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#DRIVESMART campaign to address young driver fatalities

By Kirsty Brown

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The mother of a young driver who died in a high-speed collision, has backed a Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland campaign targeting young male drivers (20- 29) to encourage them to adopt safer driving habits.

Inverness's Lorraine Robertson has spoken out about the devastating crash which claimed the life of her son Kyle, 20, in a bid to make other young drivers re-evaluate their driving behaviour.

Latest provisional figures reveal 925 young male drivers were involved in collisions in the last 12 months, with 148 killed or seriously injured.

This age group was also more likely to be involved in an accident than any other.

The top contributory factors for 20-29 year-old casualties include failed to look properly, slippery road (due to weather), loss of control and failed to judge other persons path/speed.

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: "Every life lost on our roads is one too many and the #DriveSmart campaign aims to help keep young drivers and everyone who uses our roads safe.

"We know that some young drivers are often prone to over-confidence in their abilities, a misplaced sense of control and a desire to push themselves and their car to the limits.

"They may get away with it some of the time, but the casualty numbers show that isn’t the case all of the time, and the consequences of this can be devastating.

“We want every driver in Scotland, and particularly young men, to consider their actions and drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and realise that they aren’t invincible.”

Lorraine Robertson
Lorraine Robertson

In 2018 Kyle Robertson lost his life.

He was involved in a collision with a car travelling at an excessive speed, while it was overtaking his vehicle.

Recalling the family’s loss, Lorraine said: “Kyle was just the most placid, happy go luck boy you could meet.

"He loved life and loved his family and when he came into a room, he made the whole room smile.

“From the day we lost Kyle it’s actually been hard to live.

"From hurt, to panic, to upset, to anger, you go through it all.

"I want to urge young drivers to take that second to think about what they’re doing on the roads, because what you leave behind is carnage and devastation.”

Campaign research highlights that young male drivers change their driving behaviour depending on who they have as a passenger in the car.

They claim to drive better when they are carrying ‘precious cargo’ like their gran in the car.

Informed by these findings the #DriveSmart campaign features a series of larger than life, relatable ‘gran’ characters, who unexpectedly appear while their grandsons are driving and put the young men firmly in their place, puncturing their egos somewhat.

The ads highlight a number of humorous scenarios with grans addressing unsafe driving behaviours including distractions (using mobile phones and noisy friends in the car) and driving too fast, with the strapline - 'Drive like gran’s in the car. #DriveSmart.'

The campaign will be supported with advertising in TV, on demand platforms, cinema, digital PR and social media, outdoor and radio advertising.

For more information you can visit roadsafety.scot

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