A regional daily launched a campaign to curb dangerous driving on the same day a rival publisher announced a similar bid across its titles.
The Lancashire Telegraph splashed yesterday on the launch of its ‘Stop the Madness’ campaign, which aims to raise the standard of driving in East Lancashire.
Coincidentally, the new campaign by the Newsquest-owned Telegraph came on the same day that Johnston Press announced a similar group-wide bid following a report by the group’s new central investigations team.
JP’s investigations team is being led by Aasma Day, a reporter at the Blackburn-based Telegraph’s rival the Lancashire Evening Post.
The two campaigns also follow similar schemes which are currently being run by Newsquest dailies the Bradford Telegraph & Argus and The Press, York.
The Telegraph has launched ‘Stop the Madness’ after the issue was raised in the Commons last week by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson.
It discovered that the number of people arrested for dangerous driving on its patch has more than doubled in the past year, with 149 arrests, while 12 people have been killed on East Lancashire’s roads in the past six months and a further 1,843 people injured.
The newspaper is calling on the government to ban under 25s from hiring high-performance vehicles, raise the standards of driver training and testing, give probationary status to all new drivers for the 12 months after they pass their test and increase the use of CCTV on the roads to identify regular routes for speeding or dangerous driving.
It also wants a halt to any further cuts in traffic officer numbers, as well as stronger sentences and mandatory re-education for anyone convicted of dangerous driving.
Francesca Winrow, the Telegraph’s head of content, said: “The Lancashire Telegraph’s ‘Stop the Madness’ campaign is calling on dangerous and reckless drivers in East Lancashire to clean-up their act.
“We want tougher sentences for dangerous drivers, better training to raise driving standards and more enforcement to put ‘lunatic’ drivers behind bars.
“We have been working on this campaign for several months and have launched it to coincide with Road Safety Week, which runs until Sunday.
“The response we have had so far has been very positive, including the campaign’s launch being raised in Parliament thanks to local MP Andrew Stephenson.”