Film screening shares crucial road safety message after tragic death of Ruthin teenager
A film telling the story of a local teenager who was tragically killed in a crash has been shown at a special event in Ruthin.
Olivia’s Story shares a powerful road safety message as it tells the tale of 17-year-old Olivia Alkir from the town, who was killed on the B5105 in June 2019 following a collision caused by two young drivers racing.
The special showing of the film at the Old Courthouse, organised by vice-chair of the North Wales Police and Crime Panel Pat Astbury, took place on Tuesday
Among those who took part in promoting the road safety message were Olivia’s visiting relatives from Turkey.
Olivia was travelling in a Ford Fiesta with two other girls when the driver lost control on a bend at 72mph and hit an oncoming car head-on.
The 17-year-old driver had ignored pleas to slow down. Olivia, who was sitting in the back seat, received massive internal injuries at impact and tragically died at the scene. Two of her friends suffered life changing injuries.
Olivia’s mum and dad, Jo and Mesut Alkir, were present in the audience, alongside the Alkirs’ relatives.
Also in attendance were local residents, children from local schools and representatives from North Wales Police, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Denbighshire County Council.
The showing was used to back Mr and Mrs Alkirs’ call for a black box to be fitted to every young person’s car, to monitor driving and try and prevent further such tragedies.
Working with Olivia’s parents, family and friends, the film and supporting school lessons were premiered at the end of March this year.
Since the launch, the lessons are being delivered in all secondary schools in North Wales and from September the project will be available nationally via SchoolBeat.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “Road safety is a hugely important issue for all of us in public service and I am determined that North Wales should have some of the safest roads in the UK.
“No-one who has come into contact with Olivia’s Story and the message behind it can fail to have been moved by the dedication of Olivia’s parents, Mesut and Jo, and their family, to keeping her memory alive and to making sure that no other family experiences the pain that they have felt since Olivia’s tragic death.
“I would like to pay tribute to them, their courage, and their determination to see change happen.”
Sgt Beth Jones, North Wales Police, said: “Our target audience for the project, from the start, was the 14–20-year-olds within educational settings and colleges.
“Our hope for the future is it will be rolled out in youth clubs, young farmers clubs, police cadets and any other environments that capture young people within the target age group, so that they understand the message of staying safe on the road.
“It is important to realise that this is only the beginning and it’s vital that the project remains sustainable, and has a lasting impact.”
Stuart Millington, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “North Wales Fire and Rescue Service fully endorses the requirement for black boxes to be fitted in all young drivers’ vehicles.
“The film is both poignant and powerful and if it is effective in changing the behaviours of young drivers, we will have Olivia and her legacy to thank.”
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