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Students watch powerful road safety film ‘Olivia’s story’

The heart-breaking film telling the story of 17-year-old Olivia Alkir was shown as part of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s ‘Stay Safe’ Wellbeing Week

Students at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campuses watched a powerful road safety film about a teenager who was tragically killed in a car crash.

Olivia Alkir, from Efenechtyd near Ruthin, died in 2019 following a collision caused by two young drivers racing. She was just 17.

‘Olivia’s Story’ is a heart-breaking film recounting the events surrounding the crash, in which two of her friends also suffered life-changing injuries.

Since Olivia’s death, her mum Jo Alkir has been campaigning for a black box to be fitted to every young person’s car to monitor driving and to try and prevent further tragedies like this.

‘Olivia’s Story’ was produced as part of that campaign, in conjunction with North Wales Police, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies.

The film features dash-cam footage from another vehicle that was not involved in the crash, as well as recordings of the 999 call, and interviews with Olivia’s parents and friends.

Olivia’s Story was shown last week as part of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s ‘Stay Safe’ Wellbeing Week. It was screened at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea and Rhyl campuses, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor’s CaMDA campus in Dolgellau, and Coleg Menai in Llangefni.

Alongside the film, officers from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service delivered a lesson including a discussion on the ‘Fatal 5’ - the main factors that cause serious road traffic collisions. The Fatal 5 are:

  • Careless and dangerous driving
  • Drink and drug driving
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Using a mobile phone
  • Speeding

The sessions were well attended by students from a wide range of courses, including Health & Social Care, Sport, IT, Public Services, A-levels and Construction.

Olivia Longman, who is in the second year of studying Level 3 Health and Social Care at Coleg Menai in Llangefni, said: “It made me aware of how easily accidents happen and we don't always appreciate the consequences. Next time I go in the car I’ll consider who I’m going with and whether I trust their driving.”

Jason David Griffiths, a year-one Level 3 Health and Social Care student at Llangefni, said: “The session was useful because it has opened up many young people’s eyes on road safety and being aware of reckless driving.”

Aaron Beacher, Student Enrichment Officer for Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: “It is so important that we deliver this session to all our learners across Grwp Llandrillo Menai.

“This week North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, along with North Wales Police, delivered Olivia’s Story to more than 400 learners across the Grŵp. It is so important that we educate ourselves and take precautions while in a vehicle, whether that is as a passenger or as a driver.

“Hearing what our learners took from the session, it was very reassuring to know that Olivia’s Story is powerful and effective.

“Over the next few weeks I will be working with North Wales Fire and Rescue and North Wales Police to get more dates for next year so we can deliver this powerful message about road safety across Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.

“I would like to thank all staff involved for making this week a great success, and in particular North Wales Fire and Rescue and North Wales Police.”

Pam Roberts, Fire Safety Watch Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Taking part in Coleg Llandrillo’s Wellbeing week is a great way for us to connect with young drivers across the region.

“Our work as a fire and rescue service does not just involve tackling house fires - we attend a high number of road traffic collisions and work tirelessly with partner agencies to help educate drivers about the potentially fatal consequences of speeding or not paying attention while driving.

“It is well documented that young drivers aged 16-24 are disproportionately likely to be casualties in road traffic collisions. In Wales, this age group makes up 11 per cent of the population but 22 per cent of all casualties.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to Grŵp Llandrillo Menai for working in partnership with us to help educate young drivers across North Wales.”

PC Jon Hewitt of the North Wales Police Roads Crime Unit said: “Olivia’s Story is truly heartbreaking and this powerful film aims to help educate young people about the importance of staying safe on the road.

“Sadly, young drivers are much more likely to be involved in road traffic collisions, often due to inexperience and a lack of knowledge on the risks. This film targets new or pre-drivers and aims to help them be aware of their responsibilities and of the devastating consequences that can occur.”

North Wales Fire and Rescue and North Wales Police will be returning early next year to deliver more sessions at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campuses. More details to come over the next few weeks.

‘Olivia’s Story’ is being shown at colleges and schools to improve road safety awareness among young people, and was also screened at the Houses of Parliament earlier this year.

For more information about Olivia’s Story and the ongoing campaign to have a black box fitted to every young person’s car, visit Olivia Alkir – In Olivia's memory