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Calls for road safety campaign after deaths of three Gloucestershire teenagers

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

  • TRAGEDY: Jake Gardner.

  • EDUCATION: Jimmy Martin, chairman of the Time and Place road safety charity, believes young drivers need to be taught at school.

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A MINUTE'S silence will be observed at the launch of a national road safety initiative to remember three teenage victims killed on Gloucestershire's roads.

Ollie Pain, 18, and Harry Smith, 17, were both killed when their car crashed on a country lane through Furzeground Wood, a few miles from North Nibley last Tuesday.

That tragedy came just a few days after Jake Gardner, 19, died in a car crash on November 5, when his Ford Fiesta collided with a Land Rover Freelander on the B4077, near the crossroads to Bourton-on-the-Hill.

Investigations are continuing into both crashes.

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All three of the victims were members of Gloucestershire Young Farmers and their deaths have sent shockwaves through the organisation.

The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs is about to launch its own road safety initiative, called Drive It Home, to help reduce the number of incidents involving young drivers in rural areas.

Spokesman Emily Meikle said: "We are launching the initiative on Thursday when there will be a one minute silence to remember Ollie, Harry and Jake, and other young people killed on the roads.

"The statistic is that rural young people are 37 per cent more likely to be injured in a road accident than those in urban areas.

"We want to educate young farmers first, and then for them to educate other young people in their communities about road safety."

National Road Safety Week kicked off yesterday, run by charity Brake.

It comes as a poll revealed three out of four people think restrictions should be placed on young drivers, including a minimum 12 months of lessons and a ban on late-night driving.

Jimmy Martin, chairman of county road safety charity Time and Place, said: "It's about education, the Government needs to make it part of the curriculum.

"I think young drivers should be allowed to carry their friends and family in cars. If they have passed their driving test, then it should be part of that they are deemed responsible enough."

Eric Freeman, former chairman of the Gloucestershire branch of Young Farmers, said: "I do think some restrictions on young drivers would help, but it has to be reasonable."

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