Articles Tagged ‘parliamentarian - Brake the road safety charity’

Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, December 2009

dec09Greg Knight MP wins Brake’s ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight has won December’s ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award for his persistence in campaigning for safety improvements to the A1079 in his constituency.

The A1079 is a main artery through the East Riding of Yorkshire. The road runs through a number of villages and has a high casualty rate. There have been more than 300 crashes and 20 people have died on the road in the past five years, with four of the deaths taking place in December 2009.

Greg Knight has been campaigning for more than two years to persuade the Government and local highway authority to invest in safety improvements on the road, which is listed as the seventh most dangerous road in the United Kingdom*. From 2006 to 2009 he has regularly raised the profile of the problem in the media, maintaining pressure on national Government and local agencies.

One of the first steps in Mr Knight’s campaign was to table an Early Day Motion with neighbouring MP Graham Stuart, in October 2006, calling on the Government to provide funding for safety improvements on the A1079.

Throughout his campaign, Mr Knight has been working closely with Action Access, a local road safety action group that has inspired 650 local residents to sign a petition requesting funding for the upgrading of the A1079 road between Hull and York. Mr Knight joined the Action Access coordinators to take the petition to Number 10 Downing Street in February 2007.

Mr Knight has met with successive Transport Ministers on several occasions since April 2009 to demand increased funding for safety improvements on the road. He regularly calls for Government action through his local media, pointing out that Yorkshire and Humberside transport funding is just £215 per head of population compared with the England average of £305 per head.

He has also made representations to the Regional Transport Board and keeps in regular contact with the local highway authority. Highways officials have said they “appreciate Mr Knight’s efforts to secure Government funding to upgrade and improve the A1079.”

On 20 April 2009, Mr Knight asked a question in Parliament to highlight the terrible scale of death and injury on the road and urgent need for funding to Parliament and Government. He followed this up in November 2009 with another Parliamentary question on the Government’s plans for action, keeping up the pressure for funding to tackle the dangers on the A1079.

To push for an immediate practical solution to the stalemate, given the horrific number of deaths in December 2009, Mr Knight urged the local highway authority to construct a number of relatively low-cost pedestrian refuges as an interim safety measure. This proposal is now being seriously considered and the local authority is carrying out a feasibility study with a view to constructing pedestrian refuges on the road.

Mr Knight has vowed to keep up the pressure in 2010 until a long-term and effective solution to stop the carnage on the A1079 is achieved.

Greg Knight MP says “The A1079 is a main arterial route through the East Riding and as the economic recession starts to recede traffic levels will increase even further. Additional safety measures and improvements on this road are therefore vital, both in the interests of motorists and pedestrians alike, and I will continue to campaign until this has been achieved.”

Cathy Keeler, Brake’s Deputy Chief Executive, says “We congratulate Greg on his determination to improve road safety in his constituency and stop the carnage on the A1079. We are delighted to give Greg our ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award in recognition of his efforts and urge him to keep up the campaign”

Click below to read recent news stories on the issue:
Campaign appeal after teen killed on A1079 - The Press, 02.12.09
A1079 safety plea after widow dies - The Press, 06.12.09
Two die on A1079 - Nafferton Today, 23.12.09

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, call Brake’s Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80 or report the road online, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

Linda Riordan, MP for Halifax, March 2008

march08Linda Riordan, MP for Halifax
Linda Riordan MP is campaigning to reduce speed limits on local roads, following the tragic death of a constituent.

In August 2006, two-year-old Connor Graham was knocked down and killed on Claremount Road, Halifax. Claremount Road has a 30mph speed limit, without any speed camera or traffic-calming measures even though Stepping Stones Nursery, which Connor attended, is situated on the road.

Linda has joined Connor’s family and friends in campaigning for a 20mph speed limit on Claremount Road, and other roads around schools or homes. Over the past year she has met Calderdale Council a number of times to urge them to take action to improve safety, but has been told that the road is not a priority as there have not been enough crashes on it where excessive speed has been a factor.

On 14 March 2008 Linda supported Connor’s family, friends, teachers and nursery leaders in a silent protest at the lack of action being taken by Calderdale Council. The event was attended by Brake’s road safety mascot, Zak the Zebra. Media were invited to attend on the day and the campaign was covered by BBC Look North, Yorkshire Post, Halifax Courier and Pulse FM. Linda also gave an interview for ITN Calendar news.

Linda has stepped up her campaign by tabling several questions in Parliament, which have yet to be answered, about reducing the default urban speed limit to 20mph. Linda has also called for an adjournment debate on the need to reduce the default speed limit around schools and homes.

Linda says: “I am joining my constituents in their campaign to reduce speed limits around schools, nurseries and homes to 20mph. A few miles an hour can mean the difference between life and death and by reducing the urban default limit to 20mph, the Government could save lives and prevent untold suffering for families like Connor’s.”

Read more about Brake’s ‘Watch out there’s a kid about’ campaign to stop child death and injury. [Take action][4] by adding your name to Brake’s petition for 20mph speed limits around schools and homes.

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, let Brake know by calling our Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

[4]: /community/watch out theres a kid about/funding for 20mph zones

Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, June 2007

june07Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland
Alistair Carmichael MP is campaigning to stop the horrifying number of deaths and injuries caused by drink-drivers in the UK. Throughout June, he raised awareness of the problem in Parliament and through the media, urging the Government to lower the drink-drive limit and increase the number of dedicated roads policing officers enforcing the law.

Alistair gathered information through Parliamentary questions, finding that:

  • the number of people killed in drink-drive crashes has risen by 26%, from 460 in 1999 to 580 in 2004 (Hansard, 19 Jun 2007 : Column 1776W)
  • there was a 35% rise in the number of people convicted of ‘causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs’ between 1999 and 2004. The number shot up from 46 to 62 in just five years (Hansard, 25 Jun 2007 : Column 342W)
  • the number of women found guilty of drink or drug driving has risen by 58% in the last 10 years, from 6,793 in 1995 to 10,765 in 2004. The number of men found guilty of drink or drug driving fell slightly (from 85,693 in 1995 to 85,473 in 2004) but remains much higher than the number of women (Hansard, 20 Jun 2007 : Column 1956W)
  • a total of 577,600 breath tests were carried out in 2004 (Hansard, 22 May 2007 : Column 1246W)

Alistair worked with press to gain support and momentum for his campaign. After issuing a press release to highlight the topic, Alistair and the Liberal Democrats were featured commenting on drink-driving in many national papers, including the Independent.

