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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 20:12 GMT
Shock tactics to stop road deaths
Jay Calascione
Mrs Calascione's son was hit and killed as he crossed the road
The mother of a road crash victim is taking part in a new scheme to try to cut the number of deaths on the roads of East Sussex.

Last year, 44 people were killed in the county, and in many cases police say the deaths could have been avoided.

Along with members of the emergency services, Jay Calascione is talking to teenagers about the devastating impact it has had on her and her family.

Police said the aim was to make pupils aware of the dangers, not scare them.

'Life sentence'

Pupils at a school in Uckfield were moved to tears on Thursday as Mrs Calascione described the moment her son Simon died while crossing the road near Hastings.

"He said to his flatmate 'I'm just going over the road to see my mum'... they were the last words he ever spoke," she said.

As part of the scheme, students were shown a video based on a real life fatal crash, narrated by ambulance, police and fire crews.

Police said the exercise was deliberately hard-hitting in an attempt to get teenagers to think about the way they drive before taking to the road.

Pc Helen Donovan said: "We don't want to scare young drivers, that's not our aim. We want to raise their awareness that a moment's madness could be a life sentence for somebody and somebody's family."

Mrs Calascione added: "You can have all the publicity programmes but it's when you actually see the person in flesh and blood and hear their personal story, then suddenly that could be them, that could be their brother, their mum."

One pupil said the experience had been "shocking" but effective.

Find out more about how the road safety campaign works

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