Don't be the one who drinks and drives


"Don't be the one who drinks and drives," are the words of a Nottinghamshire firefighter who has penned a moving poem about the dangers of driving while distracted over the festive period.

Firefighter Mark Sheen, who is on Red Watch at Newark Fire Station, wrote the poem following the loss of his sister Allison in a road traffic collision when he was just six years old, and is now hoping that his words can help to educate others in the run-up to Christmas.

The poem, called Christmas is Coming, has been released this year following the 33rd anniversary of Mark's loss, which happened just 10 days before Christmas.

Mark said: "For us, Christmas has never been the same since losing Allison, and I would just like to urge everyone out there to take care on the roads – whether you text when driving, drive too fast, don't wear your seatbelt, or think you're fine to drive after a few drinks, my words to you are to just don't do it.

"It is as simple as that really. Do you really want to be the person who causes devastating consequences to so many people, just for what you think is an important call or just one more drink?

"If you could see some of the horrors that we as firefighters see, you would think twice, as no family should end up mourning the loss of a loved one due to a few moments of carelessness.

"As a firefighter myself, I have also seen the devastating consequences of driving while distracted from a different angle, and there have been times where I myself have had to take a few moments to reflect once I am back on station at situations I have seen and knowing that life for these families will never again be the same.

"I always like to make sure that I see images of the people during happier times in the news following collisions, and all of this combined got me thinking about what I could do to change people's perceptions about what it is to be safe while driving."

Mark explained that he hoped that the poem could help people to see what lies beneath the initial impact of a collision.

"It is important to realise that the effects don't just stop once the physical impact of the collision has occurred – for families, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, the impact of a few split seconds will be felt forever more.

"I will never forget the moment that my mum told me that Allison had gone, and nobody should ever have to live with a memory that is still as clear as day many years later, so please think twice about your actions, and help us to make sure that Christmas is remembered for all the right reasons this year."



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