Alistair’s campaign coincided with road safety minister Stephen Ladyman’s announcement at a conference that the Government was considering cutting the legal alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, in line with EC recommendations and the vast majority of EU countries. The Liberal Democrats have actively campaigned for this change since adopting this measure as a party policy several years ago. Following the minister’s announcement, Alistair stepped up his campaign, urging a lower drink-drive limit and to calling for more police officers on the roads to enforce the law. He also issued a press release on this topic.

Brake’s website has more information and advice on drink-driving.

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire

ALeadsomAndrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for her work campaigning alongside a local bereaved family to improve young driver safety.

Rebecca Taylor, aged 18, from Northampton, died in September 2008, after she dropped her sister off at school. Rebecca was driving home along Northampton Road when she hit surface water on the road and lost control of her car. After narrowly missing two other vehicles, Rebecca clipped a curb and spun into the path of a car travelling the other way.

After her death, the family began campaigning for improvements to young driver safety, crash investigation and rural road safety, and they contacted Andrea to ask her to help promote these issues in Parliament.

The family first met with Andrea on 10 September 2010 at her advice surgery. It was the day after the second anniversary of Beccy's death and the family were understandably fragile. The Taylors had been disappointed by the results of the police investigation into their daughter's death and wanted to campaign to help prevent other families suffering tragedies. Following the meeting, Andrea wrote to then Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond, who arranged for the family to meet then Road Safety Minister Mike Penning in May 2011.

Andrea continued to work alongside Beccy's family, organising a meeting with new Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill in October 2013. They discussed the issue of young driver safety in greater detail and asked the government to implement a full system of 'graduated driver licensing' in its anticipated Green Paper on young drivers.

Graduated driver licensing is a system advocated by Brake that has been introduced in several other countries. It typically involves a minimum 12 month learning period, and restrictions in the first year after passing your test, such as a late night driving curfew, a ban on carrying young passengers and zero tolerance drink drive limit, to reduce exposure to risky situations. It is evidenced to reduce crashes and casualties involving young drivers, and is predicted to prevent 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries a year if implemented in the UK [1].

Inspired by the Taylor family, Andrea has pledged to continue to work hard to ensure their proposals are heard by government, and will continue to discuss the issue with ministers and campaign through the media.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "The suffering endured by Beccy's family is horrendous, and something no family should have to go through. Yet sadly, it is not uncommon. Young drivers are involved in a huge proportion of road crashes, and young people themselves are often the tragic victims. Andrea's efforts to champion this issue is commendable, and she has shown real determination in ensuring the Taylors are heard. Her support is further recognition of the compelling case for action on young driver safety, particularly reform of our licensing system. We are urging the government to act swiftly and decisively, by committing to a full system of graduated driver licensing, to prevent further needless loss of young lives."

Nicole Taylor, Beccy's mum said: "We honestly can't thank Andrea enough for her unwavering support and guidance over the past five years. That's why we're proud to nominate her for this award. We often think about what we could have done to equip Beccy more fully. She was a good driver, but inexperienced. Graduated driver licensing would help protect young, newly-qualified drivers as it tackles many of the common causes of young road deaths. With Andrea's support we will continue to campaign on young driver safety and ensure our proposals are heard."

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire: "As an MP I am in a privileged position to be able to raise vital issues like the safety of young drivers and I am pleased to have been able to do so on behalf of the Taylors. I am delighted to accept this award from Brake and look forward to continuing to work with the Taylors to campaign to make our roads safer and prevent further tragedies involving young people."

End notes:
[1] Restricting young drivers, The University of Cardiff, 2010

 

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter

AndrewGriffithsAndrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, has been given anational road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his campaigns to reduce speed limits to improve safety on a number of roads in his constituency including theA38 andA50.

The A38 and A50 are both major arterial routes that run through Andrew’s constituency, and both have seen fatal crashes in recent months, along with a number of other collisions and near misses.

In September, Willington man James Clarke was killed on the A38 when his car broke down on the inside lane. He tried to push it on to the roadside verge to put it in a safe position, but was hit by a passing vehicle, suffering injuries from which he later died in hospital. In October, two men were killed and another seriously injured on the A50 in crashes involving HGVs.

Andrew has previouslysuccessfully campaigned to reduce the speed limit to 60mph on some parts of the A38, as well as closing risky gaps that allowed drivers to cut across the dual carriageway, following the deaths of two sisters on the road in 2012. Andrews wasrecognised by Brake for his campaign at the time.

Now, following the most recent casualties, Andrew is calling on the Highways Agency toextend the lower 60mph limit along the entire stretch of the A38 that runs through his constituency, as well ascalling for speed enforcement measures on the A50.

A multi-million pound engineering project is in the pipeline for the A50, but this could take years, and Andrew is keen to prevent further crashes before then. As well as seeking to prevent the devastating impact of road casualties on families and communities, Andrew recognises the economic benefits of improving road safety, as the succession of the crashes on the A38 and the A50 has had serious implications for local businesses in his constituency.

Andrews has already gathered thesupport of Staffordshire Police and Fire chiefs behind his campaign, and is optimistic about repeating thesuccess of his campaign in 2012.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“It is good to see Andrew keeping up his record of campaigning to make roads in his constituency safer, and we are pleased to recognise him as road safety parliamentarian of the month. Crashes like those happening with alarming regularity on the A38 and A50 have a devastating impact on families and communities, but they can be prevented. Reducing speed is proven to reduce casualties, so we are fully behind Andrew’s calls to reduce and enforce speed limits on these roads, and we urge everyone driving in the area to take the responsibility to slow down and look out for each other. We wish Andrew every success with his latest campaign.”

Accepting his award, Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, said: "I'm really pleased that my efforts to make the A50 and A38 safer have been recognised. This is the second time I have received the award and I'm really pleased my efforts have been recognised by the country's biggest road safety charity."

