PUPILS across North Yorkshire are being given an important safety message as a new film promoting the use of seatbelts on school transport is shown as part of the induction day in secondary schools across the county.
The film, which has been scripted and filmed by a group of performing arts pupils at St John Fisher's Catholic High School in Harrogate, is a hard hitting piece of drama which will be shown to year six pupils prior to their transfer to secondary school.
Wearing seat belts will be compulsory from September this year, but getting secondary school pupils to put them on will be a devil of a job
John Watson - NYCC Member for Education
From September this year it will be compulsory for all passengers to wear a seatbelt if one is fitted, and research carried out by the County Council has shown that secondary pupils are less likely to wear their seatbelts than primary school pupils.
Seatbelts are currently fitted on 76% of the vehicles used for home to school transport in the County, although it is not physically possible to retro-fit seatbelts to double deck vehicles, and many routes operating as part of a local bus service network use vehicles where seatbelts are not available.
In order to drive home the important safety message, North Yorkshire County Council commissioned the project using a peer led approach in the hope that it will better be able to connect with young people.
John Watson, the County Council's executive member for schools, said: "Wearing seat belts will be compulsory from September this year, but getting secondary school pupils to put them on will be a devil of a job.
"It's no good adults just telling them it's safer. So we've had this film done by school students themselves in the hope that it will make more impact. The film itself is very good; it is popular and informative. No teachers were harmed during the making of this film!"
The launch of this DVD is just the first stage in the ongoing safety campaign. Over the summer months further work will take place to produce a longer version of the DVD which includes another film by pupils at Easingwold School. It is hoped this film will be used as part of a school lesson plan.