Tragically last year 59 young motorists were killed on Queensland roads, with 32 fatalities involving P-plate or learner drivers.
It’s a statistic that Cindy Littlejohn wants to change.
Her son Jake Dunn, 22, died after a single vehicle crash in 2015.
Jake was driving to his new job when the wheel of his vehicle hit wet debris. His car aquaplaned and crashed into a tree. Jake had gained his provisional driving licence only five months before the accident.
“Drugs, alcohol, fatigue and speed were not factors, in fact it was an emergency situation, where he could not regain control of his car through lack of education,” Cindy says.
“The loss of a young life is ultimately indescribable, the impact on those closest to them – parents, family, friends and partners – is devastating and lasting. Each life lost is one too many.”
Cindy is campaigning for a Youth Driver Education Centre to be established at Jake’s former school, Carinity Education Glendyne in Hervey Bay.
“More than 400 school leavers take to our local roads every year. Improving their riding and driving skills means the life we save could be that of someone you love,” she says.
The inaugural Jake’s Memory Ride & Drive event on May 6 aims to raise $25,000 to purchase a cutting-edge driving simulator to teach Fraser Coast youth safe driving skills.
Carinity Education Glendyne Principal Dale Hansen says: “The SDT-153 Safe Driver Training Simulator is unique in that it has three screens and an advanced physics engine, providing high-realism driving.
“It is designed to simulate roads and driving conditions for Australian cars, with emergency scenarios and defensive driving tasks to test drivers’ reactions. Ensuring young drivers are equipped with the correct skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely will make our roads safer for everyone.”
Jake’s Memory Ride & Drive is a memorial drive from Urangan pier to Carinity Education Glendyne at Nikenbah, which will host markets, food stalls, rides, live music, entertainment, classic cars, a road safety expo and more.
Phone 0432 081 232 or donate online.