Dudley Council is taking part in a hard-hitting road safety campaign this Valentine’s Day.
Dudley, alongside Wolverhampton and Walsall Councils is launching the campaign to remind young drivers of the potentially catastrophic consequences of inappropriate driving behaviour.
The ‘For my girlfriend’ campaign aims to bring home the terrible consequences for drivers and passengers when things go wrong on the road.
It will specifically target young men to take responsibility for their female passengers as statistics show more young women, aged 17 to 19, are killed or seriously injured when they are passengers rather than drivers.
It will also encourage young women to speak out if they find themselves in a situation where they feel uncomfortable as a car passenger.
On Valentine’s Day, road safety officers from Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall councils, assisted by West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Police will set up displays of 179 red roses at local colleges. Each red rose will represent a young person, aged 17 to 24, who has been killed or seriously injured on the road in the West Midlands in the last 12 months. They will be distributed to students, with each rose bearing a label giving information about the campaign.
Staff from West Midlands Fire Service road casualty reduction team will bring along their virtual reality goggles to simulate the dangers of careless driving, while the West Midlands Police central motorway police group will be on site with their motorbikes to talk to and advise students.
Councillor Hilary Bills, cabinet member for environmental services, said:
“It’s truly shocking that more young women die or are seriously injured when they are passengers rather than drivers of a car.
“Our young people need to be aware of the significant and potentially devastating consequences of dangerous driving and our young women need to feel confident enough to speak out when they feel they are being put in a dangerous situation. I hope that young people learn from the day and take steps to safeguard themselves and those they care about when on the road.”
In addition to the display of roses, posters and literature relating to the campaign will be available to students, as well as further advice from road safety staff.
The campaign will be launched on Tuesday 14 February at
Dudley College - Evolve Campus, Wolverhampton College - Wellington Road Campus and Walsall College - Wisemore Campus.