A CAR sits motionless on the Sheffield University concourse; bonnet crumpled, windows smashed and deployed airbags drooping like deflated balloons from the front panel.
Passing students stop to stare, particularly at the flowers and tragic messages which litter the floor around it.
‘Gone so young’ and ‘What a waste’ read the cards.
The car is a message; a hardhitting tactic by South Yorkshire Police to try to put a face to the devastation drink-driving can cause.
For Sheffield University student Emma Stokes, it brings back all too painful memories of a very personal tragedy.
“My best friend was killed by a drunk driver earlier this year,” the 22-year-old told The Star.
“When you’re young you think bad things will never affect you, but I’ve seen first-hand the pain it causes families and the pointless tragedy of a life lost in this way.
“My friend is gone forever because she got into a car one night, one time, with someone who’d been drinking.
“Campaigns like this are so important, particularly at Christmas when people are going to parties and celebrating with friends and families.
“I urge people to remember the damage that driving drunk can cause. It’s just not worth it.”
Fellow student Amy Durrant found the message striking.
“When you come down the concourse and see a completely-destroyed car it really makes you stop and look,” said Amy, 20.
“It’s so easy to think ‘It couldn’t happen to me, I’ll be fine having a couple of drinks, I’m only driving around the corner,’ but this message really hits home. It’s shocking.”
Acting Sergeant Anthony Tankard told The Star: “Drink driving has far-reaching consequences – for everybody.
“We have students in Sheffield who are away from their families, who will be travelling home or meeting friends. We urge them to plan their nights out and, most importantly, how they’re going to get home.
“This car was genuinely involved in a drink-driving incident and the damage is substantial.
“As messages go, we think it says everything it needs to.”