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Charity’s fury at horrific road crash death record

PUBLISHED: 17:45 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 12 August 2010

A ROAD charity has hit out at the borough s horrifying record for crashes involving young drivers after another motorist lost his life.

A ROAD charity has hit out at the borough's 'horrifying' record for crashes involving young drivers after another motorist lost his life.

Charity for road safety, Brake, is pleading with youngsters to stop 'preventable' deaths after former Kemnal Technology student, Jack Bowers, 21, died during a police chase in the early hours of last Thursday.

Mr Bowers, of Castleford Avenue, Eltham, failed to stop for officers in Copers Cope Road, Beckenham, because he was breaking a curfew handed to him for assault.

He later crashed into a row of parked cars in The Avenue.

He was taken to University Hospital, Lewisham but died from head injuries last Friday.

A spokesperson for Brake said: "It is horrifying that so many young people are dying on Bromley roads. Young driver deaths bring devastation to families and communities, but they are preventable.

"We are urging the government to take steps to ensure that young drivers are gaining the relevant experience before they start to drive. We must educate young people on the consequences of taking deadly risks and ensure we have a robust, structured system of learning to drive in place."

But Bromley council are calling for a greater police presence on the roads to tackle "immature and dangerous drivers".

Statistics show that in 2007, 34 people lost their lives or suffered life-threatening injuries in Bromley in crashes involving drivers aged 17 to 25.

In the three years from 2005 to 2007, 104 people were killed or seriously injured on the borough's roads in collisions that involved a young driver.

Environment councillor, Colin Smith, said: "Our team of acknowledged experts has been targeting young drivers for some time now and have successfully reduced casualties in this age group by more than the rest of London.

"More importantly, everyone fully understands that there are a small minority of immature and dangerous drivers on our roads that need reining in. This is precisely why Bromley has been and will continue to lobby both the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Authority for a greater traffic police presence on Bromley's roads."

Following the latest incident, friends of Mr Bowers paid tribute to their "Jack the Lad" pal.

Schoolfriend Jamie Dell, 21, said: "Many people have been affected by Jack's passing and we are all saddened that he is no longer with us."

Childhood friend Chanel Chambers, 22, said: "He had the cheekiest smile and was a really good friend. I've got so many happy memories of Jack that I can keep with me forever."

On January 25, Jay Sonny-Barry, 18, and Larry Hall, died while driving a stolen car in Orpington Road, between Leesons Hill and Royal Parade.

Waiter Lee Waite, 21, died on February 8 last year after his Mini Cooper, carrying seven people, crashed into a tree on Southborough Lane's junction with Oxhawth Crescent, Petts Wood.

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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