GEM has published a series of tips to help young drivers stay safe on the roads, following the release of video footage showing the death of two young men following a road crash.
The footage, released by Sussex Police with the permission of the victims’ families, shows driver Kyle Careford and his friend Michael Owen driving at speeds of up to 90mph before crashing into a church wall in the village of Rotherfield, where both died instantly.
As a result, GEM is now urging young drivers to ‘take responsibility for their actions’, starting by developing a ‘good attitude to driving that puts safety first’.
It is asking young drivers to minimise distractions by switching off mobile phones and keeping music to a low volume to enable further focus on safer driving.
GEM is reminding drivers to always wear a seatbelt and stay within speed limits, and always drive at a speed that allows them to stop – on their side of the road – in the event of any hazard.
It reminds drivers to never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and to never get in a car driven by someone who may have been drinking or taken drugs.
Finally, it suggests young drivers could sign their own voluntary code of good driving behaviour and encourage their friends to do the same. GEM says the code could be an agreement with parents or loved ones, or something they commit to privately.
David Williams, GEM chief executive, says: “It is heart-breaking to watch this video and to see two young lives ended instantly. We commend the courage of the young men’s families for supporting the release of the video, which we hope will challenge anyone who thinks it’s alright to drive fast because they think it’s fun and there are no consequences.
“Figures show that one in five drivers will have a crash within six months of passing their driving test. Inexperience means they may not spot hazards that are developing ahead, while their age means they are also more likely to take risks.
“So we’re challenging them first of all to get their attitude right, and to ensure they concentrate 100%, develop good observation and anticipate what hazards could be developing ahead of them.
“We would like as many young drivers as possible to heed the clear warnings provided by this video, and to do everything they can to reduce the risks they face and the risks they pose – to their passengers and to other road users as well.”