massive fan base across South Yorkshire, ‘Elsecar at the Races’ always attracts thousands of visitors from all age groups, including many young drivers, and it is this group that will be targeted by the South Yorkshire Safer Road Partnership - with the full support of the show organisers.
Unfortunately, young drivers are over-represented in road traffic collisions when compared to the rest of the driving population. So the Safer Roads Team is geared to educating and advising new young drivers about the ‘Fatal Four’ contributory factors in fatal road traffic collisions.
The ‘Fatal Four’ are speeding, drink/drug driving, using a mobile phone whilst driving and not wearing seat belts. By abiding by these four simple rules, all drivers can help to keep themselves, their passengers and other road users safer on the roads.
For this reason, South Yorkshire Road Safety Officers will be at the event urging all young drivers to put “safety first”.
To help get the message across the Partnership will have a ‘crash car’ on display at the show together with a driving simulator to test driving skills as well as a variety of emergency vehicles.
South Yorkshire Police will be displaying a current Traffic Car alongside a vintage police car as well as a speed camera van from the force’s Safety Camera Section.
The South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be taking along both its motorbike and support van that are both used at road traffic collisions and its Subaru used for educational purposes by Partnership officers.
Event organiser Simon McNamara said: “Having outgrown our previous venue, we hope this year’s car show at Doncaster will build on our long-standing success and become one of the biggest in the North East, not just South Yorkshire. Our event attracts car enthusiasts from around the world, with some of the best show cars in Europe, and we strongly support the road-safety message for drivers and their families.”
Joanne Wehrle, Education Manager for the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said that through education the aim is to reduce the number of young drivers involved in collisions on the county’s roads.
She added: “Unfortunately, young drivers are at the highest risk due to a lack of experience. Succumbing to the ‘Fatal Four’ is an all too common problem and we try to counter this by delivering a number of specific interventions for young drivers via schools and colleges. However, engaging with young drivers at events such as ‘Elsecar at the Races’ provides an ideal opportunity for us to talk to even more people and provide free help and advice.
“Simon and his team have been very supportive of the need to promote the road-safety message and we are extremely grateful for all their help. They have even provided us with a huge display space at the event where we will be showing a variety of casualty reduction vehicles, demonstrations on stopping distances, the consequences of distractions, as well as the new roadside drug test kits.
“In addition, as many car fans bring along their families, our Education Officers will also be providing free safety advice to children on everything from crossing the road to cycling.”
Further information about ‘Elsecar at the Races’ is available at www.elsecarattheraces.com.
The event will take place at Doncaster Racecourse and Exhibition Centre, Leger Way, between 9.30am and 5pm.