Road safety appeal to parents

Bereaved mother: Pictured is June Ross, outside her Alford home at the spot where a car containing four youngsters crashed into her garden, in an accident which left one of the occupants seriously injured.
Bereaved mother: Pictured is June Ross, outside her Alford home at the spot where a car containing four youngsters crashed into her garden, in an accident which left one of the occupants seriously injured.

A BEREAVED mother is calling for parents to teach their children about road safety.

June Ross lost her son in a fatal road accident just before his 23rd birthday when, in 2010, he was a passenger in a car on the B993 Kemnay to Monymusk road. Miss Ross’s son, Ian Buchanan was fatally injured in June that year, when the car he was travelling in was involved in a two-vehicle collision.

Since her son’s death Miss Ross has set up a support group called Don’t You Forget About Me (DYFAM), for people in the North-east whose lives have been affected by road accidents. She has now joined forces with the Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign to encourage parents to take action and ensure their children take their responsibilities on the road seriously.

Safe Drive Stay Alive runs an annual thought-provoking roadshow, attended by all local fifth-year pupils which includes a film telling the story of tragic road accident and includes presnetations from emergency service staff and volunteers and a bereaved parent who all appear on stage to deliver their message live.

The show runs from Monday, November 5 to Thursday, November 8, with a free evening show for the public at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom on Wednesday, November 7 from 7.15pm.

Miss Ross is calling on parents to go along to the free evening session to see what is involved and find out for themselves what are the biggest road safety issues concerning young people.

She said: “Only last month a car with four young men inside it careered into my garden. One lad had to be cut free from the car unconscious and taken to hospital with bleeding on his brain.

“It was a sickening and horrifying reminder that while the accident numbers are dropping, youngsters are still involved in serious and avoidable collisions in the north-east.

“As parents we have to take some responsibility for teaching our children how to stay safe on the roads and try to ensure they’ve got the right attitude when they get behind the wheel.

“If you are a parent whose child is learning to drive, or will be soon, I would urge you to go along to the Safe Drive Stay Alive show and see what it’s all about. Particularly if your child has left school and will not see the show for themselves, go along and take them with you.

“In fact anyone who travels as a passenger or drives a car should go, to see the lasting and long-term effects of devastation and grief it can have on a huge sphere of people.”

The roadshow is designed to help reduce the number of young people involved in fatal or serious road collisions in Grampian, by shocking them into thinking about the reasons behind accidents and their consequences.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Community Safety Executive, William Munro, said: “I am very pleased that June has come out in support of Safe Drive Stay Alive.

“She has experienced a loss that no parent should have to go through. Everyone involved in the project is passionate about getting the road safety message across and reducing the number of families suffering that heartbreak when they lose someone through a road traffic collision in Grampian.

“All pupils in Grampian have an opportunity to see the show, but it is equally important that parents take on the road safety message as well.”

Safe Drive Stay Alive is sponsored by Apache and Petrofac and involves a number of partner organisations working together to improve road safety.