[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006, 16:29 GMT
Family's drink-driving campaign
Aaron Palmer
Aaron Palmer died on Boxing Day 2003
Parents of a teenager killed by a drink-driver took their campaign to Downing Street to call for tougher laws against "irresponsible" young drivers.

Roger and Kerry Palmer from Barry have collected more than 16,000 signatures for their petition.

Pedestrian Aaron Palmer, 18, died after being hit by a drink-driver who was twice the legal limit on Boxing Day 2003.

His family want tougher sentences imposed on those over the limit.

They have presented a petition for those convicted of drink-driving to be banned from driving for life.

In Downing Street, 47 year-old Mr Palmer said: "If somebody drunk causes a fatality like this they should not get their licence back.

"This offender was given a three-year ban and could have got his licence back within two years on appeal.

YOUNG DRIVERS AT RISK
A car at speed along road
29% of motorists killed are aged 25 or under
An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as one aged 48
One in five new drivers are involved in a crash in their first year of driving
Drivers aged 17-20 are seven times more at risk of crashing than all male drivers
Young drivers' risk of crashing is 17 times higher between 0200-0500
Source: Collated by Brake road safety group

"As it is he will be able to drive again in March next year."

Aaron Palmer, who was about to start a college catering course, was killed while crossing a road near Boverton.

Mr Palmer, a pipe fitter added: "They say things get better with time, but they only get better for the drink-driver.

"He's able to go back on the road. What about the innocent victims and their families?"

The Palmers were accompanied by John Smith MP for the Vale of Glamorgan.

Mr Smith said the deaths were a "powerful reminder" to young motorists of the dangers.

The Palmers' campaign has been supported by another couple, Angela and John Smith from Wenvoe, whose 16-year-old son Kyle died in a crash on the Ely link road in Cardiff last year.

Kyle Smith
The day he was killed it changed the course of everybody's life
Angela Smith, mother

The sixth former, who attended St Cyres school in Penarth, was a rear passenger in a car, where the seat and safety belt had been removed.

His younger brother James was also in the car and suffered head injuries.

A young man from Wenvoe, who was 19 at the time, was fined 1,000 for careless driving at Cardiff Crown Court in March 2006 following the crash at more than 70mph.

He also received a 30-month driving ban.

Mrs Smith said the accident happened on her wedding anniversary, on 20 February 2005.

"The day he was killed it changed the course of everybody's life.

"There is a massive void for all of us - his family and friends."

After his death Kyle's friends and family raised over 11,000 for charity.

John Smith MP said he hoped the campaign would raise awareness.

"By raising awareness of the dangers of irresponsible driving we can potentially save thousands of lives.

"The tragedies endured by the Palmer and the Smith families act as a powerful reminder to young drivers that their actions can have devastating consequences, especially in the run up to Christmas," Mr Smith said.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
"I knew he was going to die"



SEE ALSO
Q&A: Driving dangerously
13 Sep 06 |  UK
'Tougher terms' for death drivers
08 Mar 06 |  UK Politics
New young drivers' safety course
01 Jun 06 |  North West Wales

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific