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Kids Count Launch 'Drive Safely because I-Count' Campaign

• Campaign aims to reduce the number of young people killed or seriously hurt on UK roads
• Accidents on the roads the biggest killer for 15 - 24 year olds
• Young drivers urged to take care when driving this Christmas Students heading home from university for festive break reminded to check their vehicles before travelling and not to rush the journey home
• Kids Count issues safety tips for students driving home this weekend

Leading youth charity Kids Count, which is organised by young people to help find solutions to the issues which affect them, has launched a campaign to help save young lives on British roads. The ‘Drive Safely because i-Count’ campaign aims to draw attention to encourage young people to improve their driving skills and behaviours.

The campaign aims to reduce the number of young people being killed or seriously injured on the roads in the UK. The campaign will deliver a range of activities to help young people take more care on the roads and also to drive more safely. The initiative has already been welcomed by the House of Commons.

The campaign launched this week is also encouraging young people heading home from University for the Christmas break, to take care not only on their journey, but also when travelling to car to parties throughout the Christmas period.

Recent research has revealed an increase in drivers under 25 being tested positive for alcohol, or refusing the take a breath test. Kids Count is now working with associations. such as the Cheshire Think Drive Survive Course to create a safer, more responsible attitude by young people, one element of which will be to address the issue of drink driving. The Drive Safely because i-Count campaign will also be encouraging drivers to check their cars are fully roadworthy before starting on journeys, and for passengers and drivers to remember to wear their seat belts.

Key elements of the campaign include a call for additional road safety information in schools, with a particular focus on stages 1 – 4, first aid training for all learner drivers, and also for the government to consider mandatory motorway training for all newly qualified drivers.

Launching the campaign this week John Leech MP said: “There are too many bouquets tied to street railings in memory of people who have lost their lives on the UK's roads. I hope this campaign finds local support across the whole country in 2012. We are asking young people, youth organisations, and families to support this Campaign to help promote safer driving and road use.

The campaign has already gained the support of AA President, Edmund King who has donated 250 free Drive Smart training courses to the campaign. These courses are designed to teach drivers who have recently passed their test and already have had an accident of points on their licence how to drive more safely.

Jinal Shah, Chairman of the Kids Count Youth Board and a student at Canterbury Christ Church University said: “I hope this campaign can make a real difference to the attitudes of young drivers like myself. Before people head home from University this month I’d like them first to do a quick check to make sure all is ok with their car before they set off, and also whilst travelling not to let the urge to get home as soon as possible lead to them driving faster than is safe.”

The Kids Count Drive Safely because I-count campaign has developed a top ten tips to ensure students travelling home by car for the festive break take precautions to make their trip as safe as possible:

1. Plan you journey leaving plenty of time to get home
2. Have a full tank of fuel for your journey as delays can make the drive much longer
3. Try not to leave in rush hour, remember many other students are leaving for the Christmas break too
4. Make sure your car is in good working order, the last thing you want is to break down and potentially be involved in a collision
5. Check driving conditions before you leave.
6. Leave your phone in your bag or glove compartment
7. Belt up in the front and back
8. Respect the road conditions as well as the speed limit
9. Before you set off check your tyres, fuel and oil.
10. If you're tired take a break

Jinal continued “The aim of Kids Count campaign is to change attitudes and behaviours. We want the Drive safe launch to be the start of a movement which will make our roads safer. We want everyone talking about our campaign to save lives. Kids Count wants to make dangerous driving a thing of the past.”

Everyone is welcome to be part of the Kids Count conversation, further information on how to take part is available at:

Kids Count Saving Lives Campaign Website: Follow the campaign on Facebook Kids Count Community and Twitter: KidsCountUK.

For further information or to arrange an interview contact Jinal Shah at or call Jinal on 07951 633088