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, 25 October 2012

andrew griffiths

 Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton & Uttoxeter, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line, for  his work campaigning to improve safety on the A38. Andrew's campaign began after a serious crash on the road in April, and resulted last month in the Highways Agency closing gaps in the central reservation.

 In April this year, sisters Parveen Kauser, aged 38, and Raheela Altaf, 37, from Derby were killed when their car turned over after hitting the beginning of a gap in the central reservation on the A38. Four others, including three children, were injured in the crash involving two cars. Both Parveen and Raheela left behind families, including children.

 Less than 72 hours after the crash, Andrew wrote to the Transport Secretary asking for safety measures to be installed on the A38 to protect drivers and passengers. He also appealed for drivers using the A38 to send him their views the road. On receiving an overwhelming response from drivers fearing for their safety, and a promise from the Department for Transport that a review of safety on would be carried out, Andrew went out to see conditions on the road for himself, accompanied by Staffordshire police officers.

Andrew saw the dangers first-hand, from gaps in the central reservation, to a need for speed cameras to slow traffic. Taking the results of his visit and testimonies from drivers, he wrote to the Highways Agency asking them to make improvements.

In August 2012, Andrew secured a meeting with the Highways Agency to talk through the issues. The Agency ordered one of the gaps in the central reservation to be closed within two weeks and agreed to inspect the road and verges to ensure maximum visibility. They will also carry out a speed survey to decide whether to implement further measures, and consult more widely over the remaining gaps in the central reservation. Andrew aims to ensure this consultation leads to further safety improvements.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "As a charity that supports people bereaved and injured inroad crashes, we know how dangerous roads like the A38 can lead to terrible suffering and fear for the communities who use them. We're delighted that Andrew's campaigning has achieved such positive results so quickly, and Brake is pleased to recognise his success with this award. Andrew's work should encourage others around the country to take action on dangerous roads in their area, and inspire drivers using the A38 to do their bit in making it safer, by staying well within the speed limit, keeping their distance, and slowing right down in poor conditions."

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, said: "I am honoured to have been named the Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month. Too many lives are lost on our roads, and the A38 has sadly been a particular example of that. I am delighted that my contribution in campaigning to make that road safer was enough to win this award."

About Brake

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents: they are man-made, preventable, violent events that devastate lives. Brake does not use the term accidents because it undermines our work to tackle needless casualties and causes insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by road death or injury.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK1 and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

Direct Line Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1AG.

 

Anne McGuire, MP for Stirling, July 2012

annemcguireAnne McGuire, MP for Stirling, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by the charity Brake and Direct Line for her work highlighting the need to improve safety among foreign drivers to prevent devastating crashes. Anne’s call for action comes after the death of Andrew McLean, who was killed by a young French driver visiting the UK in September 2010.

Andrew McLean, 22, was a food delivery worker from Carnwath, South Lanarkshire. He was driving home from work when a car came towards him on the wrong side of the road. Andrew swerved to avoid the car, but the oncoming 23 year-old French driver instinctively steered in the same direction. The two cars collided, and Andrew died instantly. The other driver pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. He was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service and given an 18-month driving ban.

Andrew’s family wanted to campaign for the government to improve safety among foreign drivers, including looking at how they could be stopped from driving on the wrong side of the road. This led Andrew’s grandmother Mrs Billet to contact Anne McGuire about the family’s concerns.

Anne raised the issue in a parliamentary question in November 2011, asking how many fatal road crashes had involved a foreign visitor driving on the wrong side of the road. The minister responded that “inexperience of driving on the left” was recorded as a factor in 55 fatal crashes in five years, but specific statistics on driving on the wrong side were unavailable.

In July 2012, Anne secured an adjournment debate in Parliament, where she called for the government to establish the facts about foreign drivers on the wrong side of the road. She also highlighted possible measures, such as appropriate warnings at points of entry and devices fitted to vehicles to warn drivers when they are in the wrong lane.

Road safety minister Mike Penning welcomed Anne’s debate and highlighted the importance of listening to families campaigning on road safety whose family members have been involved in road crashes. He has agreed to meet with Andrew’s family and Anne in October to discuss their campaign further. Read the debate.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Anne has brought an important road safety issue to Parliament’s attention following a terrible tragedy. It’s vital for all drivers to know the rules of the road and stick to them; this includes drivers from abroad, who must ensure they understand UK speed limits, road signs and that we drive on the left. We urgently need to investigate ways of helping foreign drivers to drive safely on UK roads, to prevent further needless loss of life and the anguish that follows. We’re pleased to present this award to Anne, and to back Andrew’s family in their campaign for action.”

Anne McGuire, MP for Stirling, said: "With increasing number of foreign drivers using Britain's roads, it is important that we know whether there is a major problem.  At the moment, we are just not sure. I welcome the Minister's frankness in stating that he was surprised at the lack of meaningful statistics. Any lapse of concentration from those who are used to driving on the right hand side of the road can result in tragedy, and we should look at what measures are needed to ensure their safety and that of other drivers and road users.”

Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, July 2011

annettebrookeMid Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke has won a national Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month Award from the charity Brake and Direct Line for her campaign to improve cycle safety for children.

Annette felt compelled to take action to prevent needless deaths and injuries among children on our roads. In particular, she is determined to make cycling and walking safer for children.

On 14 July 2011, Annette presented the first readingof her Private Member's Bill to Parliament. The Bill would make it compulsory for children under the age of 14 to wear a cycle helmet. This acknowledges research showing that wearing a helmet significantly reduces the chance of serious brain injury in a crash, particularly among children [1].

If passed by Parliament, the law would not criminalise those cycling without helmets. Instead, cyclists under 14 found cycling without a helmet would be required to provide proof of purchase of a helmet within 28 days to avoid a fine.

Her campaign has the support of Brake, the British Medical Association, brain injury charity Headway, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, the Child Brain Injury Trust, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust.

 

While road casualties are falling at unprecedented rates in the UK, cyclist casualties are increasing. In 2010 cyclist deaths increased by 7% and serious injuries increased by 2% [2].

Evidence suggests that approximately 40% of pedal cyclists admitted to hospital in England suffer head injuries [3], which is why cycle helmet laws could make a huge difference. Scientific research into the protective effect of bicycle helmets has shown that they reduce the risk of head injury by 85%, brain injury by 88% and severe brain injury by at least 75% [4].

