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Cyprus

Rate of road deaths among under-25s very high, says NGO

111 young people under the age of 25 died in road accidents in the last six years

By Constantinos Psillides

A TOTAL of 111 young people under the age of 25 died in road accidents in the last six years, according to the road safety group Reaction, and around 8,700 people were injured from 2008 to 2012.

Nicosia is the district with the most road deaths in the 2008-2012 period, with 104 people fatally injured in road accidents and Limassol is second with 102, the non-governmental organisation said.

To counter road deaths, Reaction launched a new initiative yesterday aimed at educating schoolchildren on the dangers of reckless driving.

Marios Stavrou, head of the NGO, explained that the initiative includes an interactive programme with audience participation and driving simulators. He explained that all instructors are young persons so as to better connect with the teenagers the programme is aimed at.

“We also decided not to any appeal to negative feelings. No shock videos or pictures will be used as teaching material, since this is considered an outdated method. We will apply to the teenagers’ reason instead,” said Stavrou.

To better drive the point home, he said that the simulators will be deployed in areas near the schools.

The initiative was initially going to be called “Faethon” but the name of the late Communications and Defence minister Tasos Mitsopoulos was also added at the last minute. Stavrou explained that Mitsopoulos had offered much when it came to road safety and that including his name in the initiative was the least they could do. “After consulting with the family we
decided to go ahead,” said Stavrou.

Mitsopoulos died last March at the age of 48, after suffering a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

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