Road safety message is driven home to Linlithgow students

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Pupils at a school in Linlithgow learned about the devastating consequences car accidents have on families in West Lothian.

The message about dangerous driving and being distracted behind the wheel was driven home to S6 Linlithgow Academy students at the Westdrive event held at Howden Park, Livingston.

The event is funded by Road Safety Scotland and Safer Communities Strategic Planning Group and organised by Police Scotland through the West Lothian Community Safety Unit (CSU).

The statistics involving youngsters on the road make for grim reading.

According to Road Safety Scotland there are 54 accidents a week on the country’s roads involving a young driver aged between 17 and 25.

Those accidents lead to one death and more than 70 people injured every week.

Single-vehicle accidents are common among young drivers and often they are the result of motorists losing control.

The main point of the Westdrive event was to highlight that road crashes destroy lives on a multiple levels and young drivers and their families are over represented in road crashes in West Lothian.

The personal testimony from a local parent of a young driver who lost his life in a road accident in the county in 2013 brought the message home to young motorists.

The school’s pupil support teacher Diana Mason said: “Like all young people, they may well have thought they would be able to handle all of the pressures associated with driving and were instead excited about the independence ahead.

“However, all pupils were thoroughly engaged and quite shocked by what they saw and gave them a clear insight into what is ahead of them.”

Community Firefighter Robert Meechan of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “West Drive 2017 targets the next generation of young drivers.

“It is a joint initiative involving various partners who share the same desire to reduce the number of young people seriously injured or killed on Scotland’s roads.

“The overwhelming response from those who attended was tremendous and I’m confident each left with an added appreciation for the potential dangers when travelling on the roads network.”