A POWERFUL message about road deaths has stunned students into silence.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has spent every morning this week at Stockton Sixth Form College, to spell out the pleasures and the dangers of driving.

The Learn and Live campaign has been put to more than 500 students who are of driving age.

Assistant principal Val Hart said the college was the first to accept the fire brigade's offer of the presentation for this term and it has had an enormous effect.

She said: "I've never seen a presentation here at the college have such a response.

"During video footage, of mocked-up accidents, everyone was silenced. I think it is because most students have cars, or at least travel in cars, and the subject is close to home.

"What struck them the most was the danger to passengers, as well as the driver of the car. This message is so pertinent to them.

"We just hope it has a positive effect and everyone takes extra care in the car."

Firefighter Ian Eccles emphasised: "We have told students that driving is a wonderful thing, but with it comes responsibility. If it is undertaken in the wrong way, it is lethal."

Nationallly, there have been 13 deaths involving 17 to 19-year-olds this term alone.

One in three students involved in road accidents is a man under 20, with more women, aged 17 to 19, losing their lives as passengers.