Black Country councils will launch a Valentine’s Day campaign this week urging young people to “look out for the one you love” when driving.
Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Dudley Councils launch the campaign on Wednesday 14 February to remind young drivers of the potentially catastrophic consequences of dangerous driving.
The focus of the campaign is to encourage young people to look out for their loved ones – be it a girlfriend, boyfriend, mates or family members.
Road safety officers from each council will launch the campaign at their local colleges.
Students will be able to try out West Midlands Fire Service’s virtual reality goggles, which simulate driving drunk or under the influence of drugs.
The campaign is aimed at encouraging young drivers to take responsibility for their passengers and urging passengers to speak out if they find themselves in a situation in a car in which they feel uncomfortable.
There will be displays showing how 187 young people aged 17 to 24 have been killed or seriously injured in the West Midlands in the past 12 months as either passengers or drivers of a vehicle.
The displays are aimed at capturing students’ attention – allowing the opportunity for engaging discussion about driver behaviour and coping strategies which passengers could adopt, should they find themselves in a vehicle when they don’t feel comfortable.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for highways and environment Councillor David Hosell said: “We’re doing everything we can to make our roads safer and we’ve made significant progress in recent years.
“Young people aged between 17 and 24 remain the most likely to be involved in an accident, so it’s important we really engage with them. We want to make them aware of the dangers of bad driving and also empower them as passengers not to get into a car with someone who drives in a way that makes them feel unsafe.”
The campaign will be launched at Sandwell College Central Campus in West Bromwich, Walsall College, Wolverhampton College and Stourbridge College.