Charity launches Road Safety Week campaign to bring down road deaths in Norwich

These six youngsters represent the number of people their age that are killed and seriously injured each week on East Anglia's roads.

Casualty statistics revealed by road safety charity Brake yesterday show that another young person is killed on East Anglia's roads every fortnight - leaving behind devastated family and friends.

The six youngsters joined emergency services and local authorities to launch the Road Safety Week campaign for East Anglia at Carrow Fire Station in Norwich yesterday morning.

Brake were urging drivers to 'have a heart at the wheel' as part of the campaign, launched in conjunction with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Constabulary.

A driver simulator exercise was held as part of the launch, to raise awareness among young drivers and passengers.

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Inspector David Ball, from Norfolk Constabulary's road policing unit, said: 'This simulator is exciting, impactful and gets across, in a clear manner, the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving or driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

'I am particularly keen to see the effect that the simulator will have on younger drivers. I am confident that it will be useful in reducing still further the number of casualties on Norfolk's roads.'

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Brake's research found that every 32 hours a young person suffers a serious injury on the region's roads, causing life-changing injuries such as brain damage, paralysis or limb loss in many cases.

The charity is demanding government action to tackle these figures, highlighting evidence that 'graduated driver licensing' - including a minimum learning to drive period and restrictions for novices - would prevent 200 deaths and thousands of serious injuries each year.

Julie Townsend, campaigns director at Brake, said: 'It is unacceptable that more young people die in preventable road crashes than from any other cause. Every day, more families face the unbearable news that a loved one has been killed suddenly or suffered a horrific injury in young driver crashes.

'We need drivers of all ages in East Anglia to show compassion at the wheel, to realise they have lives in their hands, and pledge to drive safely and legally.'

The Road Safety Week campaign, run by Brake with support from sponsors QBE Insurance and FedEx Express, is running until this Sunday.

Councillor Alec Byrne, chairman of Norfolk County Council's Joint Casualty Reduction Partnership, added: 'We are committed to supporting Brake's Road Safety Week and the vital work the organisation does to raise awareness of road safety issues.

'It is particularly important to educate young people in safe driving practices and remind them of the often devastating consequences of behaviour such as drink driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt.'

Has the loss of a family member inspired you to raise awareness of road dangers? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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