Robbie Fowler backs initiative to educate young drivers about road safety

Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler has lent his support to a campaign encouraging road safety awareness amongst young drivers.

The former star striker has four children between the ages of 15 and 22.

Robbie met with representatives from RoadPeace, the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership (MRSP) and The Driving Academy at Liverpool FC’s former training ground Melwood, which is now used by the Robbie Fowler Education and Football Academy (FEFA).

Billy Eaglestone, 18, a second-year student at the FEFA, won a competition about road safety with a prize of driving lessons from The Driving Academy, a Liverpool-based driving school.

The competition for FEFA students was run by RoadPeace, the national road crash victims charity and Engage, an initiative of MRSP to equip young drivers with the skills and knowledge they need to be safe on the roads.

Participants had to answer a series of road safety questions set by MRSP.

Over the past 26 years there have been 16,531 people killed and seriously injured on the roads of Merseyside.

In 2020, there were with 15 deaths and 355 serious injuries across the region.

This year the World Health Organization reported that road traffic injury is the leading cause of death globally for children and young people between five and 29.

The RAC Report on Motoring 2020 revealed that nearly one in five drivers aged 17-24 admitted to video calling while driving.

Robbie Fowler said: “It is so important that young people are taught how to drive properly.

“It’s not just a case of going through the gears, there are so many other factors like looking out for other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians. There is also the temptation to get distracted by loud music, mobile phones – whether it’s receiving a call, through social media or even using them for Sat Nav if they are driving an older car.”

Competition winner Billy Eaglestone will be taught by a specialist Engage driving instructor who works for The Driving Academy.

He will be writing a blog about his driving lessons so he can share his experiences with other young people.

Billy, who wants to become a PE instructor, said: “I’m so thankful for this opportunity to learn how to drive with a skilled instructor. People of my age need to know how to keep safe on the roads.”

RoadPeace exists to support people whose lives have been tragically affected by road crashes, and to campaign to improve the systematic response to crashes in the UK.

RoadPeace Trustee and local North West Coordinator Pauline Fielding said: “We are really grateful to Robbie for getting behind such an important initiative to make young people aware about road safety.

“We hope through this competition, Billy will not only be safer on the roads, but can be an example to other young drivers about how to act responsibly when behind the wheel of a car.”

Paul Mountford from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “We recognise the important role that driving instructors and sportsmen and women can play in the education of young, novice drivers and the need for a better level of education on issues that can potentially cause serious injury and death on our roads.

“These are often not discussed during driving lessons and that’s why we recommend our Engage programme for novice drivers and instructors alike.”

Stuart Rigby, from The Driving Academy said: “We are thrilled to be able to participate with RoadPeace, MRSP, the Robbie Fowler Education and Football Academy and the LFC Foundation, to bring the importance of road safety to the forefront of everyone taking part.

“Road safety is an ongoing concern for us and we endeavor to teach every single one of our learners to the safest, highest standards.”

Notes to Editors

Image: Paul Mountford from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, Robbie Fowler, competition winner Billy Eaglestone and Stuart Rigby from The Driving Academy. Credit: Dan Bently Photography

Robbie is holding up a shirt from the L4 Under-18s team sponsored for the 2021/22 season by RoadPeace and Birchall Blackburn Law.

About RoadPeace

RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims, providing practical information, emotional support and advocacy to those affected by road crashes, as well as campaigning for justice for road crash victims and for road danger reduction policies. Helpline 0845 4500355, Office 020 7733 1603, www.roadpeace.org

Crash not Accident: RoadPeace is calling for an end to a language of neglect and denial and for policy makers and the media to stop using the word ‘accident’ when referring to road crashes, and to adopt an appropriate, constructive and accurate terminology such as crash or collision: