David's Story | Norfolk Constabulary

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David's Story

Campaign launched: 4 Sept 2014

David's story contains hard-hitting footage of a fatal collision in Norfolk that was released by police in a bid to get motorcyclists and drivers to think seriously about road safety.

The award-winning* video, part of a road safety campaign attracted worldwide attention, received more than one million views within 24 hours of its launch and has now been viewed over 18 million times.   

The film, featuring footage captured on the headcam of Norwich motorcyclist David Holmes who was killed on the A47 in June 2013, as well as an interview with his mother Brenda, was produced by police with the full support of all his family, who hope the campaign will prevent further deaths.

Viewers of the video are warned that it contains content which some may find distressing.

The 38-year-old had been travelling at about 97mph at the time of the collision. While he was travelling above the speed limit the driver admitted to police in interview that he had not seen David, nor a car behind the motorcycle, prior to the collision.

 

Awards and recognition

MIPAA Chairman's Award

19 December 2014

The Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) presented its Chairman’s Award to David’s mother Brenda and Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies in recognition of the release of the video.

The award is presented annually to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to communication in, or related to, the motor industry.

MIPAA Chairman, and Porsche GB Head of PR, Mike Orford, said: "The courage of Brenda Holmes, supported by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, in releasing a harrowing video that included the shocking moment when her son, David, was killed on his beloved motorcycle, has undoubtedly saved lives, and seen some good come from this terrible accident.

"This is the first time we have recognised road safety communications with the MIPAA Chairman’s Award, as we wanted to acknowledge the global impact of the footage captured by the headcam fitted to David’s motorcycle helmet. The video made an outstanding contribution to road safety by getting riders and drivers to think about their actions, as well as attracting media and online coverage across the world and creating debate about the consequences of one moment of inattention. There is no more worthy winner of the award for 2014 than Mrs Holmes and Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies.”

The award was presented to David’s mother Brenda and Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of roads policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, in London on Monday 15 December.

 

CIPR, Public Sector Gold Winner

2 October 2015

David’s Story has won a top public relations award, scooping Gold for the Public Sector Campaign at the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) PRideAwards for the Anglia, Thames and Chiltern region in Cambridge.

Judges praised the campaign, saying it was "sensitively handled” adding the Constabularies communications team were "creative, brave and professional” in the production and delivery of the road safety video.

The award was accepted by C/Insp Chris Spinks, Head of Roads Policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, David’s mother Brenda Holmes, Beth Durham, Head of Corporate Communications for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies and Laura Bagshaw, Senior News Officer at Norfolk Constabulary.

Commenting on the campaign, the CIPR judging panel said: "This hard-hitting campaign was sensitively handled to have maximum emotional impact and make an outstanding contribution to public service messaging.

"Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies were brave in their execution to reach new audiences with a difficult message. The team were exceptionally creative, brave and professional in producing a stimulating piece of output in their campaign. This was then carefully implemented, taking full account of audience sensitivities with undeniable impact. The team should be applauded for their approach.”

 

The response

The video has generated thousands of comments on Norfolk and Suffolk's police social media sites, with messages received from people in Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and France.  

C/Insp 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 contacted police since the video was released 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.”  

David’s mother Brenda, a retired nurse who lives in North Walsham, said she hoped that by telling her story, she could help prevent another family going through the heartache they had and continue to experience.

She said: "I want to be involved in this campaign because I feel something positive can come out of his loss. If we can prevent one accident; one family going through what we have been through then David would not have died in vain.

"I know he rode fast that day, he loved speed but he also loved life. This hasn’t been an easy thing to do but I just hope that somebody benefits from the warning; that people slow down and take time to look for bikes. I’m not a perfect driver, I’ve done silly things sometimes and I’ve been lucky to get away with them, David wasn’t lucky, the driver wasn’t lucky.”

Brenda has seen the footage and said one of the saddest things for her is that he could see what was going to happen. "He must have had a moment of fear at the end of his life; I find that very hard to deal with. David was the most wonderful son and his loss has left such a void in our lives. Being without him has changed everything; our lives ended that day and I can truly say I know the meaning of heartache, it really does hurt; it’s a physical pain.”