Accident victim welcomes new road scheme

By Juliette MaxamA STUDENT who was involved in an horrific car crash in which her brother was killed has welcomed a new initiative to reduce the number of young people involved in road accidents.

By Juliette Maxam

A STUDENT who was involved in an horrific car crash in which her brother was killed has welcomed a new initiative to reduce the number of young people involved in road accidents.

A study commissioned by Essex County Council has found young people aged between 17 and 25 were involved in one-third of all injury accidents.

Accidents involving this age group tend to take place at night and excessive speed is often a contributory factor. The young drivers are found to be at fault in 80% of the accidents.


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Now a driving working group is being launched to try to improve the accident record of young drivers in Essex.

The inaugural meeting will be held on November 12 and it will be followed by a seminar to get the message across to a wider audience.

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Two years ago Rachel Bowen was involved in an horrific car crash and saw her younger brother, Daniel, die beside her from terrible injuries.

Miss Bowen, a student, had been driving her Vauxhall Astra along the A134 at Little Horkesley on the August bank holiday Monday when 19-year-old Thomas Bugg turned onto the road in front of her.

The impact turned Miss Bowen's car upside down. Covered in blood, with head, leg and arm injuries, she had to wait 40 minutes while firefighters cut her and Daniel free, but her 17-year-old brother was declared dead at the scene.

Bugg, of Rowans Way, Leavenheath, pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to nine months in a young offenders' institution.

After the accident Miss Bowen, now 21, and her parents Yvonne and Jeff, of Highwoods, Colchester, campaigned for safer driving.

Miss Bowen, who is studying for a Masters degree at the University of Kent, welcomed the new driving working group.

"The whole thing is you are never going to get people to take much notice until it happens to them, but if you can do something that stops one in 10 it's worth it. I think it's a good idea. I would be interested in helping out if needs be," she said.

Essex Police has already made a plea to young drivers to take more care following a spate of accidents in which young people died.

So far almost a quarter of people killed on the roads in the county this year have been aged 21 or under. A police spokesman blamed this on driver inexperience – not being familiar with the vehicle or road layout.

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk

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