In Northern Ireland, one in four (25.9%) of those killed or seriously injured in road accidents last year was aged 16 to 24. It’s a statistic which one young woman, whose cousin and uncle died in a car crash in 2012, is hoping to change.
With the help of her cousin’s friends, the group of Fixers hope to implement a ‘code of conduct’ to encourage young drivers to think about road safety.
Their story was shown on UTV Live on Thursday 8th August.
Lead Fixer Joanne Evans (20), from Aughacloy in County Tyrone, was devastated by the death of her 15-year-old cousin in a car crash just before Christmas 2012.
‘My cousin and I were very close,’ she says. ‘She was more like a sister because I am an only child. When I found out she had died, I was devastated.
‘It just made me more aware of road safety, particularly among young people.’
But rather than dwell on the tragedy, Joanne decided to work with her cousin’s friends at the Magherafelt Youth Centre (NEELB), County Londonderry, in order to create a code of conduct which young people will sign to promise safer driving.
In the piece, Joanne speaks with fellow Fixer Michael Bradley (16) who was a close friend of Joanne's cousin.
‘We had been friends from a very young age,’ he says. ‘It was just like an emptiness after she had gone, as you know that you’ll never see her again. It is hard to describe with words.’
Also in the piece, Joanne meets with Area Commander for Magherafelt, Chief Inspector Sam Donaldson, who hopes to distribute the code of conduct across the area.
Joanne adds: ‘I hope that more people will sign the pledge and will be more aware of the dangers on the roads. It would be brilliant to stop one person going through the heartache my family and friends had to experience.’