Russell Brown, MP for Dumfries and Galloway
Russell Brown MP is campaigning to save the lives of young people, after identifying this group as being particularly vulnerable on roads in his constituency, and around the UK.
To improve safety for young people on foot and bicycle, Russell has joined forces with local constituents to lobby for the introduction of a desperately-needed crossing outside a village primary school in New Abbey, Dumfries. Russell’s campaign began after a plea for help from parents terrified by traffic speeding through the village and posing a danger to their children.
The first success of the campaign was a public meeting organised by the council on 1 November 2007, to consult residents on options for a road safety scheme outside the village school, including proposals for a pedestrian crossing or refuge island in the middle of the road. Russell awaits the result of the consultation and is set to step up the campaign, should the council fail to install the life-saving crossing.
Russell’s commitment to child pedestrian and cyclist safety led him to support Road Safety Week in November, issuing a press release highlighting the horrifying number of child casualties in his region, and calling for more 20mph zones around schools and homes.
While the safety of children on foot and bicycle is a huge concern for Russell, shocking statistics on the safety of young people on roads in his constituency have also prompted him to call for improved driver training and testing. Russell met with local police to obtain vital evidence confirming the disproportionate number of young people dying on local roads: 44 people aged between 16 and 25 died in road crashes in his constituency over a three-year period.
Russell argues that the starting point in tackling these appalling casualty levels is a structured approach to learning to drive. To push for Government action, he secured a Westminster Hall debate on young driver training and testing. In the debate, he urged the Government to introduce: a more structured driving test; restrictions on newly-qualified drivers; and ongoing professional development for driving instructors. Russell also called for Government action in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper.
Visit Brake’s website to read about its ‘Watch out there’s a KID about!’ campaign to ensure children can use roads safely on foot and bike, and its ‘Licensed to Kill?’ campaign to stop young driver deaths and injuries on our roads.