News from Brake
Thursday 4 July 2019
Brake, the road safety charity, in partnership with Direct Line Group, has celebrated the achievements of road safety campaigners at the charity’s Annual Reception, held on Wednesday night in the Houses of Parliament.
Maria Eagle, MP for Garston and Halewood, was honoured with the prestigious Brake and Direct Line Group Parliamentarian of the Year award 2018 for her efforts driving the campaign to ban old tyres on public service vehicles through Parliament. The campaign culminated in the Government recently announcing a consultation on banning tyres aged 10 or older on large vehicles with a view to bringing in the law by early 2020. 
Maria took up her parliamentary campaign on behalf of her constituent Frances Molloy, whose son Michael was tragically killed in 2012, alongside two others, when a coach crashed due to its nearside tyre bursting whilst in transit - the blow-out being deemed to be caused by the age of the tyre. Mrs Molloy set up the ‘tyred’ campaign to prevent this tragedy happening to anyone else . As part of the parliamentary campaign Maria tabled an Early Day Motion  and a 10 Minute Rule Bill  in the past year.
Brake’s Annual Reception saw hundreds of Brake supporters, volunteers and parliamentarians gather to celebrate the work of all who are involved in road safety in the UK, from community campaigners to national figureheads. New Roads Minister, Michael Ellis MP, provided the event’s keynote remarks and Parliamentarian of the Year award was presented by Steve Maddock, Chief Operating Officer of Direct Line Group, sponsors of both the reception and the award.
Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, Maria Eagle MP said:
“I’m proud to receive this award in recognition of the work I’ve been doing in Parliament on behalf of my constituent Frances Molloy and her “Tyred” campaign. Frances has been fighting to ban tyres over the age of 10 years from buses and coaches on our roads for many years ever since she tragically lost her 18 year old son Michael in 2012 when he was killed in a coach crash on the way home from a music festival. The crash was caused by the catastrophic blow out of a 19.5 year old tyre fitted to the coach – older than Michael but not unlawful.
“The Government’s recent announcement that they are consulting on banning these dangerous old tyres from our roads completely is testament to our efforts so far and we hope that the law will be changed by the end of this year when the Consultation closes. I hope as many people as possible will respond to the consultation so that together, we can finally ban dangerous old tyres from our roads once and for all.”
Steve Maddock, chief operating officer of Direct Line Group, said:
“It is a great honour to be amongst so many people dedicated to making our roads safer. Their hard work and relentless campaigning has played a significant role in reducing the number of lives lost on our roads. I would especially like to thank Maria Eagle, the deserving winner of the Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, and congratulate her in encouraging the Government to consult on introducing the old tyre ban”.
Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake, said:
“It is an honour and privilege to be able to celebrate all those who campaign for safer roads in the UK, from our local volunteers to parliamentarians and Ministers. Road safety affects us all and through the hard work of our fantastic supporters I know that we can achieve our vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries.
“Particular mention must also go to our Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, Maria Eagle MP, whose award is thoroughly deserved for pushing the campaign to ban old tyres on large vehicles through Parliament. It is testament to her efforts and those of her constituent, Frances Molloy, that the Government now looks set to introduce a ban, ensuring that no one else will lose their life because of an old tyre.”
Speech by Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake can be found here.
Notes to Editors:
 ‘Tyred’ campaign
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.
Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.
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.