Young drivers - friend or foe?

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The BBC reports  that Judge Peter Jacobs, in jailing a young 19-year old  female driver for killing a friend has said that some of the traumatic scenes in court should be televised to show the devastation wreaked by road deaths.  He has said "people need to see the effect that death has". 
I urge you to read the feature.


A terribly sad story about a group of friends driving home together from a night out when tragedy strikes resulting in the death of an 18-yr old and a jail sentence for the driver.  Countless lives ruined for ever. Do you know what your teenage children are doing tonight? Are they safe to get in that car with their inexperienced friend?


My son will be 17 next year.  Car ownership will allow him the independence to travel, to visit his friends and family.  Will I be concerned when he takes to the road?   Yes and no.  Yes, because he is, after all, my son and any responsible and caring parent wants to prevent harm to their child.  No, because I have brought him up to be respectful of others and to treat people how he expects to be treated.  I know he will not intentionally put himself and his passengers at risk of harm and he has been taught to be responsible for his own actions.  Neither do I wrap him in cotton wool.


So what of the recent announcement by the ABI who recommend a night time curfew over young drivers.  Is that reasonable?  Again, yes and no.  Yes because provided it can be policed, the number of deaths and serious injury caused by young drivers will surely fall.  No, because to do so would surely be discriminatory?  What of those young people who drive to and from work.  What if they have other responsibilities such as  being the carer of an elderly or disabled relative.  What of our soldiers and young emergency service personnel, police, nurses... Back to Judge Jacobs.



I can assure the reader that if they were to join me to bear witness to the unfolding events of a fatal road traffic collision in either the coroners or criminal court I am certain that on their drive home they will, beyond doubt, slow down.  The message here is simple.  No matter your age and years of experience, slow down, drive safely, don't drink and drive, don't use your mobile phone whilst driving or do anything that takes your mind off the job in hand;  which is propelling a lump of unforgiving metal along a stretch of asphalt.


And lastly, before your teen skips out tonight in his or his friends car, look them in the eye and say, "TAKE CARE"    


Grant Evatt

Associate



Personal Injury team


My colleagues in our Motoring Offences team are holding a FREE Young Driver Motoring Safety seminar at our offices in Chandler's Ford on 5th December. It is lead by a leading driving expert and is aimed at raising awareness of the outcomes of reckless driving and speeding offences. Perfect for any new or 'soon to be new' driver you know.
 

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