News from Brake
Monday 3 June 2019
Clwyd South MP, Susan Elan Jones, has today been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month for May 2019, by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line Group.
The award recognises Ms Jones’ most recent efforts to improve road safety, leading a debate in the House of Commons on excessive speeding and driving bans. During the debate, held last month, Ms Jones called on the Government to ensure that tougher action is taken to tackle speeding offences with the use of more lengthy driving bans. Ms Jones also called for consideration of the removal of the “exceptional hardship” argument, which can be used by drivers who accumulate more than 12 points on their driving licence to avoid driving bans.
Ms Jones, Brake’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year in 2014, was prompted to call for the debate following a number of cases of excessive speeding on single carriageway rural roads in North Wales – including one where the driver was caught travelling at 122mph on the 60mph limit road but only received a 56 day driving ban.
Road safety charity, Brake, has also been calling for an increased use in driving bans and the closure of the ‘exceptional hardship’ loophole through their Roads to Justice campaign. They argue that driving bans are not used enough to prevent dangerous drivers being allowed back on the roads and that drivers who reach 12 points should be automatically disqualified to protect themselves and others.
Brake also want to see action taken to reduce the speed limit on single carriageway rural roads, after their recent report, with Direct Line, on Speed revealed that fewer than a quarter of drivers (23%) think that 60 mph is a safe speed for a vehicle on a road on which there may be people on foot, bicycles and horses. The report also noted that drivers either wanted, or were ambivalent about, a reduction to the default 60 mph limit on rural roads, with fewer than one in five (19%) objecting to a reduction.
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said:
“Susan is a worthy recipient of May’s Parliamentarian award for Road Safety for her efforts in leading this important debate in the House of Commons and demanding action from the Minister to tackle excessive speeding. Susan is a tireless road safety campaigner and this award is fully deserved.
“Excessive speeding is a menace on our roads. The Government must take note of the calls to increase the use of driving bans and our repeated calls to close the ‘exceptional hardship’ loophole to ensure that dangerous drivers are taken off the roads. The cases of excessive speeding cited by Susan also highlights the need for a review of the default 60mph speed limit on rural roads with a view to its reduction – our recent report revealed that drivers don’t feel safe travelling at 60mph on these roads. The current limit gives a false impression that high speeds are safe on rural roads, putting everyone who uses them at risk – this must change.”
Accepting her award, Clwyd South MP, Susan Elan Jones, said:
“Brake is an outstanding campaigning organisation - and I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. Road safety has been a very great concern of mine and it is my strong-held belief that collisions and road traffic collisions are not inevitable and should not be accepted as such. As Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety, I will continue to call on the Government to toughen the rules on driving bans for excessive speeding. I will also push for more effective use of technology so that we reduce the number of driving offences and the causalities that result from them.”
Gus Park, Managing Director of Motor Insurance at Direct Line Group, said:
“Toughening the rules on driving bans for excessive speeding will ensure that these offences carry enough gravity to be able to protect road users whose lives are being endangered, and further deter the dangerous driving of a few. We are grateful to Susan Elan Jones for leading this debate in the House of Commons and are supportive of measures that look into how technology can be used to improve road safety.”
Notes to Editors:
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport 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.
About Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Group is headquartered in Bromley. Through its number of well known brands the Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. The Group also provides insurance services for third parties through its partnerships division, Direct Line Group Partnerships. In the commercial sector, the Group's NIG and Direct Line for Business operations offer insurance products for businesses distributed through brokers or direct, respectively.