Parents of Cheshire teenager killed in car crash join calls for urgent action over road deaths

-Credit: (Image: Mark Ogden)
-Credit: (Image: Mark Ogden)

The parents of a "truly amazing" teenager who was killed in a car crash are demanding urgent action to tackle the "unacceptable" high number of young driver and passenger deaths on the UK's roads. Mandy and Mark Ogden, of Congleton, lost their 17-year-old daughter Georgia in 2020.

The Congleton High student had been a passenger in the Suzuki Swift when the young inexperienced driver collided with a lorry at a junction in Astbury. She sadly later died in the Royal Stoke.

Nearly four years on and Mandy and Mark are now part of a campaign group consisting of 40 bereaved parents who are all united in calling for immediate action. The action group - Forget-me-not Families Uniting - are calling on the Government to save young lives through the introduction of Graduated Driving Licensing and the creation of an expert panel to advise the Government on how Graduated Driving Licensing in the UK should look.

According to the campaign group, figures show that young drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 are involved in 24 per cent of all collisions in Britain resulting in death or serious injury - even though that age range accounts for just 7 per cent of the total driving population.

Speaking on behalf of the group, bereaved parent and founder Sharron Huddleston said: “Enough is enough! How many more young people need to die before action is taken? We can’t sit back any longer and just watch as more and more young people are killed or seriously injured in road collisions.

"Our group was formed as a means of reaching out to the Government collectively, as individual contacts resulted in no action. I have been campaigning for years and nobody has listened, despite all of the overwhelming evidence that has been put to them by leading experts in this field.

"Our message to the Government is simple – listen to us, listen to the experts and learn from other countries, who have seen a huge reduction in young driver and passenger deaths after introducing Graduated Driving Licensing for young novice drivers. We all want and deserve a serious conversation with the Government. We want to know what they are going to do about this huge problem. If they won’t introduce a Graduated Driving Licensing system, why? And if not that, then what?

"They run young driver marketing campaigns, but this alone will never be enough to change mindsets and behaviours, or reduce road collisions. We need to go much further than that. And we owe it to young people and their families to do so much more."

Dr Ian Greenwood, who has a PhD in road safety policy, added: "I am delighted that so many academics and experts have supported this letter - the 10 whose names were published and the 14 others who supported it. They are experts in criminology, law, medicine, psychology, public health, and transport safety: all disciplines which impact directly on young driver safety. The evidence for Graduated Driving Licensing is strong and has been available for many years, and I hope politicians will listen to the experts and act."

NEWSLETTER: Sign up for CheshireLive email direct to your inbox here