Charities back Star campaign

TWO major safety groups have given the thumbs up to The Evening Star's safer driving campaign, calling for people to follow the Light Up, Shut Up, Belt Up code.

TWO major safety groups have given the thumbs up to The Evening Star's safer driving campaign, calling for people to follow the Light Up, Shut Up, Belt Up code.

Road safety charity Brake and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), have both come out in favour of The Star's battle to educate irresponsible drivers and cut the number of accidents on the county's roads.

Launched yesterday the campaign is targeting idiots who flout road traffic laws - telling them to Light Up, Shut Up and Belt Up to make Suffolk's roads a safer place.

The crusade aims to ensure drivers use their lights in the early morning or teatime darkness, always wear a seatbelt and never use handheld mobile phones while driving.

Dianne Ferreira, spokeswoman for Brake, said: “The media is a very powerful force to reach out to people and get the message across.

“It is fantastic when a big newspaper like the Evening Star helps try to prevent accidents on the road.

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“People need to be aware of issues such as driving in the dark, using safety belts and not using mobile phones.

“Unfortunately many people still don't wear seatbelts and we see this a lot especially with younger drivers who maybe don't see it as being cool.

“Mobile phones are also a big issue and we see week after week tragedies are occurring due to people doing something as thoughtless as using a mobile phone for text messaging or phoning.”

The campaign has also been endorsed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

Jo Stagg, spokeswoman for the charity, said: “At this time of year motorists need to be aware that they need to switch their lights on earlier in the afternoon than other times of the year as visibility is reduced.

“Seatbelt use is also vitally important and research shows that 10 per cent of Britain's drivers still fail to belt up for a journey.

“Since the law to make wearing seatbelts in the front of a car compulsory was introduced in 1983 an estimated 50,000 lives have been saved.

“We would also recommend people turn off their mobile phones altogether during journeys.

“Research has shown that using a mobile phone when driving, either handheld or hands-free, makes you four times more likely to crash.”

The Star's campaign has been launched in partnership with Suffolk Constabulary and authorities including the fire brigade and Suffolk County Council have also joined forces to ensure roads become a safer place.

Weblinks:

www.suffolkroadsafe.net

www.brake.org.uk

www.rospa.co.uk

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