Walk away from bad drivers, says bereaved Wenvoe mother

Image caption,
Angela Smith says her son Kyle might still be alive if flyers had been handed out

A mother who lost her 16-year-old son in a crash has urged young people to have the "courage" to get out of a car if they are worried about the driver.

Angela Smith's son Kyle was a passenger in a car driven by a teenager who lost control in Cardiff in 2005.

She is supporting Deadly Mates, a road safety campaign targeting the young.

Campaign posters are being put up in 21 McDonald's restaurants in Wales and flyers are also being printed.

In 2009, 24 young people were killed in road crashes in Wales.

Kyle had visited a McDonald's shortly before his death, and Mrs Smith, of Wenvoe, Vale of Glamorgan, said: "Had someone handed out a flyer to the driver of the car my son was travelling in, then perhaps he would still be here.

"It might have made the driver think."

Deadly Mates is funded and managed by the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership and supported by the four Welsh police forces, local authorities, the Welsh Assembly Government, the courts service and the other emergency services.

In 2009, 24 young people aged between 17 and 24 were killed either as drivers, passengers or riders in road traffic accidents in Wales - nearly a quarter of all fatalities.

Mrs Smith added: "I think it's fantastic McDonald's is involved. It seems a perfect partnership because McDonald's is popular with young drivers.

"Anything that makes people aware of the dangers of speed and irresponsible driving is invaluable. If it saves one life then it would have been a success."

She said her son's death had "destroyed" her family's lives.

'Devastating consequences'

Kyle was travelling in a Renault Clio car along with his 15-year-old brother, which was being driven by a 19-year-old neighbour.

Kyle did not have a seat in the car and was not wearing a seatbelt, and when the driver lost control Kyle was catapulted out of a window.

"Young people need to have the courage to get out of a car if they think the driver isn't good enough and not up to it. A lot of these deaths can be avoided," she added.

Jim Moore, manager of the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, said far too many young people were losing their lives in road traffic collisions in Wales, either as passengers or drivers.

He added: "By linking up with McDonald's, we hope to get the message out there that poor driving can have devastating consequences for those behind the wheel and their passengers."

A spokesman for Mid and West Wales Fire and Sescue Service said McDonald's had a "huge potential to reach young drivers who visit their restaurants and should be applauded for their commitment to the safety of their customers".

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