A MUM whose teenage daughter died in a car crash has shared her story with more than 150 teenagers to encourage them to drive safely on the county’s roads.

Sharron Huddleston's daughter Caitlin died in a car crash at the age of 18 along with her friend Skye Mitchell on the A595 in July 2017.

Caitlin was a passenger in the vehicle when Skye, who was driving, lost control on a bend in wet weather and subsequently crashed.

Pupils from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) in Penrith and Appleby Grammar School attended the first Safe Drive, Stay Alive event at the Rheged Centre near Penrith.

They heard first-hand accounts from frontline members of the police, fire and rescue, plus the North West Ambulance Service, about what they deal with when they attend serious and fatal road traffic crashes.

Sharron added: “Once the students see the presentation, they get to see the impact of the stories, which really embeds it in their minds.

“I hope the impact of the safety event will leave a lasting impression on them, as many will be learner drivers.”

Although these incidents are rare, the eye-opening experience provided an insight for the dozens of teenagers - many of whom will currently be learning to drive, or are about to take up driving lessons.

The first event of its kind to launch in the county follows success in Lancashire.

The campaign is aimed at helping young people understand the importance of driving safely - including the consequences if they ignore the advice.

Steve Minnikin, mobile support group inspector at Cumbria Police, said: “Our presentation involved a few forces, including Lancashire.

“Rather than it being an event from us telling people how to drive, it is aimed at revealing to the public exactly where the impacts of a fatal or serious road traffic injury collision, and how it is so traumatic, stressful, and genuinely horrible when you have got to deal with that - not just from a police perspective, but also from the ambulance and fire service.

“More importantly, it looks at the impact on the family, and what we’re trying to show people - especially young adults - because they are the ones who really need to be on the receiving end of this message.”

In memory of her daughter, Sharron, of Millom, launched ‘Caitlin’s Campaign’ - a petition for more rigorous driving tests for younger drivers. That petition pushes for an introduction of graduated driver licensing (also known as GDL).

It is a system that allows new drivers to build up their driving skills and experience gradually, in well-defined, structured stages.

Various forms of GDL are already in place in many countries around the world. The campaign has been supported by road safety charity Brake - which coordinates road safety week across the UK.

This year, road safety week will take place between November 18 and 24. While Caitlin would have turned 21 on November 23, the week will be supported once again by Sharron.

n Go to planetradio.co.uk/hits-radio/manchester/news/caitlin-campaign-the-petition