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MS backs campaign to fit young drivers’ cars with black box

03 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Llyr Gruffydd MS

An MS has backed a campaign in memory of a road crash victim for the cars of young drivers’ to be fitted with a black box monitoring device.

Llyr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales, has thrown his weight behind the safety measure following a special showing of a hard-hitting film about the tragic death of 17-year-old Olivia Alkir, from Ruthin, who was killed in June 2019.

Olivia, who was deputy head girl at Brynhyfryd School, was a passenger when she died in a terrible collision, caused by two young drivers racing, in Efenechtyd, less than a mile from where she lived.

The incident was described by the judge at the as “one of the worst examples of dangerous driving one can imagine”.

The film “Olivia’s Story”, which was shown at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, features her family, friends, and schoolteachers and has been used in schools across Wales to encourage road safety. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Jo Alkir, Olivia’s mum, is campaigning for a black box to be fitted to every young person’s car to monitor their driving and prevent further tragedies.

Mr Gruffydd, of Plaid Cymru, is supporting the campaign, saying that it would “save lives”.

Tracking device

A black box is a small GPS tracking device installed in a driver’s car. It monitors driving skills, speed, miles driven, the number and duration of breaks taken on a journey, and how driver’s brake and control their car. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The information it gathers can be used by an insurer to provide a telematics insurance policy.

An insurer can give the driver a score for their driving using this information, which can then impact how much they pay for their car insurance policy.

The aim of installing the device is to encourage drivers to drive more safely and help keep young people safe on the road.

Llyr Gruffydd MS said: “Olivia’s death was devastating for her friends and family, and it had a profound effect on the local community.

“New drivers need to recognise the responsibility that comes with driving because when things go wrong the consequences can be terrible.

“Olivia’s Story is an incredibly powerful film and I would urge anyone who has the opportunity to watch it to do so. It will certainly help educate young people about the importance of staying safe on the road.

“I fully support the campaign for it to be mandatory for black boxes to be fitted to the cars of young drivers. This is a common sense proposal that if implemented would save lives and prevent further avoidable tragedies.

The aim of the event, which was organised by the office of Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Andy Dunbobbin, was to raise awareness of the dangers of poor driving among young people and to encourage the fitting of black boxes in cars to monitor driving skills.

It was sponsored by North Wales regional Senedd Member Carolyn Thomas MS. ‌

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