The mother of a young driver who died in a high-speed collision has backed a new campaign encouraging young people to adopt safer driving habits.
Lorraine Robertson, from Inverness, has spoken out about the devastating crash which claimed the life of her 20-year-old son, Kyle, in the hopes that other young drivers will re-evaluate their driving behaviour.
The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland campaign is aimed at male drivers between the ages of 20 and 29 – the group most likely to be involved in a road accident.
Research from Transport Scotland showed that 925 young male drivers were involved in collisions in the past year, resulting in 148 deaths or serious injuries.
Kyle Robertson died in February 2018 following a collision with a speeding car which was overtaking his vehicle on the A835 Inverness to Ullapool road in Ross-shire.
His heartbroken mum spoke of her “torment” following the crash and subsequent trial but now hopes her son’s story will encourage young people to make safer driving decisions.
Mrs Robertson said: “Kyle was just the most placid, happy go lucky 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.”
‘Drive like gran’s in the car’
The #DriveSmart campaign features a series of adverts with “larger than life, relatable ‘gran’ characters” who put their grandsons in their place while driving.
The adverts have been informed by campaign research which highlighted that young male drivers change their driving behaviour depending on who they have as a passenger in the car.
The strapline – “Drive like gran’s in the car” – was created after drivers claimed they drive better when they are travelling with “precious cargo”, such as their grandparents.
This is depicted through a series of scenarios where the grans address unsafe driving, including using mobile phones, having noisy friends in the car and speeding.
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.”