Leeds MP wins national road safety award for campaign for justice for victims of criminal driving

Friday 27 March 2015

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

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month for March 2015 by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group. The award recognises the Leeds MP’s campaign for better justice for victims of criminal driving and their families, culminating in the launch of a criminal driving manifesto at the Houses of Parliament on 18 March.

The manifesto highlights serious problems with how the justice system deals with criminal driving, and makes a number of recommendations for urgently-needed change. These include tougher sentences and more appropriate charges for drivers who kill and injure, better support for victims, and improved investigations of crashes. It was developed by Mulholland and his staff, with support and guidance from Brake, other campaigning organisations, bereaved families, and a cross-party group of MPs and peers.

The contributors to the manifesto were brought together to discuss the issues around criminal driving by Greg Mulholland at a roundtable event he organised and chaired in Parliament in December 2014.

Greg Mulholland has been a long time campaigner for better justice for victims of road crime, having started his work on this issue after his constituent, 16 year old Otley resident Jamie Still, was killed by a drink driver in December 2010. This is the third time Brake has recognised Mulholland for his work, having named him Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month in April 2009 and Parliamentarian of the Year in 2012.

The criminal driving manifesto has now been sent to home secretary Theresa May, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and justice secretary Chris Grayling, as well as all MPs and all three main parties. It has already received pledges of support from across the political spectrum.

Brake is optimistic that Mulholland’s manifesto will influence and add momentum to a review of all driving charges and penalties currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Justice.

Brake campaigns for tougher sentences for drivers who kill and injure, alongside increased enforcement, through its crackdown campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #crackdown.

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer, Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Greg has been a fantastic champion for reform of criminal driving charges and penalties, and for better justice for victims and their families. We are proud to support the launch of the criminal driving manifesto, and delighted to name him as our road safety Parliamentarian of the Month for the third time.

“Through the support Brake offers to bereaved and injured road crash victims, we see every day the devastating impact criminal driving has. Many families are left feeling betrayed by the failings of the justice system, due to inappropriate charges and lenient sentences. We are hopeful that Greg’s manifesto will help provide the impetus for meaningful and long-lasting change, moving us towards a justice system, and a society, that takes road crimes seriously and helps prevent more tragedies in the future.”

Accepting his award, Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, said: “Very pleased to win this award, especially as criminal driving is something I have campaigned on for many years. The manifesto I launched was shaped by the experiences of victims and their families, and campaigning organisations including Brake were central to the whole process. I remain determined to campaign for the key changes the manifesto calls for, get proper justice for victims of criminal driving, and a huge thanks to Brake for their support and the work they continue to do.”

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.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

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.