Teenagers targeted in safety campaign

DRIVING offenders across the region have contributed to a new educational scheme to try to improve children’s road safety.

The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) is providing cash from course charges to help fund a stage show that uses social media to challenge attitudes and behaviour towards road safety.

Aimed at 13-year-olds, the show is touring the region’s schools to press home the message that careless and reckless behaviour around traffic can lead to serious injury or even death.

The show, entitled Josh Green Posted On Your Wall, has been devised by the Tyne and Wear and Northumberland Road Safety Group and is based around three characters.

It examines their behaviour at the road side and while using public transport, while a rear projection screen displays pictures and videos, as well as the characters’ Facebook pages.

Clips from mobile phones are also used and post-show workshops follow each event.

Northumberland County Council Executive Member for Transport Strategy Isabel Hunter said: “We want everyone to stay safe on our roads and by targeting young people of this age group we hope to influence attitudes and behaviour.

“The show is a very worthwhile initiative and I hope that it will be thought-provoking for many young people across the county.”

The NDORS offers three schemes — Driver Improvement, Rider Improvement and Speed Awareness — to try to improve driving standards through training as an alternative to prosecution.

Offenders pay £80 to take a course and the revenue is available to councils to fund a variety of road safety initiatives.

In 2009, 2,671 child pedestrians up to the age of 16 were killed or seriously injured on British roads, of which 57 per cent were aged 11 to 16. The Year 9 pupils targeted by the project fall in the middle of the age range.