David Stewart, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has been given his second Scottish Road Safety Parliamentarian Award by the charity Brake and Digby Brown Solicitors. Previously he secured three other awards by the charity in partnership with Direct Line Insurance.
This year, the Highlands and Island MSP has championed the establishment of a Road Collision Investigation Branch, supporting calls from Brake, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and others. Such a branch would help bring together the efforts of researchers, police, Crown office officials, local authorities and others to better learn the lessons from serious road crashes across the UK.
Mr Stewart has also, through the North of Scotland Driver Awareness Team which he founded in 2010, produced a series of powerful radio advertisements for its SMART campaign, Silent Mobiles Avoid Risk and Temptation.
The Highlands and Islands MSP is working on 'Pass Safely' - a campaign designed to educate drivers about the need to give space when overtaking cyclists - as well as publicity about the dangers on single track, rural roads. Mr Stewart is also supporting Brake's Road Safety Week, taking place between 20 and 26 November, which will this year focus on the issue of speeding.
Brake spokesman, Jason Wakeford, said: "David and his team deserve full recognition for their continued hard work to help improve road safety across the region. David's work has helped raise awareness of vital road safety issues, including the risks of using mobiles at the wheel, inadequate drug driving laws and the need for a Road Collision Investigation Branch. We are delighted to be giving an impressive fifth award to such a dedicated and passionate road safety campaigner."
Accepting his award, David Stewart MSP, said “I am delighted for all those involved in road safety related issues with me and in particular those working with me at the North of Scotland Driver Awareness Team. For the last seven years all we have strived to do is make a positive difference to road safety across the Highlands Islands and Moray. I would like to think we have done that, but we will not be complacent and will work with others to make our roads even safer.”
Notes to editors:
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.
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.