Young drivers target in new campaign

AN anti-speed campaign with a Valentine's message was today due to be launched at sixth form colleges throughout the county.One in five accidents that occur on the roads involves a young driver between 17-25 years of age.

AN anti-speed campaign with a Valentine's message was today due to be launched at sixth form colleges throughout the county.

One in five accidents that occur on the roads involves a young driver between 17-25 years of age.

The new campaign, led by Suffolk County Council's road safety team and the emergency services, aims to give young drivers an idea of the dangers they face when driving too quickly.

The For My Girlfriend campaign was first launched in February 2002 and has proved very successful in getting the anti-speed message across to young people.

Research has shown that young drivers often fear killing or injuring someone they are close to, possibly a girlfriend or a best mate.

It is on this basis that the For My Girlfriend scheme operates and road safety officers have been handing out dramatic Valentine's cards with the chilling message: “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to kill you…”

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Sandra Graffham, environment and transport communications manager, said: “Young people think they are indestructible but they worry about their passengers rather than themselves. Many new drivers haven't got a care in the world and if you're younger, your car is often your status symbol.

“Young men in particular are usually the one's more attracted to speed.”

The campaign was described by road safety officer Daryl Fraser as 'memorable' and one which often leaves a noticeable impact on young people.

Mr Fraser said: “The campaign specifically targets young people, young male drivers in particular. 40 per cent of accidents that occur in Suffolk and result in a death or serious injury involve young people. That's why we spend a lot of time on this particular age group.”

The County Council's road safety team are now offering a 50 per cent discount for 17-19 year olds on the National Driver Scheme which offers 'Pass Plus' training - a six module course to be taken after your driving test which cover things that may not have been included, such as motorway driving or night driving.

For more information contact Suffolk County Council on 01473 264395.

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