Young and learner drivers in Stevenage and North Herts warned about dangers of irresponsible driving at hard-hitting Learn 2 Live talk

The John Henry Newman School pupils Scarlett Moyle and Kayleigh Baker, both 16.

The John Henry Newman School pupils Scarlett Moyle and Kayleigh Baker, both 16. - Credit: Archant

Teenagers who are hoping to gain their independence in Stevenage and North Herts were reminded of the catastrophic consequences irresponsible driving can cause this morning.

The Learn 2 Live programme isn’t designed to scare people away from driving, but educate young and learner drivers that they have a huge responsibility when they get behind the wheel.

The John Henry Newman School student, Scarlett Moyle, said: “It was very hard hitting but really displayed the truth. I’m still going to learn to drive but I will be a lot more careful and cautious.

“I will be thinking a lot more about the families of other people when I drive because so many people are hurt when accidents happen.”

Fellow John Henry Newman student, Kayleigh Baker, said: “It was very moving and really made me think about how much damage a car can cause.”

The programme is a partnership of Herts County Council, the police, fire service, road safety campaigners and trading standards working together to promote responsible driving.

Students aged between 16 and 18 from schools across the area were warned about the dangers to themselves and others of drinking or taking drugs and driving at the talk in the Gordon Craig Theatre.

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They were also educated about the need to check the vehicles they are driving are safe and ensure they are properly maintained with things like roadworthy tyres.

The dangers of using mobile phones and other things that can distract drivers was also demonstrated to the audience.

The event featured a real-life story about a group of teenagers celebrating at a party after getting their A-level results.

They get into a car, when the female driver is over the limit, and end up hitting a tree. One of the male passengers is killed, the driver is jailed for four years and the other two people struggle to cope after the crash.

Road safety campaigner George Atkinson then finished the presentation by speaking about the death of his own daughter, Livia, in a crash in 1998.

Talking to the Comet, he said: “I think it is very important that we get a message across to the kids that they do not want to end up in crashes. Go out in cars and enjoy being behind the wheel by all means, we are not anti-driving. We are trying to promote sensible driving.”