May 3rd, 2013 in Car Safety
Last night I watched BBC’s programme “Licence To Kill” featuring Sophie Morgan who was paralysed 10 years ago, when she was 18, in a car accident.
The documentary explores why car accidents are the biggest killer of young people in the UK. Sophie meets various young people who have had their lives changed forever because of their own or someone else’s driving mistakes.
One of the young drivers is Man City’s Courtney Meppen-Walter who made a split second decision to put his foot on the accelerator and drive up a 30mph zone at 56mph. His sudden decision to speed up the road ended up taking the lives of a woman and a man. The woman’s two sons were in the back of the car, one son escaped without any injuries but the other son was taken to hospital in critical condition. Both sons are now orphans as their father had been killed in Afghanistan just before they moved to the UK.
This deeply traumatic situation not only left a family torn apart, but left Courtney facing a long jail sentence just as he was beginning his football career. In fact, Courtney ended up only receiving a 16month jail sentence and has been banned from driving for 3 years.
In my personal opinion I think he should have received a longer sentence, yes he made a mistake, but his mistake killed two innocent people and left two young boys as orphans. If it was my family, I wouldn’t be satisfied knowing that he was only going to be serving a few months in prison.
Today, I read another story in the paper about a mother who lost her daughter Kelly to dangerous driving. Her daughter was killed in a car accident when a 17 year old boy who was sitting in his friend’s car decided to drive around the grounds of their college, despite the fact he didn’t have a licence. The boy drove out into the road and was doing 80mph in a 40mph zone; he then hit the kerb and smashed into an oak tree. Kelly died on impact.
There are so many stories of young drivers putting themselves or their friend’s lives in danger when they decide to take driving risks for an adrenaline rush. Every young driver should be made aware of the dangerous situations they could put themselves in if they take risks on the road. Not only to improve their own driving, but also to educate their friends when they are passengers in cars.
By hearing just one traumatic story of a young driver who has been paralysed or killed in a road accident, it should hopefully open the eyes of every young driver around the world. The AA does a young driver scheme which enables young drivers to gain a fuller understanding of the dangers and potential consequences of their driving decisions.I think this scheme should be compulsory for every driver and more companies should provide it for young drivers.
You can watch Sophie's story here: