Young driver campaign launched in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire has the most rural road accident deaths in England. It was reported by ITV that in 2013 there were 51 deaths in North Yorkshire and the city of York, and 86% of those deaths were on rural roads.
The Gazette & Herald has reported that between 2009 and 2013 21% of people killed or seriously injured on North Yorkshire’s roads were between 16 and 24 years old. This equates to an average of 80 young drivers killed or seriously injured each year.
To try and reduce young driver deaths in the county, the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, 95 Alive, has launched a road safety programme aimed at 17 to 24 year olds. The Honest Truth programme uses characters that are a mix of both human and animal to represent negative behaviours shown by drivers or passengers.
The aim of the Honest Truth scheme, which will be delivered by trained Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs), uses animal comparisons to help young drivers recognise and stamp out bad driving habits as soon as they start learning to drive.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive member for Road Safety, told the Gazette & Herald: “The rural nature of North Yorkshire means there is a greater need for young people to drive and they tend to drive longer distances on rural roads than young drivers in other parts of the country.
“We know that young people want to become good drivers and travel and get home safely. We are working with their instructors to help them to do so from their very first driving lesson.”
Tim Madgwick, Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police and chair of 95 Alive added: “Because of the time instructors spend with young people in tuition and the relationships they build, we are helping them make a real difference by providing teaching resources and key messages.”
Government road safety campaign group THINK! states that 60% of all road deaths occur on country roads. On many rural roads, the national speed limit is in place, however the speed limit is not a target, it is the absolute maximum. You must only drive at a speed that is safe for the road conditions. As THINK! says, “Even if you’re familiar with a country road, never take it for granted as the conditions can be different every time.”