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Hard-hitting play revs up North Yorkshire's safer driving campaign

[Monday 13 November 2006]
legal weapon
A scene from legal weapon
Photo: APE Theatre Company

A NUMBER of Yorkshire Dales schools are gearing up to host a hard-hitting play as a campaign to show young people the dangers they face when they get behind the wheel comes to North Yorkshire.

The County Council is sponsoring the current tour of 'Legal Weapon' which demonstrates the impact of killing someone with a car.

Road safety officers hope the play, which confronts the issues of excessive speed, peer pressure and attitudes among young drivers, will drive home the tragic consequences of killing another road user in a high speed crash.

Based on a true incident which has been dramatised by Mark Wheeller, the play uses punchy, stylised theatre techniques to steer young audiences through a roller coaster of emotions.

Performed by APE Theatre Company Legal Weapon tells the story of sixth-form couple Andy and Jazz whose romance is punctuated by a holiday at Butlins, exams, brushes with the law and the death of Andy's granddad. Andy spends his inheritance from his granddad on a powerful car and flunks his exams while Jazz goes to University and forms a relationship with footballer Matt Irvine.

Andy's life is shattered when he kills a moped rider in a high speed crash and is imprisoned for the crime.

County Councillor Peter Sowray hopes the tour will give many of the county's young people real food for thought when it comes to driving and using the region's roads.

"Many of the young people who will see Legal Weapon on the school and college tour this month, may already be driving or about to start to and this shows them not just the dangers of excessive speed and taking risks but the lifelong consequences that can result if they are involved in an accident.

"The play is lively and specifically designed for young people. It is a powerful and emotive road safety drama which moves along at a blistering pace and emphasises the fact that driving skills alone are not enough to keep young drivers out of danger."

"The drama, combined with other educational initiatives such as the workshop, make this a much more effective way of getting the safe driving message over to young people without boring them with lectures. We must use new and innovative ways to ensure young drivers think very carefully about their behaviour when they get behind the wheel."

Legal Weapon will tour a number of Dales schools throughout November:

  • Settle College - Monday 13th November

  • South Craven School, Crosshills - Monday 13th November

  • Upper Wharfedale School, Grassington - Tuesday 14th November

  • Ashville College, Harrogate - Wednesday 15th November

  • Richmond School - Tuesday 21st November

There are still some dates available if schools or colleges would like to book it. Schools or colleges interested should contact North Yorkshire Road Safety Team on 01609 532616 or email roadsafety@northyorks.gov.uk

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