Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl called for safer driving days to be held in all secondary schools after sixth former Izzy Pain spoke of the pain of losing her brother in a car crash.
“The last thing I would want is for your younger brother or sister to be stood where I am today, with the same ache in my heart.”
Izzy’s brother Oliver, 18, lost his life when the car he was driving crashed in Damery Lane, Damery in November 2012. His friend Harry Smith, 17, who was a passenger, also died in the crash.
Within a little over a year, two more of the school’s former pupils, Rory Evans and Jake Rebbeck, were also killed in car crashes.
In memory of their former pupils, and to spread a safer driving message to the next generation of drivers, the school agreed to host today’s event. KLB students were given a day off studies in the hope they will learn a lesson that could save their lives.
Izzy told the audience of students, staff and road safety professionals,
“Not many of you knew my brother, but he was always smiling. I’ve found out more about him by the stories I tell his friends and they always said what a laugh he’d have with them.
“From what we know, on November 13th 2012, at approximately 10.41 p.m., Oliver swerved to avoid a deer in the road and it resulted in his car hitting a tree, killing him and Harry instantly. The only comfort is that we know he wasn’t in pain long.
“Unfortunately, the pain for us is still raw, as it is also for Harry’s family. It has been with me since 14th November at approximately 7.08 a.m. when I was told what happened.
“Since that moment, nothing has really been the same and despite the phrase that ‘time heals all wounds’ you should know that it doesn’t”
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who opened the event, said,
“I cannot praise Izzy too highly. What she did today took immense courage. What she had to say and how she said it was the best road safety message you could imagine.
“Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School also deserve great credit for allowing this event to go ahead when what they’ve been through is still very keenly felt and emotions are raw. I believe the Government should put this sort of event on the curriculum for all secondary schools to explain the importance of safe and social driving and that it is not about taking away young people’s fun.
“Even now I can remember the thrill of passing my driving test and the freedom it meant, but statistics show there is a strong possibility someone in today’s audience will be involved in a crash. I hope Izzy’s example and what they have learned will help keep them safe.”
Gloucestershire County Council, police and police and crime commissioner who has made safe and social driving one of the priorities of his police and crime plan.
Police Family Liaison Officers talked about the ‘ripple effect’ of breaking the news to the victim’s family and there were practical exercises to show the effect of driving under the influence of drink and drugs.
A number of other outside organisations also supported the day, including the Institute of Advanced Motoring, the AA, NHS, South West Ambulance and Stroud District Road Safety Liaison Group.