This week Ruth Wishart reacts to the news that firefighters are to hold a 'real time crash scenario' for Hermitage Academy pupils to bring home the dangers of bad driving.

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Given that it’s boy racers, rather than nonagenarian spouses of the monarch, who cause the most carnage on the highways, we should applaud the fire service’s staging of a “real time crash scenario” for our senior pupils.

Minds will be undoubtedly concentrated as the service demonstrates the alarming fragility of human life, and the tin can nature of most vehicles when colliding with something else at speed.

READ MORE: Car crash scenario set to come to Helensburgh

People – usually boys, it has to be said – get a bit of a high when they bin their L plates for the first time. The heady freedom to drive, allied to the fond belief of the under 25s that they will be the first person ever to enjoy immortality, is a dangerous combination.

But that’s what makes it important how these lessons are delivered. And why you win hearts and minds with credible demonstrations and explanations, rather than fancy adverts and reams of statistics.

During the initial AIDS/HIV scare back in the 1980s, health educators went through a phase of trying to scare potential drug addicts with shots of gravestones and young, ravaged bodies.

The problem was that for those dallying with heroin for the first time, the experience wasn’t unpleasant.

It was what happened further down the line, when the hit became a desperate need rather than a leisure option, that they were in trouble. And by then, getting them clean again was more problematical.

What was needed was the approach used by the Violence Reduction Unit in Glasgow – sending real life victims of knife crime, bereaved mums, and A&E doctors into schools to tell it like it really was.

If the fire service can have the same impact, they’ll be doing all road users a favour.