Rothesay crash scenario shows a few seconds is all it takes

The immediate aftermath of the 'collision' at the centre of this week's Real Time Crash Scenario at Rothesay Joint Campus.
The immediate aftermath of the 'collision' at the centre of this week's Real Time Crash Scenario at Rothesay Joint Campus.

This picture is not real - it’s part of a simulation called a ‘Real Time Crash Scenario’ held at Rothesay Joint Campus this week - but it’s a sobering demonstration nonetheless of the effect of a road accident, and of how being distracted while behind the wheel for even a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

Organised by local youth worker Ann Kennovin as part of the Youth Services Young Persons Driving Programme, the scenario told the story of two cars - a white one containing two lads heading for the ferry for a weekend in Glasgow, and a silver one driven by a dad who has just collected his boy from school.

The passenger in the white car receives a text on his mobile and passes it to the driver to read - enough of a distraction for his pal to lose concentration and for the vehicle to hit the roadside verge and crash head-on with the other vehicle.

The passenger in the white vehicle is thrown through the windscreen, while the driver only has minor injuries. In the silver car, the driver’s legs are trapped and the young boy isn’t conscious.

The first on the scene are the police who cordon off the area and assess the situation. Next to arrive are an emergency doctor and paramedics who attempt to treat the injured. Sadly, the passenger in the white car is dead - nothing can be done for him now.

Firefighters arrive a short time later and cut the driver of the silver car free from underneath the steering column. The young boy has also been safely removed from the car.

The whole exercise showed that even glancing at a mobile phone while driving can change your life - and the lives of others - forever. The driver of the white car knows that only too well, and will have to live with that knowledge forever.

The demonstration, co-ordinated by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and involving Bute’s own police, medical personnel and retained firefighters, was watched by around 150 people - all of whom were left in no doubt how easily road accidents can happen, and how quickly lives can be destroyed.