Fenlander: Road safety message hits home in schools

A “MAJOR breakthrough” was achieved last week in getting the road safety message across to young people, according to local campaigner Graham Chappell.

He and fellow campaigners, including Fenland District Councillor Gavin Booth, presented the charity Brake’s powerful 2Young2Die DVD in all the state secondary schools in Fenland as part of national Road Safety Week.

Mr Chappell, who is organiser of the Fenland Road Safety Campaign (Charlotte’s Way), said Cllr Booth and the Fenland Youth District Council had played a key role in reaching such a wide audience.

The YDC had agreed to back the campaign after its members had been shown the DVD. “Their involvement and support has proved invaluable,” Mr Chappell said.

He added: “In total we spoke to nearly 900 students at Neale-Wade, Cromwell, Sir Harry Smith and Thomas Clarkson. We also visited the County School, where we had an extraordinary sharing of personal accounts of past experience and knowledge of serious injury and loss due to road accidents.

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“The statistics for road deaths and injuries to young people in Fenland are frightening, so it’s vital to get them involved with the campaign. Speaking to so many of them during the week represents a major breakthrough for us.”

Mr Chappell launched his own campaign four years ago after nine-year-old Charlotte Walker died when the car she was travelling in plunged into the water near Bedlam Bridge.

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He said: “Another very touching moment last week occurred at the end of our meeting at Neale-Wade when one of the students who had known Charlotte personally came forward to express her thanks and support for all that our campaign is doing.”

Similar events are planned for next year for all Year 11 students in Fenland

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