“Take responsibility” was the message from a Halifax woman whose son died after losing control of his car on an icy road whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Debbie Nicholson was speaking at a national Road Safety Week event held in Halifax’s Victoria Theatre, where over 1,000 16 to 18-year-olds were told of the fatal dangers careless and dangerous driving can have, as well as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Debbie’s son David lost his life after his car hit a wall in Stainland Road, Holywell Green and she warned the young audience to take responsibility before they get into their cars.
“Anybody getting into a car, just be aware. I have said it before, cars are killing machines. You have to take responsibility,” she said.
“If I could have said one thing to my son that night I would have said ‘don’t get in your car. Stay at your friends’.”
Also speaking at the event was watch commander Tony Pearson, of West Yorkshire Fire Service, who fought back tears as he recounted a multiple-fatality in Leeds where two cars had been racing; PC Colin Dixon, of West Yorkshire Police who warned of the dangers of speed after attending a fatality where a driver snapped his neck after hitting an lamp post; and paramedic Alan Parkinson, who watched a teenager who had got into a car whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs die.
In a dramatic and moving performance, actor Lee Barnes played the role of a driver who killed his girlfriend whilst travelling at speed.
Meanwhile Ryburn Valley High School produced a short video warning of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Organiser Jemma Thacker said the event, which is now in its fifth year, was about showing people the consequences of irresponsible driving.