Friends of crash victim Leanne Davies will be among the first to receive funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl, to pay for a driving skills course.
‘Bubbly’ nineteen year-old, Leanne Davies was killed in a road collision in the Forest of Dean in 2013. She was a passenger in a car driven recklessly by her nineteen year-old boyfriend, who was sentenced to six years in prison for causing her death.
Following the tragedy, Leanne’s parents set up Leanne’s Gift, a charity which aims to raise awareness of road safety in Gloucestershire and provides support to the families of young people involved in road collisions in the Forest of Dean.
Rebecca Tetlow and Francesca Jacobs were close friends with Leanne, and came forward to apply for funding as soon as they heard about the course.
“Leanne was one of my best friends, so taking part in the Skill for Life driving course felt like the right thing to do in her memory.
“Leanne’s Gift aims to educate young drivers about the dangers they face on our roads. I’m a trustee for the charity, where we’re working towards making the roads safer.
“The driving course is flexible – you can do it in your own time frame and the instructors come to you. I think all young drivers would benefit from the experience.”
Skill for Life is run by Gloucestershire Group Advanced Motorists (IAM) and teaches improved driving skills to young people. The PCC is awarding funded places to 10 people who could not otherwise afford to attend the training.
The course normally costs £149 and involves coaching from a qualified instructor, leading to the IAM advanced test. All ten places have been awarded to Gloucestershire residents under the age of 26, who hold a full driver’s license. Leanne’s Gift will also be providing funds for a further ten young drivers to take the Skill for Life course.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said,
“Helping young people become responsible adults and improving road safety are two of the driving forces in the Police and Crime plan.
“Between 2009 and 2013, 29 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 died in traffic collisions in Gloucestershire.
“These figures are of great concern and illustrate why safe and social driving schemes like Skill for Life are worthwhile.”
Leanne’s story will also be told to students during a Drive for Life day at Gloucestershire College’s Forest of Dean campus on 20th October.This event is organised by Gloucestershire’s Road Safety Partnership which is made up of the county’s fire and rescue service, Gloucestershire County Council, police and police and crime commissioner and will examine the major causes of road deaths for drivers under 24 and the consequences of these crashes.
More information on the Skill for Life course can be found at: http://www.glosiam.org
Visit http://roadsafety-gloucestershire.org.uk/ for further information on the Safe and Social Driving scheme.