In Britain, cycle helmet wearing rates remain shockingly low for children (much lower than among adults), having failed to increase in recent years: just one in five children (18%) are observed to be wearing a helmet, with the figure for boys lower still (13%) [5]. Research shows that legislation increases helmet use among cyclists, particularly in younger age groups and groups which are least likely to wear helmets before the introduction of legislation [6].

The Cycles Bill will have its second reading in Parliament on 4 November 2011.

This is not the first child road safety campaign that Annette has been involved with. In March, Annette took part in a debate in Westminster Hallagainst cuts to school crossing patrols. She argued that school crossing patrols are a low cost service that delivers vital safety benefits to children.

Annette has pledged to continue fighting for safer roads for children through her work in Parliament and in the local community.

Annette Brooke MP said: 'We have a duty to protect our children, and the Cycles (Protective Headgear for Children) Bill will do just that. Brain injury devastates the lives of individuals and their families. Children are at a higher risk because not only are their brains not fully developed but they are less experienced at cycling and on the roads in general."

Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director, said: "Brake supports Annette's Bill for compulsory cycle helmets for children and we are pleased to name her our Parliamentarian of the Month. Helmets are really effective in reducing the risk of serious head injury when cycling – so wearing a helmet is a simple step all cyclists can take to help protect themselves, but it's especially important for children. As well as encouraging more cyclists to wear helmets, we're urging the Government to invest in engineering measures like cycle paths and 20mph limits to make our roads safer for families, children and people of all ages to walk and cycle without their lives being endangered."

Communities worried about road safety problems can access advice on campaigning for safer roads by reporting their concerns to Brake's Zak the Zebra mascot at www.zakthezebra.org or by calling Zak's hotline on 08000 68 77 80.

[1] Bicycle helmets: review of effectiveness (Department for Transport, 2002)
[2] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: main results, Department for Transport, 2010
[3] The potential for cycle helmets to prevent injury: review of the evidence, Road User Safety and Cycling, Department for Transport Road Safety Research and Statistics Division, 2009
[4] Cycle helmets and the prevention of injuries: recommendations for competitive sport, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, 1998
[5] Cycle helmet wearing in 2008 (Department for Transport, 2009)
[6] Effectiveness of bicycle helmet legislation to increase helmet use: a systematic review, University of Alberta, 2005

Awards for outstanding contributions to road safety announced at Brake annual reception

15 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

Awards recognising the contributions of parliamentarians, campaigners, educators and volunteers in tackling devastating road crashes and casualties were presented by road safety charity Brake at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, with support from Direct Line Group. (Photos attached.)

The Awards were presented by Julie Townsend, Brake's deputy chief executive, and Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line Group, which sponsored the awards and reception. The reception was attended by Brake supporters and partners, including parliamentarians, corporate partners, road safety professionals and volunteers working in their communities to improve road safety.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Our work would not be possible without the dedicated individuals and partners who work alongside us, campaigning to prevent casualties and make our communities safer, fundraising in support of our work, and helping us support families who have been devastated by road crashes. We thank everyone who has supported Brake and spoken out for road safety in the past year. The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond, showing incredible determination to make a difference in their communities and nationally, and achieving real results. We are very pleased to be able to recognise their efforts in helping to make our streets safer and end the terrible suffering caused by road crashes."

Paul Geddes, chief executive, Direct Line Group, commented: "We're always delighted to sponsor these awards because as a charity, Brake does a great job in promoting road safety awareness in Parliament and around the UK. As a business and as the UK's leading motor insurer, we also work hard to spread the message of safe driving as part of our commitment to road safety."

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said: "The efforts of those highlighted by Brake's awards in ensuring the number of tragic incidents on our roads continue to fall are to be commended. The UK has some of the safest roads in the world because of the success of road safety initiatives but sadly hundreds of people are still hurt or killed on our roads each year. That is why these kinds of initiatives are vital and why our efforts continue. More recently the Government has improved road safety education resources for schools, made it easier for councils to introduce 20mph zones and increased fixed penalties for offences such as driving while using a mobile phone from £60 to £100."


Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, received the Parliamentarian of the Year: Community Campaigner Award for his successful campaign for widespread 20mph limits in his Cambridge constituency, to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Julian began his campaign as a councillor in 2006, and continued following his election as an MP to campaign, highlighting the benefits of 20mph limits to road safety, sustainable travel and public health. In March 2013 the council announced it will implement 20mph limits on most residential and shopping streets. Read more.


Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham, received the Parliamentarian of the Year: National Campaigner Award for his work vigorously campaigning for tougher penalties for risky drivers who commit multiple offences, to reduce reoffending. Rehman used his experience as lawyer to propose improvements to sentencing options, so drivers who repeatedly drink drive, or drive when banned, face harsher penalties. He also spearheaded a campaign to increase the maximum penalty for causing death by driving while disqualified. He also championed a range of other road safety issues in parliament, such as 'alcohol locks' for high-level drink drivers, and action on drivers using mobile phones. Read more.


The family of Jamie Butcher (stepdad Steve Green, mum Tina Butcher and sister Hollie Butcher) received the Campaigners of the Year Award. Jamie Butcher was killed by a speeding driver in February 2011. His killer was given just 43 months in jail, and will likely serve less than two years. The Justice for Jamie set up by Jamie's family calls for tougher sentences for drivers who kill, to ensure drivers who end lives and inflict suffering are dealt with appropriately by our justice system. In response to their campaign, the Sentencing Council recently committed to review sentencing guidelines. Their campaign is supported by Brake and MP Steve Barclay. Read more.


The family of Neil Harold (wife Laura Harold and sisters Elaine Donaghy and Laura Leca) received the Fundraisers of the Year Award. Neil Harold was killed along with his passenger in August 2012, when another driver lost control and veered across the road. The family, who received bereavement support from Brake, have since coordinated a huge fundraising effort in Neil's memory which has to date raised almost £40,000 for Brake. Activities included sponsored bike rides and runs, a football match and bake sales, and 'A Night for Neil', a dinner dance and auction that raised a massive £24,000. Read more.


Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Cadets from Congleton, Sandbach and Runcorn received the 2young2die Award for their road safety film project. Brake's 2young2die competition encourages young people to get creative and promote life-saving road safety messages through powerful, original campaign adverts and films. The Cheshire Fire Cadets won the competition with a series of three short films, produced in memory of Congleton Fide Cadet Hayley Bates, who was killed in a road crash in September 2010. Read more.


Warwickshire PCSO Sharron Underwood received the Educator of the Year Award. Sharron began engaging young people through powerful, interactive road safety workshops in 2009 after attending a 2young2die course run by Brake. She has been an active ambassador for the project since, delivering workshops for more than 1,000 students and one-to-one sessions with young driving offenders. She has also trained more PSCOs to deliver the workshops and Warwickshire Police have credited her with a significant decrease in collisions involving young people from a college she works with. Read more.


Notes for editors

Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

Awards for outstanding contributions to road safety announced at Brake’s 20th anniversary reception

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Awards recognising the contributions of parliamentarians, campaigners, educators and volunteers in tackling devastating road crashes and casualties were presented by road safety charity Brake at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, supported by Direct Line. The event marked the beginning of Brake’s 20th anniversary year.

The Awards were presented by Deborah Johnson, chair of Brake’s board of trustees, and Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line Group, which sponsored the awards and reception. The reception was attended by Brake supporters and partners, including parliamentarians, corporate partners, road safety professionals and volunteers working in their communities to improve road safety.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“In the past 20 years, Brake has grown and developed a great deal, but we remain as dedicated as ever to our fundamental mission: to help create a world free from the senseless and preventable pain and trauma caused by road death and injury, and to enable people to get around safely and sustainably.

“Our work would not be possible without the dedicated individuals and partners who work alongside us, campaigning to prevent casualties and make our communities safer, fundraising in support of our work, and helping us support families devastated by road crashes. This year, as every year, we thank everyone who has supported Brake and spoken out for road safety. The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond, showing great determination to make a difference in their communities and across the country, and achieving real results. We are very pleased to be able to recognise their efforts.”

Paul Geddes, chief executive, Direct Line Group, commented: “Brake does a great job in promoting road safety awareness in Parliament, in the media and around the UK, so we are very happy to sponsor Parliamentarian of the Year. As a business and as the UK’s leading motor insurer, we also work hard to spread the message of safe driving as part of our commitment to road safety.”

Road safety minister Robert Goodwill said:“The UK has some of the safest roads in the world and, like today’s award winners, the government is determined to improve our record further. That is why we have made significant commitments to road safety through new THINK! campaigns, improved education and enforcement, including the new drug driving offence which will take effect in March 2015.”


Susan Elan Jones, MP for Clywd South, received Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year Award. Susan was recognised for campaigning to improve justice for bereaved and injured victims of road crashes, in line with Brake’scrackdown campaign.

Susan Elan Jones has been campaigning for tougher jail terms for drivers who kill and injure since the tragic death of a child in her constituency in 2009. She has been at the forefront of parliamentary debates on the subject throughout the year, setting the tone by bringing forward her own Driving Offences (Review of Sentencing Guidelines) Bill, with cross party support, in January.

Susan Elan Jones said: “Brake is an outstanding campaigning organisation - and I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. We remain determined in our quest to work with Brake to secure some measure of justice for the family of those people so tragically killed or seriously injured on our roads.”


Mandy Stock received Brake’s Campaigner of the Year Award.Mandy’s husband,Paul Stock, was killed in 2012 while walking near his home by a disqualified motorcyclist, who was sentenced to just 18 months in jail – the maximum the judge could give him because he pleaded guilty. Mandy has since campaigned, with the help of her MP, Richard Graham, to allow judges to hand out higher sentences to disqualified drivers – who have no right to be on the road in the first place – who kill. As a result, the government announced in May 2014 that maximum sentences for disqualified drivers who kill and injure would be increased.

Mandy Stock said: “I am delighted to receive this award, which was totally unexpected. I am thankful for those who have helped and supported me, especially my brilliant sister, Sue. The law failed us, and it was obvious to us that the law had to change. Thankfully, the people in a position to change things listened.”


Carly Lewin received Brake’s Fundraiser of the Year Award.Carly’s boyfriend, Steven Moore, was killed in 2010 by a drink driver, who was also unlicensed and uninsured. Carly has been fundraising for Brake since 2011, organising events including walks and football matches, but last year decided she wanted more of a challenge. She ran the 2014 London Marathon for Brake, in memory of Steven, having never run before, and raised over £14,000.

Carly Lewin said: “I am determined to keep working in Steve’s memory, both to raise awareness of how drink driving can ruin so many lives, and to fundraise to support Brake’s work and help stop this happening to someone else.”


Northumbria Police PC Jami Blythe received the Educator of the Year Award.Jami is the lead for Northumbria Police’s ‘Road Sense, Common Sense’ project, which works directly with schools across the region to deliver road safety lessons and send children home with important messages to their parents about how they can keep them, and other road users, safe.

Jami Blythe said: “I am very proud to receive this award, which is also testament to the hard work of Becky Frankel and Violet Atkinson, who have been a massive inspiration for me. Educating young people is being embedded in our road safety work, and we will continue to work with Brake to reach this audience.”


Students from Conisborough College in Catford, London, received an award for winning Brake’s road safety competition for young people.The students’ winning entry was a short film about the dangers of mobile phone use while driving, inspired by their own experiences and a road safety workshop delivered by a teacher trained through Brake’sengaging young people programme. The film was researched, scripted and produced by the students with help from Film in School.

Mathew Lloyd, drama teacher at Conisborough College, said: “It was a great feeling when we were told that we'd won the competition. We're proud that we have been able to turn something that has affected us so deeply into something positive.”


Notes for editors:

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education,services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley, February 2009

feb09Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley, is stepping up her campaign for urgent improvements to pedestrian safety on the A580 East Lancashire Road as she is concerned that proposals suggested by Wigan and Salford Councils do not go nearly far enough.

Katie Gallagher, 14, became the third young pedestrian to die on the road in recent years when she was hit by a car on 14 January 2009. Barbara has joined with Katie’s friends and family to campaign for Wigan and Salford Council to take steps to improve safety on the dual carriageway.

