Speed dating-style safety lessons for young drivers
A NEW safety campaign aims to drive down the high numbers of young people killed and injured on the region's roads.
Speed dating-style sessions will see young people at colleges and schools given the chance to quiz officers from each of the emergency services about safe driving.
The innovative campaign, designed to make young people more aware of the dangers and consequences of reckless driving, was launched at East Riding College by local charity Take One Moment (Tom) Foundation.
The charity was set up by the family and friends of Driffield teenager Tom Atkinson, who was killed as a passenger in a road accident in Germany in 2005.
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Rosie Atkinson, founder of the Tom Foundation, is hoping the speed dating format will appeal to young people, as well as showing them what they can do to be safer on the roads.
She said: "It's the first time we've worked with all the emergency services and we'll all be giving our own perspective while speaking with one voice about the dangers of reckless driving.
"I'll be telling young people what it's like to lose someone, to get that knock on the door."
Louise Marritt, road safety team leader for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said young people aged 16 to 25 accounted for 27 per cent of all road casualties across the region according to figures for 2009 to 2011.
She said: "This initiative provides us with a fantastic opportunity to talk to a large number of young people, offering advice, hints and tips on how they can make themselves and those who travel with them, safer on our region's roads."
Stephen Moir, deputy chief executive for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, hopes the campaign will make young people think about the consequences of driving dangerously and reduce their speed.
He said: "Ambulance clinicians often witness first-hand the devastation caused by dangerous driving and are faced with treating patients who have sustained horrific and sometimes fatal injuries, not to mention the emotional scars that often last a lifetime."
PC Keith Ward, casualty reduction officer for Humberside Police, said: "I am always looking at different ways to get the road safety message across to a priority road user group for us – young drivers."
David Daulby, director of learner services at East Riding College, insists it is essential students learn about road safety, especially as many of them are at the age where they are just learning to drive.
He said: "This speed dating event is an excellent way of communicating the consequences of dangerous driving in a way that is appealing to young people."
The Speed Dating campaign, which is being provided free of charge to schools and colleges, is also alerting young drivers to the effects of poor weather on driving conditions, especially during the winter.
The Tom Foundation also provides information, advice and financial support to the families and friends of people who are killed as a result of a road traffic accident.
Ex-Hull City star Dean Windass had been due to launch the campaign at East Riding College yesterday but was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.