A TIMELY safety campaign is reminding young drivers to help keep death off the roads.
Mayo's County Council’s Road Safety Office, in partnership with the student union in the GMIT in Castlebar, is organising a ‘For my girlfriend’ campaign, which promotes safer driving to younger drivers and their passengers.
Research shows that teenage females of driving age are 33% more likely to be killed or seriously injured while travelling as passengers than as drivers.
Young drivers are particularly at risk on our roads as they are relatively inexperienced, have a tendency to drive too quickly and are more likely to over-estimate their driving ability. They are more vulnerable to peer pressure and risk-taking, which makes them more prone to accidents and the possibility of killing and injuring themselves and their passengers.
'For my girlfriend' confronts young male drivers with the appalling prospect of killing their girlfriend while they are driving too fast. The campaign targets males because more young females die as passengers than as drivers – often while being driven by their boyfriend.
Gary Tobin, president, Mayo campus students' union, said: “The campaign is aimed at male drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 years.
“It piggybacks on a Valentine’s Day message, providing a timely reminder that driving with other young people in the car can be a distraction and have serious and sometimes fatal consequences.”
Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, added: “Hundreds of bags with a road safety message will be distributed to the local GMIT.
"The message is backed up by some interesting facts and figures about young drivers:
“The reality is that this makes young motorists think about the potentially terrible consequences of driving too fast – and, in time, it could help save lives.”