Bereaved parents' role in safety campaign

FAMILIES of crash victims will reveal their heartache in a new safety campaign to try to prevent fatal road accidents as more than 170 young people have been killed in North Yorkshire in the last decade.

The initiative is being launched this week and to try to prevent young drivers placing themselves and other motorists in grave danger on the 5,000-mile network of roads in England's largest county.

A series of DVDs and videos have been produced featuring interviews with the relatives of young drivers who have been killed in accidents. These will also be put to online to spread the safety message.

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The chairman of the 95 Alive road safety partnership, David Bowe, admitted that many newly-qualified drivers remained unaware of the potential dangers they face whenever they get behind the wheel.

Mr Bowe, who is also North Yorkshire County Council's director of business and environmental services, said: "These are the drivers and road users of the future, and we need to encourage them to think road safety the second they get into a car.

"The hope is that these DVDs and videos will make them realise the dangers.

"Some of these stories are truly harrowing and we can only applaud the people who have been brave enough to put them on video, but it is the reality of what can happen which we believe can help get these crucial message across."

One of the DVDs that has been made features an interview with the parents of a 17-year-old who died just three weeks after passing his driving test.

David and Janet Warin have worked with the North Yorkshire road safety team going into schools to tell students about Daniel's death and the devastating effect it had on their family.

The road safety events, called Drive Alive, have involved more than 20,000 students in the last 10 years.

The campaign is due to be launched on Wednesday in Pickering at Lady Lumley's School, where Daniel was a pupil.

Official figures have revealed that 173 youngsters aged between 15 and 24 have been killed and a further 1,567 seriously injured in North Yorkshire during the past decade.

Young people accounted for 29 per cent of the road fatalities in the county last year, although they make up only 12 per cent of the population.

Videos have also been made with other victims, parents and youngsters whose lives have been torn apart by road crashes.