Mother’s plea to motorists

14/02/2012

The mother of a teenager killed when a speeding car crashed into a tree has backed the latest Drive SMART campaign urging drivers to slow down.

Della Phillips’ 17-year-old daughter Kelly was a passenger in a car travelling at 80mph in a 40mph zone when the driver lost control and hit a tree near Guildford. They both died instantly

Mrs Phillips today made an impassioned plea to motorists to take notice of Surrey County Council and Surrey Police’s latest Drive SMART campaign and slow down.

She said: “Losing Kelly three weeks before her 18th birthday was and is still devastating. Nearly seven years on our grief is growing because we all miss her more and more.

“Kelly has been stolen from us. Her brother and sister will never grow up with her. We will never see her buy a house, get married, have children, get a job or grow older and all because of a few seconds of stupidity and bad judgment."

“Don’t take the risk, it’s not worth it. Slow down, live life and don’t take anyone else’s life away from them. Please take notice of the Drive SMART speeding campaign so another family isn’t devastated.”

Kelly, who was a student at Merrist Wood College near Guildford, died in 2005.

Each year in Surrey around 800 people are hurt in approximately 500 speed related crashes on the roads. People aged between 17 and 34 are most at risk.

The new Drive SMART speeding campaign begins today. It aims to increase safety by persuading motorists to abandon dangerous, selfish and anti-social behaviour.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Kelly’s death at an age of so much potential is a tragedy that I pray will not be repeated. However, the truth is that people speed everyday, risking their lives and the lives of those around them.

“Through the use of hard-hitting images of two young girls, Grace and Sophie*, our Drive SMART campaign is trying to hammer home the tragic consequences of speeding to motorists, so they will think twice next time they are tempted to put their foot down.”

Inspector Richard Mallett, head of the Roads Policing Unit at Surrey Police, said: “Speed limits are there for a reason. If you are driving too fast you risk causing harm to yourself and other people by increasing the chances of losing control of your vehicle. You are also giving yourself less time to react to events.

“Our priority is to keep the public safe and this appeal is a powerful reminder of the impact speeding can have on victims and their families. Surrey Police continues to target speeding drivers across the county with enforcement, education, and action days alongside regular patrols. The message is simple –speeding kills, slow down.”