Barbara is calling on Wigan Council to introduce a filtered pedestrian crossing at the Chaddock Lane junction, where Katie was killed, and is urging both councils to introduce an enforced 30mph speed limit along those stretches of the road in the more built-up areas where Katie’s death occurred. Barbara is also calling on both councils to undertake a full investigation into pedestrian safety measures and identify road safety hotspots on the A580 where improvements, such as pedestrian push-button facilities, can be introduced.

She has also taken her fight to local newspapers, Manchester Evening News and Wigan News, in order to highlight the importance of the campaign and gain extra support.

As a result of the campaign, the councils have promised to reduce speed limits from 60mph to 50mph, but Barbara has pledged to continue to lobby the councils stating that their proposals do not go nearly far enough. During the last five years there have been 172 collisions resulting in 11 serious injuries and one death on the Salford section of the road and so Barbara is calling on both councils to look more widely at crashes and fatalities and consider what improvements can be made.

Brake will keep you updated with the progress of Barbara’s campaign.

Barbara Keeley MP said: “I want to see speeds along the built-up sections of this road brought down to 30mph. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph has an 80% chance of survival, whereas a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 40mph has a 90% chance of being killed.

“It is the responsibility of both Wigan and Salford councils to protect pedestrians crossing the East Lancashire Road. I want both councils to conduct urgent investigations to see where pedestrian safety can be improved.”

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, call Brake’s Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80 or report the road online, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

Birmingham Northfield MP wins national road safety award

News from Brake
news@brake.org.uk
Monday, 25 September 2017

Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield, has today been awarded a parliamentarian road safety award by charity Brake and Direct Line.

The award recognises Richard’s long-standing involvement in transport and his commitment to road safety, particularly during his time as Shadow Transport Minister between 2013 and 2017. Richard has established himself as a strong supporter of the transport safety agenda across the years; promoting new vehicle technologies and calling for tougher law enforcement and sentencing.

As MP for a vehicle manufacturing heartland, Richard Burden has strong connections to vehicle development, and has consistently urged the industry to develop safe, sustainable and fair practices. Safe vehicles are a vital part of the safe systems agenda that works towards a future with zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.  

Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Richard is a worthy winner of this parliamentarian road safety award. Improved vehicle safety standards are vital to reducing needless deaths and serious injuries on the road. His tireless work to raise the safety bar of new vehicles is to be applauded, alongside his numerous achievements in his four years as Shadow Transport Minister."

Accepting his award, Richard Burden MP said: “I want to thank Brake and Direct Line for selecting me for a parliamentary road safety award which I feel honoured to receive. Progress in vehicle design and the rapid technological advancement in intelligent, connected and automated control systems have real potential to help make our roads safer. Together with action to promote best practice in road design, road user education and more effective enforcement of regulations, they can and do save lives.

"Much has been achieved but every person killed or injured on our roads is one too many. That should remind us all of our continuing responsibility to identify what more we can do to make the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads a reality. I pay tribute to Brake and Direct Line for the work they do make our roads safer and to promote awareness amongst road users.” 

[ENDS]

Notes to editors: 

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties 

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or online.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.

Bob Russell, MP for Colchester, April 2007

april07Bob Russell, MP for Colchester
As joint chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on road safety, Bob Russell MP chaired the group’s AGM on 25 April, at which the group discussed which issues it should focus on in 2007/8. Bob has also campaigned on a wide range of road safety issues throughout April.

To recognise UN Global Road Safety Week, Bob put down an EDM calling on the Government to support the World Health Organisation’s aims in reducing road crashes across the EU. Click here to read the EDM. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, also supported Global Road Safety Week with a speech at the UK launch. Click here to read his speech and to find out more about the event.

Bob shares Brake’s concern about the safety of in-vehicle information systems and has asked questions on this issue, including whether the Government will call for better regulation of in-vehicle information systems, and when the Department for Transport will publish the results on their recent consultation. Click here and here to read these questions and click here to read Brake’s response to the Government’s consultation.

Bob has been concerned about the dangers associated with motorised invalid vehicles for some time. He initiated an adjournment debate on the issue in 2005, in which he raised questions about insufficient regulation of these vehicles. Click here to read this debate. In April, Bob continued to raise awareness about this issue by asking questions about what action the Government intends to take regarding the use of invalid vehicles and powered scooters. Click here to read these questions.

Brake has worked with the APPG over recent months to call for improved services for road crash victims. Bob has continued Parliamentary activity on this issue by raising questions about the Victims Fund, when it will be opened up to victims of road crashes, and how much funding will be available for road crash victims. Click here to read these questions. To read more about Brake’s ‘Forgotten Victims’ campaign for better services for road crash victims, click here.

Bolton MP wins national road safety award for campaign to raise awareness of sleep apnoea

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for her campaign to improve awareness and diagnosis of sleep apnoea, a condition that puts drivers at risk of falling asleep at the wheel and causing devastating crashes.

Sleep apnoea disrupts sleep by causing the airways to repeatedly close, forcing the sufferer to wake up and gasp for breath, causing acute tiredness. It is thought to affect 1.5 million people in the UK, and is treatable but often not recognised [1] as sufferers often don't recall what's causing them to wake up repeatedly and feel tired.

Sufferers are up to seven times more likely to have road crashes [2], and therefore can pose a huge risk to their own and others' safety. Crashes caused by driver tiredness are thought to kill at least 300 people on UK roads every year [3].

Julie first became aware of sleep apnoea in early 2011, when she was a member of the Transport Select Committee, and was contacted by the parents of a young woman killed by a lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel. She discovered that her constituency, Bolton West, has particularly high rates of sleep apnoea. Since then, she has continually worked to raise awareness of the issue in Parliament.

Over the past few years, Julie has attended many events about tackling sleep apnoea, including a visit to the Sleep Apnoea Clinic in London. She has kept the issue on the parliamentary agenda with questions to the Department of Health.

On 2 September 2014, Julie secured an adjournment debate on sleep apnoea in parliament. In the debate, Julie called for the Department of Health to appoint a body to improve services for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnoea, with screening provided in areas where the condition is widespread, and fast-tracked treatment for at-work drivers who are at particular risk.

