Hard-hitting campaign aims to cut number of young drivers killed on Ribble Valley roads

Launch of the 'Wasted Lives' road safety campaign for young drivers in the Ribble Valley.'Photo Ben Parsons
Launch of the 'Wasted Lives' road safety campaign for young drivers in the Ribble Valley.'Photo Ben Parsons
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Lancashire firefighters have teamed up with the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety to roll out an award-winning and hard-hitting road safety campaign in the Ribble Valley.

The “Wasted Lives” campaign, which has its own website at www.wastedlives.co.uk, is aimed at young drivers. It was launched in the Ribble Valley with a presentation at Clitheroe Auction Mart and attended by several young drivers and their parents, since they are also an essential focus for the campaign.

Those attending the presentation learnt stark facts such as:

Young male drivers account for 16% of the driving population, yet they are responsible for 53% of serious injuries and deaths on Lancashire’s roads

They are twice as likely to die in a road crash when carrying passengers of their own age

One in three young drivers will crash within two years of passing their test

Nearly one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers over the legal alcohol limit.

Station Manager Liam Wilson, Service Delivery Manager for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service in the Ribble Valley, has no doubt such accidents are entirely avoidable.

“Firefighters are only too used to attending road traffic crashes and having to deal with the appalling results of dangerous driving behaviour, often by young people,” he said.

“Excessive speed on narrow, winding rural roads coupled with inexperience as a driver, peer pressure to show off, using a mobile phone when driving, drinking alcohol or not wearing seat belt are key factors that make such drivers and their passengers a danger to themselves and to other road users and pedestrians.

“The Wasted Lives Programme challenges the attitudes of young drivers’, and those of their parents, concerning the risks associated with driving. We are proud to have been key partners in the campaign from the outset and will continue to give it our full support, recognising the major contribution it is making to changing young driver behaviour for the better.

“It is a potentially life-saving presentation, getting across the consequences of taking risks behind the wheel and improve ability to assess risks, make the right decisions and accept responsibility for their actions as drivers and passengers.”

Clitheroe-based company Johnson Matthey agreed to be the first organisation in the area to support the presentation and sent along some of their employees who are young drivers to the launch presentation.

The campaign is also supported by the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership and will be expanded and taken into high schools, colleges and will involve other employers in the area.

For more details or to book a place on a future presentation, contact John McIvor of the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on 07500 787526, or e-mail johnmcivor@lancsfirerescue.org.uk