A CAMPAIGN founded by the Lancashire Telegraph to prevent the senseless waste of young lives on our roads has now reached more than 50,000 would-be drivers countywide.

Following the death of Matthew Hannon, who died after racing his friend through Blackburn, the Wasted Lives initiative was launched in April 2007 in conjunction with the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership and the county’s fire and rescue service.


Road safety experts have since taken the message around schools and colleges across Lancashire, backed by the testimony of families directly affected by such tragedies, with impressive results.

County Cllr Fred Jackson, Lancashire Fire Authority’s road safety champion, said: “Since 2010 the programme has influenced the numbers of those killed or seriously injured within the 17 to 25 year-old age group, with a reduction of 37 per cent.”

Work has continued to widen the scope of the scheme, with fire officers now taking it out to members of the armed forces, in a fresh departure for Wasted Lives.

Around 400 members of the 2nd Battallion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which will include young recruits from East Lancashire, were given a presentation on the award-winning road safety initiative at Weeton Barracks, near Preston.

Not only were the emergency services present to detail how they would respond to a road crash but the parents of those killed in collisions were also on hand to share their experiences.

Tragically cases like the deaths of Matt Alston, Callum Brown and Joshua Holmes, over the past few years, have demonstrated the ongoing need for the message Wasted Lives offers. Eighteen-year-old Matt lost his life in a ‘morning-after’ drink-driving crash in Simonstone in 2012, Callum was killed in a car driven by a drink and drug addled friend in April 2014 in Todmorden, and Burnley apprentice Joshua died in a crash in Gisburn, shortly after passing his test.

Cllr Jackson added: “This was Wasted Lives’ first-ever Safe Drive Stay Alive event and the success of the event meant that there would be more in the future.”