The five students - Courtney Cox, Sophie Lewis, Chloe Reeves, Reece Thompson and Kellie Woods – were able to witness at close proximity the safety features incorporated into protecting occupants and pedestrians in a collision situation that has been developed into modern vehicles. This included specialist testing with crash test ‘dummies’ and other advanced protection systems, in an exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ prize as winners of the competition.
Their three-day prize also included a visit to the Peugeot Museum (L’Aventure Peugeot) which charts the rich heritage of the 204-year old brand with its industrial evolution, starting with steel production and the evolution of the automobile with the first internal combustion car ever sold in 1890.
This was followed by a visit to the Sochaux factory to see how safety features are incorporated into the high-quality, fully-integrated and sequenced production facility that builds the Euro NCAP five-star rated New 308, 3008 Crossover and 5008 Compact MPV.
Also in attendance was Paul Kerr, the initiator of the PSRSA, who commented: "The generous and exclusive prize provided by Peugeot UK was a brilliant experience and one that I know struck a chord with the students, who were amazed at the facilities and engineering developments in today’s cars. Their winning idea recognises that while vehicle manufacturers strive to protect us, it is communication in being safe that will also help to reduce casualty numbers and their work with this cause continues."
The UK’s first ever student road safety competition was a concept conceived by Paul, the father of a teenage car crash victim. Jon-Paul, was just 17 when he was killed in a traffic accident involving an 18-year-old driver who had passed his test a fortnight earlier. The devoted dad was determined his son’s death would not be in vain and after years of campaigning and lobbying, he won Parliamentary backing for the launch of the Peugeot Student Road Safety Award, supported by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The students said: "We decided to enter the award because road safety is a big issue in Newtownards. In 2012 there were 76 child casualties on the town’s roads, which is the highest rate in Northern Ireland. We were also shocked to discover so many of our classmates believed that ‘chicken’ was an acceptable game to play.”"
Peugeot UK Director of Communications, Andrew Didlick, said: "The striking poster campaign and caption ‘Playing Chicken isn’t Cool! Don’t be a Fool!’ created by the students of Movilla High School was judged to be the best for its creativity and originality with a well-researched campaign that is truly inspiring and resonates with its generation."
"As a car manufacturer, road safety is never far from our minds and by raising awareness of the dangers on our roads with school children we can instil a sense of responsibility in all age groups. Peugeot was proud to sponsor this worthwhile and important initiative."