It is hard to say where the Road Safety Initiative began and each time I think of a starting point I am reminded of something else we did previously. I currently believe the starting point was with Brian Redman and Gregor Steele and their “Tart Ma Kart”, aka “Pimp my ride copyright!”
In the Tart Ma Kart project (supported from a grant from the Institute of Physics) students had to produce and design a crumple zone for the front of the car using special high-tech materials. Most students chose materials that would actually make the crash worse, as they caused bouncing. Only one group made a successful crumple zone.
The students then discussed their thoughts on this experience and created an informational display and presentation to share with the community. They researched safe cars and learned about the different important safety features. In the presentation, they included their findings from the many discussions they have had on the topic of safe cars. All of this aimed to share a very important message – that the type of car you drive could affect whether you survive an accident, so choose carefully!
I think after this Mrs Physics did the Summer School at SSERC (highly recommended) and we were given a Fifex Reaction Timer.
Then came the Magnox grant and the idea of making all of our dynamics and mechanics relate to Road Safety (see separate post), and finally came the work with the Road Policing Department, under Inspector Neil Hewitson.
Finally over lots of cups of tea and coffee and too many cakes, we came up with Be A Road Crash Investigator, and the A1 boards for the Higher Physics groups.
I am sure we’re not finished there. The next group of Road Safety officers in School want to educate family and friends on Safe Driving…. so watch this space!