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2013-01-24 12:28

SCARED STRAIGHT: Scenes like the above are trying to be avoided in Germany as a new campaign has been launched which uses "disturbing" crash images.

Police in the northern German state of Mecklenburg West Pomerania have begun a campaign using "disturbing" images of road accidents and their bloodstained victims in a bid to promote road safety.

The pictures show twisted cars, motorcycles and inert bodies lying on the asphalt. The project "Crash Kurs" - a play on the German term "crash course" - was piloted in North Rhine Westphalia state in 2010.

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The terse caption under the picture of one young man who died in a road accident states: "Klaus went to turn off into a side road but he lost control of his motorcycle and ended up under a truck".

The young people watching the slide show see only a white cloth draped over the black-dressed corpse while sombre music plays in the background. Other excerpts include alarmingly accurate witness descriptions from police and doctors called to the crash scene.

The campaign is aimed at 18-24-year-olds. According to statistics, a person in this age group is injured in a road accident in Germany every seven minutes and a person killed every 12 hours.

The state of Mecklenburg West Pomerania registered 12 deaths in the age group last year alone (A big number for them it seems).

Experts in Duesseldorf say that if the road crash pictures are too graphic, young people tend to switch off. "Sometimes the image of a torn drive chain lying on the road says more than a torn-off limb."

Dramatic first-person accounts can have the same effect, as Rostock paramedic Gernot Ruecker discovered when he told listeners about a young girl called Niki whose car ploughed into a tree at 130km/h.

Niki, aged 22, survived her ordeal with terrible injuries - one of her legs is now six centimetres shorter than the other. Several girls in the hall burst into tears and rushed outside.

Read more on:    germany  |  road safety  |  crash

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