Road safety message this Valentine's Day

'DON'T hurt the one you love' is the message being delivered to thousands of young people in Suffolk this Valentines Day.

Russell Claydon

'DON'T hurt the one you love' is the message being delivered to thousands of young people in Suffolk this Valentines Day.

Road safety officers are using the romantic day to send out 10,000 Valentines Cards to schools, colleges and nightclubs in the county to urge youngsters to look after their loved one when behind the wheel.

The dangers of not paying attention when driving are being graphically illustrated in an internet video linked to the card, where a young girl ends up in a critical state in hospital after being driven on a date.

The Suffolk County Council campaign hammers home the fact more girls die as passengers than drivers and urges young people to take care when they're out on the roads.

Alarming figures show 94 people between the ages of 16-24 were killed or seriously injured on the county's roads in 2007, making them the most vulnerable group.

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Men are also shown to be twice as likely as women to be the driver at fault in serious road crashes.

After the number of youngsters ending up in serious accidents dropped from 126 in 2006, it is hoped the hard-hitting campaign will make more people aware of the dangers when they get behind the wheel.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads and transport said: “I know from personal experience the devastation it causes when young people are involved in fatal accidents.

“The Suffolk Roadsafe Board has identified young drivers as a group who, despite a fall in their casualty numbers in 2007, continue to be at risk.

“We also know that nationally more girls die as passengers than as drivers, a factor which the campaign addresses.

“The Valentine cards remind young drivers about the potentially catastrophic consequences if things go wrong while they are travelling by car.”

This year's 'For my girlfriend' campaign features a YouTube video to show young people what can occur if they are not paying full attention while driving.

The video can be viewed by visiting: www.fmg.org.uk and more road safety information is available at:

www.suffolkroadsafe.net.

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