I drive safe - and so should you
THE young man proudly showing off his Mercedes sports coupe in this photograph has all the trappings of a boy racer.
But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Dominic Tarulli, 20, from Hucclecote, bucks the perception of men of his age by driving responsibly.
The former student, who works at Gloucestershire Fire Service's Skillzone, is backing the Echo's RIP 479 campaign, to raise awareness of the number of people being killed on our roads every year.
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A massive 479 people have died on the roads of Gloucestershire between the millennium and 2012.
And a quarter of those who die – 121 – are aged between 17 and 24, so we want to do everything we can to reduce the needless deaths.
Dominic, who has aspirations to become a firefighter, has been brought up around cars all his life and respects the privilege he has earned in being able to run a high-performance vehicle.
He has owned his black coupe for a few months.
He said: "I've got an older sister who has a high-performance car and she's a paramedic, so is used to driving safely. My sister is my role model.
"If you want to drive fast, there are places to take your car."
Dominic said he always respected the rules of the road, because he valued being able to drive his car on them.
He added: "Cars are very expensive full stop. I've worked hard for it. I got the insurance cheaper with help from a smart box, which is fitted in the car.
"In some cases there are curfews in connection with the smart box, which have benefits and negatives."
In July, an inquest was told that Ollie Pain, 18, died after losing control of his car on a country lane near the Michaelwood services on the M5.
He was said to be racing home to beat an insurance company's curfew. His Renault Clio car had a GPS black box which monitors the speed and time of driving.
The inquest heard the crash was caused by excess speed as the young farmer from Lower Wick, rushed home to avoid a £100 fine. The crash also killed his friend, passenger Harry Smith, 17.
It prompted coroner David Dooley to record two verdicts of accidental death and write to the insurer to ask them to fine tune the policy.
Dominic does have a "black box" fitted to his car that gave his parents peace of mind as they were able to check whether he was driving safely.
He said: "If I don't drive safely my insurance is voided, because the black box monitors how I drive.
"There are speeds you have to abide by. If you go over that, you are going to have your insurance cancelled.
"Everyone should have a black box in their car when they are 17. Money is the biggest issue for young drivers, so it's going to be a cheaper option.
"Everyone needs to go on a speed awareness course. But it's a state of mind before you even get in the car. You have to have that mindset that you are not going to speed."