As a result of the debate, Health Minister Norman Lamb MP will be taking up the issue of sleep apnoea with relevant organisations to see how the government can improve its diagnosis and care. Julie plans to keep pressing the government to make sure this happens, to help prevent tired driver crashes.

Read more about sleep apnoea, its symptoms, risks and treatment at www.brake.org.uk/sleepapnoea

Brake campaigns for greater awareness of sleep apnoea and the dangers of driving tired through its wake up! campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #WakeUp

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Sleep apnoea is a huge issue for road safety, so we are pleased to give Julie this award for campaigning so persistently to improve its diagnosis and care. Hundreds of thousands of people may be unwittingly putting themselves and others at great risk on UK roads by driving with undiagnosed sleep apnoea – a condition that can be treated. We encourage Julie to keep the pressure up, and we hope the government will follow through on her recommendations, potentially making a vital contribution to reducing the horrific toll of tired driver crashes. We urge anyone who thinks they may suffer from the condition – which is often identifiable through disturbed sleep and snoring – to seek advice and treatment immediately. Whether you suffer from sleep apnoea or not, you should never get behind the wheel when tired."

Accepting her award, West Bolton MP Julie Hilling said: "Brake is a fantastic charity that does great work on road safety and I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen as their Parliamentarian of the Month. Sleep apnoea is a major problem for many of my constituents in Bolton West, causing many serious health issues as well as contributing to many road crashes. I will continue to work with Brake to ensure we get the services we need to help sleep apnoea suffers."

Notes for editors

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

End notes
[1] Obstructive sleep apnoea UK health economics report, British Lung Foundation, 2014
[2] Sleep Apnoea Trust www.sleep-apnoea-trust.org 
[3] Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/hu/groups/sleep 

Bradford South MP wins national road safety award

News from Brake
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Bradford South MP wins national road safety award

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, has today been awarded a parliamentarian road safety award by charity Brake and Direct Line.

The award recognises Judith’s dedication to road safety, both within her constituency and nationally. Since her election in 2015, she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the weaknesses in criminal justice for drivers convicted of killing and seriously injuring by careless and dangerous driving.

Judith, along with other campaigners including Brake, helped secure an increase in sentencing for those found guilty of the most serious road crimes from the Ministry of Justice last month - a landmark victory for the families of road crash victims.

Locally, Judith Cummins has raised the profile of the Telegraph and Argus’ long-running ‘danger drivers’ campaign within her home town of Bradford and in Parliament, including speaking in numerous debates and helping tackle the issue of dangerous driving across the city.

Next week, Judith is holding an event to promote the importance of safe and considerate driving on Bradford’s roads, as part this year's Road Safety Week. 

Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said:"Judith is a worthy winner of this parliamentarian road safety award. Her tireless campaigning to help tackle dangerous driving on the roads of Bradford is to be applauded. Judith has also worked alongside Brake and others to make the Government recognise that the statute books have been weighed against families who have had their lives torn apart through the actions of drivers who have broken the law. The recent decision by the Ministry of Justice to increase sentences for the most dangerous drivers is a major victory in the fight for improved road safety." 

Accepting her award, Judith Cummins MP said: “I am delighted to have received Brake’s Road Safety Award off the back of my long-standing campaign to improve safety on the roads of my home city of Bradford. Dangerous and careless driving has been a blight on the communities of Bradford for far too long. The recent Government announcement that tougher punishments will be introduced for driving offenders was very welcome news. This change in the law is testament to what can be achieved when we all speak with one voice – I wish to thank everyone who made their voice heard by responding to the public consultation.

“Brake, as a national campaigning charity, has been tirelessly campaigning for improved road safety for many, many decades. Its greatly admired work supporting bereaved families is especially worthy of our praise. I very much look forward to continuing to work alongside Brake to campaign for better standards, stronger laws and tougher enforcement on the roads of Bradford and the whole of the UK.”

[ENDS] 

Notes to editors: 

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.  

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or online.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.

Brake backs new bill for Justice for Victims of Criminal Driving

News from Brake
Immediate issue: 11/01/ 2016

news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is backing Leeds North West MP Greg Mullholland as he aims to change the law to improve justice for the victims of road crime and their families and loved ones.

Mr Mullholland is presenting the Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon January 12th after launching his manifesto in Parliament last year.

His manifesto highlights serious problems with how the justice system deals with cases of criminal driving, and makes a number of recommendations for urgently-needed change. It has been developed by Greg Mulholland in partnership with Brake, other campaigning organisations, bereaved families, and a cross-party group of MPs and peers.

The Bill will seek to increase sentences for those convicted of criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death and also get rid of the charge of careless driving, as any driving that is bad is dangerous not careless. How can causing a death by driving under the influence of drink or drugs ever be simply “careless?” It will also demand improvements to the treatment of the victims of criminal driving offences and their families within the justice system.

Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications officer for Brake, the road safety charity said:

“Too many victims of crashes caused by dangerous drivers are simply not getting justice at the moment. They and their families are often left feeling let down and insulted by the use of inappropriately-termed charges and overly lenient sentences. Drivers who have killed while taking illegal risks have too often been labelled ‘careless’ in the eyes of the law, and given insultingly low sentences, when their actions can only be described as dangerous and destructive. Greg has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of crashes on two families in his constituency, and Brake supports hundreds of victims and their families whose lives have been torn apart every year. They have already suffered so much and we must make sure their pain is not compounded by a lack of justice. It’s time this bill became law.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West said:

“I look forward to presenting the Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill tomorrow. For far too long, victims and their families have been let down by the justice system. Sentences can be too short, bail conditions for offenders not strong enough and investigators sometimes not suitably trained. These are just some of the issues I will be highlighting next week. Victims and their families are right to expect more from the justice system, and my Bill will continue the fight for that.”

Notes to Editors:
For more information from Brake please contact news@brake.org.uk
For more information from Greg Mullholland MP please contact his Parliamentary Researcher Mo Saqib on saqibm@parliament.uk or 0207 219 3833

Brake campaigns for tougher penalties for drivers who kill, injure and endanger, alongside heightened enforcement, through its crackdown campaign. Tweet us @Brakecharity, #crackdown #roadstojustice

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake honours passion and commitment of road safety campaigners at annual awards


27 January 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, in partnership with Direct Line Group, has honoured parliamentarians, campaigners, and volunteers for their tireless efforts to raise awareness of road safety and help to prevent road crashes.

