Volunteers serve a vital role in communities today, often providing a vital link between organisations and the people they wish to help. Volunteer drivers give their time without charge to ensure there is problem-free access for other, more needy individuals and families, to attend medical appointments, to make shopping trips and to take part in other community activities. Some volunteers take part in potentially life-saving work responding to medical emergencies on behalf of the ambulance service, where there is clearly the potential for greater risk on the road. GEM recognises the value of all volunteer driving, but is also keen that the risks faced by drivers – as well as any risks they pose – should be reduced to a minimum. This resource aims to raise the profile of road safety in general for volunteers, and specifically assists with tips on defensive driving, journey planning and maintaining an attitude where safety is promoted and risk is minimised. The three videos, with accompanying quiz papers, are ideal for group viewing and discussion, but can equally be used by individuals.
Preparation for the vehicle and the driver
This first video focuses on the driver, as well as the vehicle we use and the journeys we make. We consider how we can reduce risk on journeys, by displaying a good, defensive attitude, by using our skill in the practical aspects of manoeuvring our vehicles, and by planning our journeys.
Ambulance service volunteers – known as community first responders – are volunteers who attend a range of medical emergencies in their local area. Although they do this under normal road conditions using their own car, there are times when risk can be raised – especially if time is of the essence. With an introduction from Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, this video offers useful advice on staying calm, driving safely and legally.
In this final video, we take a look at the principles of COAST: Concentration, Observation and Anticipation give us Time and Space – an excellent approach to driving for any volunteer. There’s expert advice we can all use immediately – and reduce our risk in the process.
Test your understanding of the three volunteer safety videos
As well as taking a look at the three videos, we’re also giving you (and your colleagues) the opportunity to complete a quiz relating to each video. It’s all friendly and informal, and there’s no specific pass mark. But we hope you’ll be encouraged to discuss the questions and answers, and perhaps to consult the Highway Code and brush up your knowledge.
Each quiz is available as a downloadable PDF, so you can copy as many as you wish and distribute if you are using this resource in a group environment.
We hope you find them quizzes useful.