|Teens Get Shock Message About Dangerous Driving|
Safe Drive, Stay Alive campaign launch at Questors
A teenage crash victim and a grieving father warned Ealing students of the consequences of dangerous driving in a new initiative by Ealing and Hounslow Councils to keep young drivers safe.
The hard-hitting Safe Drive, Stay Alive roadshow at the Questors Theatre in Ealing also featured presentations from west London paramedics, a firefighter and police officer who talked about dealing with the aftermath of crashes involving young people.
Nick Bennett stunned the theatre full of 16-18 year olds when he told how his impatience on the road and refusal to wear a seatbelt resulted in a head-on collision with a truck which nearly cost him his life and left him in a wheelchair with serious brain injuries.
Nick, then 17, spent three weeks in a coma and months in hospital after crashing when trying to overtake two cars he felt were driving too slowly.
He said: “My message is please, please, please don’t think that you can drive dangerously without suffering the consequences. Take a look at the people sitting around you. They’re your friends and they will probably be the ones to egg you on in your car to take unnecessary risks but ask yourself one question. Will those friends still come and visit you when you’re stuck in a wheelchair because mine don’t.”
George Atkinson lost his daughter Livia,16, when a car mounted a pavement ploughing into her. He has set up a website campaigning for safer driving. He highlight her story at the launch.
The students from Villiers High School, Alec Reed Academy, Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, Brentside High School, Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College and Hounslow schools also watched a hard-hitting dramatisation of a fatal crash involving young drivers.
Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, Bassam Mahfouz said: “It was particularly tough for the young people to listen to these harrowing stories. But as many of them are starting to drive it is crucial they understand that a badly driven car is a lethal weapon.
“I hope that the messages from Safe Drive, Stay Alive will make them think twice about responsible driving every time they get behind the wheel as well as every time they get in a car with their friends.”
22nd October 2012