Crashed car tragedy helps to deliver road safety campaign in Leyland

Daniel Birch's crashed car
Daniel Birch's crashed car
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A hard-hitting campaign - aimed at local young adult drivers - will come to Leyland next month.

The Alive to Drive event will feature a crashed vehicle in which a 23-year-old man lost his life.

The car, which features as part of a road safety campaign by the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety, belonged to Dan Birch. The campaign is called Dan Birch: Almost Home.

There have been numerous complaints about ‘boy racers’ in Leyland.

South Ribble councillor Claire Hamilton, who represents Leyland Central ward, has highlighted issues of dangerous drivers.

She said: “I welcome the initiative. We’ve had a problem in Leyland with boy racers on some of our car parks and have had some complaints from residents about speeding. Raising awareness is a good thing.”

The Alive to Drive event takes place at Tesco in Leyland on Saturday, September 1, from 9am to 4.30pm and Sunday, September 2, from 10.30am to 4pm. It is being organised by Chorley Advanced Motorists (CAM).

Julie Whitworth, of CAM, who is an Institute of the Motor Industry national observer, said: “We have many rural roads in our area, the most dangerous roads to drive on and which have very high KSI - killed or seriously injured - figures.

“This will be the eleventh year of running this event and each year we are supported by all the emergency services. Lancashire Constabulary, North West Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service, along with the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, Highways England, North West Blood Bikes and is hosted by Leyland Tesco.

“Our aim is to encourage these drivers, and indeed drivers of any age, to think about their own driving and do something positive to improve their driving skills. In our jobs and careers we undertake so much training and understand the benefits of this, but when it comes to driving we take a basic test at around the age of 17 and expect that this equips us to be excellent drivers! Driving is the most dangerous thing we all do on a daily basis.”

She added; “It just takes one wrong decision for something to go very badly wrong.

“This could happen to anyone of us at any time.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will be giving a demonstration each day on how they cut out people from their vehicle when it has been involved in a road traffic collision.

The campaign Dan Birch: Almost Home campaign tells the story of what happened to Dan from the perspective of his mother.

Daniel, of Coppull, was killed on Mother’s Day in 2012. He was driving home after a night out when his parents thought he was at work.

“He lost control of his car and collided with a brick gatepost. The damage to his car was catastrophic and he died almost instantly with massive internal bleeding. He was almost three times over the legal limit.

Sgt Anthony Burgess, of the South Ribble Neighbourhood Policing Team, said of Alive to Drive, said: “This is a fantastic event organised through Chorley Advanced motorists and partners, aimed at raising awareness of the vulnerability of our local young drivers and encouraging safer driving.

“I have no doubt that this event make our local roads a safer place and could save lives.”