Hundreds of Brake supporters gathered at the charity’s annual reception at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday night to celebrate the work of everyone involved in UK road safety. Awards were presented by Deborah Johnson, chair of Brake’s board of trustees, and Gus Park, Managing Director of Motor Insurance for Direct Line Group.

Gary Rae, Director of campaigns and communications at Brake, said: “Our annual awards at the Houses of Parliament are an opportunity for Brake to thank all of its supporters for their hard work, and to recognise those individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to improve road safety. I feel incredibly privileged to stand alongside so many individuals who share Brake’s passion for road safety, and who have worked tirelessly to make our roads safer for everyone.”

Gus Park, Managing Director of Motor Insurance at Direct Line Group, said:“Direct Line Group was delighted to sponsor another lively and well attended annual reception. It’s become such a firm fixture on all of our calendars. It's a reminder of the importance Parliamentarians and others play in the continuing challenge of improving safety for all road users in this country and beyond.”

Road safety minister Andrew Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world. I share Brake’s passion to make them even safer. We are taking action in many areas to improve road safety; soon we are doubling the points and fines for reckless motorists caught using a mobile phone while driving. We are also spending £175 million on improving the 50 most dangerous roads in England, and have achieved great results with our new drug driving legislation.”

The winners:

Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year Award: Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton

Liz has been recognised for her work supporting the campaign of Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey to achieve justice for victims of road crime. Liz worked diligently on behalf of the Brown-Larteys, making representations in the Commons, and also behind the scenes with ministers. Liz also actively campaigned in the media to raise awareness of the need for a sentencing review for road crimes, and was a passionate supporter of Brake’s Roads to Justice campaign.

Liz McInnes said: “I am incredibly humbled to receive this award. Many other campaigners including MPs from all parties, and of course wonderful organisations including Brake, have also worked tremendously hard to give this issue the attention it deserves. 

“The punishment for causing death by dangerous driving must fit the crime. Too many families like the Brown-Lartey’s have had to cope with the insult of their loved one’s killer being given a derisory sentence. I was delighted in December when the government finally gave confirmation that a public consultation on this issue would be held and I hope that it brings us one step closer to a change in the law.”

Brake’s Campaigner of the Year Award: Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey

Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey lost their son, 25 year old Joseph, when a speeding driver ran a red light at more than 80 miles per hour. Shocked at the sentence given to the person who killed Joseph, they resolved to campaign for tougher jail sentences, and with their local radio station, launched the #JusticeforJoseph campaign.

They later endorsed Brake’s #RoadstoJustice campaign, taking the brave step of allowing the car in which Joseph died to be used to help launch the campaign, which proved to be Brake’s most successful-ever launch event.

Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey said: "We’re delighted to receive this award. Working with the Brake team this year has been so rewarding and we could not have achieved this alone. Brake do such a great job and their work is so necessary".

Brake’s Outstanding Contribution by a Journalist to Road Safety Award: Michelle Livesey

A new award was introduced at this year’s ceremony, to recognise the important contribution that journalists can make to road safety campaigning.

The winner of this award is campaigning journalist Michelle Livesey of KEY 103. Michelle became involved in Dawn and Ian Brown-Larteys’ #JusticeforJoseph campaign very early on, offering support to the Brown-Larteys in spreading their campaign message and securing attention from other journalists and politicians. Michelle also became passionately involved in Brake’s #RoadstoJustice campaign; her involvement was instrumental to the campaign’s success.

Michelle Livesey said: "This award was totally unexpected and such a pleasure to receive. My work is about making sure people's voices are heard and this can only be done as part of a team. The Roads to Justice campaign has captured the attention of the public and Government - now we must all keep fighting for the law to be changed"

Notes to Editors:

Images of all the winners will be available on Friday morning.

Please contact news@brake.org.uk

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or online.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

Bristol MP wins national road safety award

13 June 2016

news@brake.org.uk

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has been given the accolade of Parliamentarian of the Month in 2016 for May, by the road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Group. The award recognises Karin’s work fighting for tougher road safety regulations following the death of Freddie Hussey.

Three-year-old Freddie was crushed by a two-tonne trailer when it became detached from a Land Rover that was passing by as Freddie and his Mum were walking home. Ever since his death, Freddie’s parents have been fighting for tougher regulations for vehicles towing trailers.

Their cause has been championed by Karin Smyth, who was only elected as an MP in 2015 and put the Hussey’s case to the Government in a Westminster Hall debate in January. Her tireless work also saw several meetings with the Road Minister Andrew Jones.
The effort by the Hussey family, the local community and Ms Smyth has now seen guidance from the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency (DVSA) being re-written to heighten awareness of trailer roadworthiness. Alongside this there will also be an awareness campaign will run through the summer and A new video is being developed by DVSA demonstrating how to carry out safety checks on trailers.

It is clear without the campaigning of Karin Smyth that these changes would not have been made. Her influence along with the work by the Hussey family has brought positive change through much tighter regulations.

Brake is campaigning for better justice for both the victims of road crashes and the families of those killed by criminal driving. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #roadstojustice

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns, for Brake, said: “We are delighted to recognise another MP who has played a vital role in making our roads safer, not only in her constituency, but also across the whole country.

“The story of how Freddie Hussey lost his life is a horrifically tragic one. The family have clearly overcome a lot and their dedication to this campaign alongside the work of Karin Smyth deserves much credit. Hopefully what has been achieved here will ensure that no other family has to suffer the loss that the Hussey family has.”

Accepting his award, Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: “This award is a tribute to the relentless campaigning of Freddie’s Hussey family, and to the local community which has supported them through incredibly difficult times. Together we have been resolute in our wish that some good should come of Freddie’s tragic death.

“My aim was, and remains, bringing the family’s experiences to the attention of government and I am pleased that Brake has acknowledged my work in Parliament in this way. We are making good progress in bringing about change that can help improve safety on our roads. This is vital work, since we can be in no doubt that there are more accidents waiting to happen if the right changes aren’t made.”

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or online.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.