The Press newspaper in York is calling for a film warning of the dangers of joy-riding to be shown to children across the country after its premiere this week.
Part of the Newsquest-owned paper’s “Live Now, Drive Later” campaign, the 13-minute film was shown to an audience of more than 70 in York on Monday.
The campaign was launched after the paper’s van driver Peter Alexander, 51, and two 15-year-old boys died in a collision after one of the boys had taken his father’s car.
Kevin Booth, editor of The Press, said: ‘We hope that it will be taken up across North Yorkshire and eventually adopted by the Department of Transport as a national campaign.”
Teenager Barrie Stoves, who got out of Joel’s car just minutes before the smash, said of the film: ‘It was shocking – really hard-hitting.’
His friend Arron Rose, who was invited to go on the fateful trip but made an excuse, said: ‘Throughout the whole film, I felt a sickening feeling. My stomach was churning.”
The film, a fictional account of the crash, was made by independent production company Flash Frame, with help from The Press’s chief reporter Mike Laycock who covered the story.
PC Ken Moss, a North Yorkshire policeman who was blinded in both eyes after crashing during a pursuit of a joy rider in the 1990s, said: ‘It’s brilliant – first class. If it makes just one or two young people decide not to take a car, it’s done its job.”
The film is set to be shown to teenagers at schools across York and North Yorkshire, as part of road safety roadshows organised by local authorities and the emergency services.
The Press plans to make representations to the Department of Transport in a bid to get the campaign film adopted nationally.