Pembrokeshire road safety forum launches film at Torch Theatre
4:45pm Friday 21st November 2008 in Video News
The Pembrokeshire dentist whose tragic story features in a new road safety film aimed at teenagers says he hopes it will encourage social responsibility among passengers as much as drivers.
Speaking at the launch of the Pembrokeshire Road Safety Forum film at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven today (Friday), Mark Boulcott says passengers who climb into a car with a driver who is clearly under the influence of drink or drugs is as responsible as the person at the wheel if an accident occurs.
Mr Boulcott's wife, Karen, was killed by a drunk driver at Canaston Bridge two years ago. He was left with permanent serious injuries that impair his mobility.
"One of the things that upset me most of the trial of the driver was that the passengers, who were called as witnesses, were not deemed as being culpable for this accident,'' Mr Boulcott told the audience at today's launch. "As a consequence they left the court believing that they were innocent of any wrongdoing.
"In my opinion they were just as responsible as the person who caused this accident because they encouraged him to drive, knowing that he had been drinking heavily and taking drugs.''
The film, produced by Pembroke-based Camrose Media, will be shown to schools throughout Wales and further afield.
Superintendent Euros Lewis, police deputy divisional commander in charge of operations in Pembrokeshire, says the Forum is indebted to Mr Boulcott and his son, Liam, for their co-operation in this project.
"The film will help further educate young drivers and help us to make the roads as safe as possible,'' said Superintendent Lewis.
"A lot of work has already been done in this regard but this film takes it to a higher level. It provides us with an important means of getting young people to drive responsibly and indeed encourage responsibility among those who accompany them in their vehicles.''
Currently 25% of all road deaths in the Dyfed-Powys Police Force area involve young people in the 17-24 year age group.
Darren Thomas, chairman of the Pembrokeshire Road Safety Forum, says the film will further strengthen road safety education.
"It will help to bring home to young people the need to think carefully about their actions. The message to the motorist and to passengers is very clear,'' said Mr Thomas.