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Police team up with parents of road collision victim to launch Young Drivers' Guide

Issued: 25 Oct 2010

Northern Constabulary today (25 October 2010) teamed up with Northern Safety Camera Partnership and the parents of a teenaged passenger killed by a young driver in a bid to help other young people make better choices before getting into a vehicle.

The Force's Young Drivers' Guide will be given to youngsters who are preparing for life on the road in an attempt to better inform new drivers about the responsibilities which come with owning a provisional or full driving licence.

Today's launch at Inverness College is being backed by Diane and Graham Matheson, whose son Callum was killed whilst travelling in a car driven by his friend on Island Bank Road, Inverness earlier this year. The Mathesons recently launched their own road safety campaign Deadly Mates.

The launch is also being supported by Inverness College UHI.

Northern Constabulary will also be continuing its annual visits to the college to talk to all students about road safety, which is part of a joint initiative between Police, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service and The Highland Council.

The Guide educates young drivers about the consequences of drink or drug driving, speeding, lights, tyres, using mobile phones whilst driving, seatbelts, altered exhausts, tinted windows, anti-social behaviour warnings and vehicle forfeiture.

It also highlights the consequences of losing your licence and the "Road Back to L," which involves reapplying for your provisional licence and having to re-sit the theory and driving tests.

Northern Constabulary's Road Safety Officer, Laura Fisher, said at the launch today: "When young drivers are given their driving licence, whether it be provisional or full, we want them to appreciate that it is a privilege to have it.

"They have a real responsibility to make sure they drive safely and not run the risk of losing something they have worked hard to achieve or are working towards.

"Young drivers are by their very nature inexperienced and by taking on board some of the advice contained within this Guide they can help themselves become safer on the roads.

"The consequences highlighted in many areas of this Guide could hurt young drivers financially, whether that be through vehicle forfeiture or fines for car modification or anti-social driver behaviour."

Diane and Graham Matheson's son Callum was just 17 when he was killed on Island Bank Road, Inverness on 28 March 2010.

Speaking on behalf of both parents Callum's mum Diane said: "Our campaign "Deadly Mates," has a very serious message which we hope will get through to young drivers.

"We don't want other families to suffer they way Graham and I, my family and Callum's friends have. We hope that by running this campaign and supporting the launch of Northern Constabulary's new Guide that young people will fully appreciate the responsibility of being either a driver or passenger."

The Guide also provides young drivers with web links to a number of useful websites, including Think Road Safety, Road Safety Scotland, Pass Plus Scheme, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Road Safety Agency and the Highway Code.

The Deadly Mates campaign has a website, which has further information. You can visit the site at www.deadlymates.com

The Guides will also be available on the Force's website and Facebook page. www.northern.police.uk/roadsafety or www.facebook.com/northern.constabulary

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme