Youth road safety web page pulled

THE person behind a Facebook page honouring dozens of young people killed on roads in and near Byron Shire says abuse by ‘older’ residents has forced the site’s closure.

The page, Byron Shire Youth Road Toll A Tribute To Our Fallen Friends RIP, carried a list of about 35 people killed on roads – mostly young and mostly within the Byron Shire. It included photos of victims, tributes from friends and family members, and road safety messages.

It gathered more than 2500 supporters in little more than a week, but was shut down on Monday after the unidentified site administrator claimed to have been lashed by older Byron residents over a post urging young drivers to be careful over the school break and having a dig at Queensland drivers.

The administrator told The Northern Star via email the page was shut down after ‘unappreciative abuse’ over the dig at Queensland motorists.

“I don’t think people understand you need to relate to the kids in a way they understand,” the page administrator said.

“I’m only 25 myself and the other youths got the Queensland driver jokes. We make them all the time.”

The administrator said they felt there was no alternative but to take the page down,

“I feel gutted seeing comment after comment, at least 20+, showing a lack of appreciation all of a sudden after the page had put in such an effort all week.

“It’s sad the young people lost their page where they had a voice and place to share their stuff and it wasn’t their fault.

“But I know if I kept it up the same thing would of (sic) happened down the track; my posts would of (sic) been abused time and time again, it was okay for everyone else to have an opinion ... but not for the page owner.”

Nicqui Yazdi, of the Byron Youth Service, was one of the page’s many followers and said she was disappointed it was taken down.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t lost someone (on the roads). At least it’s heading towards those numbers,” she said.

Ms Yazdi said the page sent an important message to the community, particularly younger people, about road safety.

She said it was ‘a shame’ people would abuse the site’s host, but urged the administrator to ignore their ‘stupidity’ and put the site back up.

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