Officials and figures of authority have a valid point when they say speeding kills.

But young drivers are not always likely to listen to a politician or a policeman because their message will often come across as a lecture.

Dr Peter Marsh of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, says that campaigners may find it difficult to get young drivers to slow down.

He said: "People, especially young men, don't want to give up thrill-seeking, risk-taking or macho displays.

"But the younger generation has started to wake up to drink-driving dangers. The risk isn't wiped out but it is considered uncool. We have to make them see speeding in the same light."

Celebrity endorsement helps sell drinks, shampoo and clothes - so can it get young drivers to slow down?

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC, thinks that it can. "These stars are people young drivers look up to. If they say it's not good to do something young people will sit up and take notice."

Fans of lads' mag favourite, Southport model Sophie Howard, are predominantly young men under 25 - the key group that the Telegraph's Wasted Lives campaign is aimed at.

Sophie has had hands-on experience with high performance cars as part of her role as a Max Power magazine girl. She has made appearances at Max Power Live events.

The magazine derives its name from slang for automobile performance tuning, which is often referred to as the "maxing" market. Its pages are filled with examples of ordinary cars that have been "souped up".

In a bid to tone down its boy racer image the magazine started the Max Driver advanced driving scheme in 2006, with the Institute of Advanced Motorists. The scheme is designed to offer young, inexperienced drivers the chance of professional tuition in handling their cars responsibly.

Sophie has praised any initiative that helps keep her fans safe.

Backing the Wasted Lives campaign, she said: "Losing a young family member in a road accident, especially if it could have been avoided though safer driving, is such a tragic thing. You can still look good on the road without being irresponsible."

Fellow models Lucy Pinder, 23, and Michelle Marsh, 24, have also backed the Telegraph campaign, with their saucy message: "Take it slow boys!"

An expert in speed is Blackburn-born four-times World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty. He's had his fair share of thrills and spills in his career but the 42-year-old believes the best place for racing is on the track.

He said: "I'm right behind the Wasted Lives campaign. I have known people who have been killed on the roads and it's a senseless waste of life."

Paul Gallagher, striker for Blackburn Rovers, was a childhood friend of crash victim Matthew Hannon, whose mother's courage after the death of her son sparked the Telegraph's Wasted Lives campaign.

The 22-year-old said: "It was terrible what happened to Matt so I firmly support measures to reduce fatalities."

Paul's team-mate Matt Derbyshire, 20, added: "Anything that can be done to prevent accidents on the roads should be actively encouraged."

Young fans are an important part of a club's future as they will be the ones who line the terraces in years to come. For this reason Accrington Stanley has backed Wasted Lives. Striker Paul Mullin, 33, added: "An accident can leave behind many victims - those who are injured and friends and family. A split-second can wreck many lives. "