THE sister of a teenager who died in an horrific collision is lending support to a national campaign to reduce rural road deaths.
Tamsin Cook’s 16-year-old brother Tristan and his friend Dominic Arnold, also aged 16, were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in hit a tree on the A41 by Dragonhall, near Tattenhall, in 2006.
The driver spent time in prison for careless driving.
The deaths led to a Chronicle campaign called Too Young to Die which Tamsin backed at the time.
Now Tamsin, from Chester, is backing a campaign by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), representing thousands of people under 26, to cut road deaths in the countryside.
According to official figures, nearly two-thirds of all fatal crashes in England, Scotland and Wales happen on rural roads.
Tamsin, 19, referencing the specific issues associated with rural roads, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There are other factors that play a part, for example, a lot of young people do seem to think it’s an opportunity to race.
“So that, with inexperience and also factors such as bends on the road and bad street lighting all combine together to mean that there needs to be a lot more focus on rural roads.”
Speaking about her brother’s death, Tamsin added: “I do drive but I think it has impacted on me a lot, not only in my home life, because obviously mine and my family’s lives have changed completely and every day we think of him and there’s always something missing – he’s always not there.
“But as well, in terms of driving, it’s made me a lot more aware, I made sure I did things like the Pass Plus to make me as prepared as possible because it’s been highlighted that people who learn to drive are not given enough guidance because I experienced that myself.”
The NFYFC is holding talks with the Government’s roads’ minister. “We really need to step up,” says NFYFC vice-chair Milly Wastie.
She wants funding for a specific person in each county running rural driver training and hazard awareness courses. Milly is also calling for specific targets for cutting rural road deaths.