11 September 2014
Nearly 12 million people have now viewed a hard-hitting road safety campaign video featuring footage from a fatal collision in Norfolk.
‘David’s story’ has attracted worldwide attention and had received more than one million views within 24 hours of being launched last Thursday (4 September).
The video, which features film captured on the headcam of Norwich motorcyclist David Holmes, killed on the A47 in June last year, was released with the aim of getting riders and drivers to think about road safety and ultimately save lives.
It has also generated thousands of comments on the Norfolk and Suffolk police social media sites, with messages received from people in Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and France.
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said the response had been "incredible”.
He said: "I’m really astonished by the response and I’m confident that with this number of people having seen the video, someone’s behaviour has been influenced for the better.
"David’s family have always been of the belief that if this video could save just one life it would have been worth releasing into the public domain. I believe that due to the high levels of interest, we have gone some way to achieving this.
"The video is creating debate and whatever your opinion the good thing is that people are talking about road safety which will ultimately get them thinking about their behaviour on the roads.”
People from across the world have been contacting police, via the website, to give their views and opinions on the video.
Scott, a motorcyclist from New Zealand, emailed Norfolk Police to thank David’s family for having the ‘courage’ to release the footage. He goes on to say "seldom do people see the results of a moment’s inattention that has such long-lasting impact to one family”. He added he ‘hoped and prayed’ it would educate everyone who uses the highways.
Brenda Holmes, David’s mother, said she had been amazed by how widely the video had been viewed and was keen to address some of the negative comments which had been received.
She said: "Firstly, I am not one bit concerned with apportioning blame. Leave finding fault up to the police and judicial services to deal with; they have the facts, knowledge and the expertise to manage this side of every tragedy.
"I am concerned, only, with reducing the carnage on our roads. Lives are lost and adversely affected every day, by lack of thought and care. It is this message that we want to bring home to all road users; it applies to every one of us, whether we have two, three, four, or more wheels on our vehicle. It's about the drivers and riders, not the mode of transport. I do care, passionately, about the waste of life and potential, and the grief and pain of those left behind.
"We need just one fatality to be avoided for the release of David's Story to be a success in my eyes.”
Norfolk’s Chief Constable Simon Bailey, said: "This video has captured the imagination of people all over the world, creating debate about road safety and ultimately getting people to think about their own driving behaviour.”
Norfolk’s Deputy PCC Jenny McKibben, who sits on the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership, praised the bravery of David’s mother Brenda. Jenny, said: "It showed great courage to allow this video to be released and to speak in such open and honest terms about these tragic events. Mrs Holmes’ message has remained clear – if this footage saves one life then her son will not have died in vain. This powerful campaign has brought into sharp focus the fact that all road users have a responsibility to each other.”
Suffolk’s Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, who is a qualified police motorcyclist, said: "We want motorcyclists to have the opportunity to enjoy their riding without feeling the need to take risks.”
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore added: "Sadly the statistics show a high percentage of those killed on our roads are motorcyclists and that is why I have made motorcycle safety a ‘Passmore Priority’ in Suffolk
source: Suffolk Constabulary: Hard hitting bike video update