Brake, the road safety charity
Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, has been awarded the second Scottish Road Safety Parliamentarian Award by the charity Brake and Digby Brown Solicitors. The award is part of a series that recognises the contribution of MSPs to improving road safety within their constituencies and across Scotland. Murdo Fraser's award is in recognition for his campaigning to introduce dual carriageways on all sections of the A9 between Perth and Inverness.
The Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP took it upon himself to found the 'Dual the A9 campaign' which saw over 21,000 members of public sign the petition to improve conditions on the A9 and over 17,000 join the campaign on Facebook. The A9 which connects the north and south of Scotland is the main arterial route through Murdo Fraser's constituency and between 2006-2010 the road saw 67 fatal crashes, with a further 1026 crashes in that time – a staggering 200 a year.
Thanks to the work of Murdo Fraser, £3billion has been invested by the Scottish Government to upgrade 80 miles of road into dual carriageway, which is the biggest transport project that Scotland has ever undertaken. The work on the A9 not only has economic benefits but will vitally improve road safety and will also see better links with pedestrian, cycling and public transport facilities.
Murdo Fraser has also been active on road safety issues in the past, including lodging a motion in the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness for Road Safety Week.
This year's Road Safety Week, November 23-29, is encouraging people to 'drive less, live more'. Brake are encouraging everyone to walk, cycle and use sustainable transport where they can, rather than jumping in their cars. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #RoadSafetyWeek
Gary Rae, Director of Communications and Campaigns, for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We are delighted to recognise another MSP who has over the last few years played a vital role in making the roads safer, not only in his constituency, but also across a large part of Scotland.
"Murdo Fraser is definitely a very worthy winner of this award, by recognising the dangers of the main route through his constituency and campaigning tirelessly until something has been done to ensure that road users in the future can travel safely. Hopefully the work on dualling the A9 can be extended north of Inverness where there are still alarming numbers of crashes.
"Scotland and the MSPs who serve their people are fast becoming the trendsetters in the United Kingdom when it comes to road safety. The work of Murdo Fraser and the Scottish Parliament will surely inspire other areas of the UK to invest in their roads and make them safer."
Accepting his award, Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said: "I am delighted to receive a Scottish Road Safety Parliamentarian Award from Brake for my campaign to have a fully dualled A9 between Perth and Inverness.
"The A9 is one of Britain's most dangerous roads and I have always believed that a dual carriageway, running its entire length, can cut down on the number of fatalities and accidents. I have spent much of my time as an MSP working to get safer roads and I believe that the Government has an important role to play in reducing deaths and accidents across our roads network.
"It is a tremendous honour to receive this award from such a well-respected campaigning charity. But no campaign can be successful without the backing of its supporters and I would like to thank the thousands who have got involved via Facebook and the online petition as without their help this campaign would not have had the same impact. As someone who believes in improving road safety I will continue to work on behalf of all of my constituents to make this a priority for decision makers at Holyrood."
Fraser Simpson, partner at Digby Brown Solicitors, added: "As personal injury lawyers, we see first-hand the devastating effect road traffic crashes have on victims and their families. All of us who use the roads can help make them safer and this type of leadership on road safety issues makes an important contribution to achieving that."
Notes for editors
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.
Digby Brown Solicitors
Digby Brown Solicitors are Scotland's largest personal injury practices with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkcaldy and Aberdeen. The firm have worked closely with Brake for a number of years, supporting their campaigns on road safety issues and sponsoring the Brake helpline in Scotland. Digby Brown won the Community Contribution Award at both the 2015 and 2014 Scottish Legal Awards in recognition of its work with a Brake and a range of charities throughout Scotland.