The day that my daughter’s life was taken, my life and my reason for living was taken too. I couldn't function. I didn't want to face another day without Caitlin.
Brake has given me a reason to carry on living, by helping me campaign in memory of my daughter Caitlin. This has given me a focus in my life and a feeling that I am doing something for Caitlin.
This is Caitlin's story.
I have to be a voice now for Caitlin and I know she would want me to do this, to stop what happened to her happening to any other young person and their family. Caitlin and I were so close. She was always by my side. We had a special mother and daughter relationship.
The crash that Caitlin was killed in as a passenger, was put down to inexperience of the newly qualified driver. Brake made me aware of a graduated driver licensing system (GDL), which is law in many other countries and has proven to reduce novice driver crashes and saves young lives.
I am campaigning for the element of a phased licensing system, where young, newly qualified drivers are not allowed to carry their teenage friends as passengers in their cars for a limited amount of time, until they have gained more experience in driving.
Unfortunately, the Department for Transport still refuse to put safety precautions in place for young and novice drivers even though the leading cause of death in the age group of 17-24 year olds is road traffic collisions.
Because of this I want to raise awareness to all parents of the dangers of letting their teenage children be passengers in newly qualified drivers’ cars and to let young people know of the dangers posed to them upon passing their driving test, especially the dangers to young novice drivers on rural roads.
I put my idea of an information leaflet forward to Edmund King, the President of the AA Charitable Trust. I have been in contact with Edmund for most of this year, as the AA's campaign this year has been highlighting the dangers of rural roads to young drivers. They have used Caitlin's story to produce a 'Caitlin's Hour' radio show, warning young people of the dangers of driving on rural roads and that most young driver crashes occur on rural roads.
Edmund King has helped and advised me, after I put my idea to him. We have worked together recently producing 'Caitlin's Message' information pages that have been printed in 'Learning to Drive' the 'Parents Guide' booklet published by FirstCar.
I am so very grateful for all the help, support and understanding that I have received from everyone at Brake and also to Edmund King OBE, for helping me with the 'Caitlin's Message' information. Such kindness from all of you that I will never forget... You are my Road Safety Heroes!
This blog is published for Road Safety Week 2021 in celebration of the road safety heroes who help us make safe and healthy journeys and support people after road crashes. Click here to find out more and sign up to take part.