Brake welcomes move to ensure bereaved road crime victims are referred to specialist support

10 December 2013

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

Brake, the road safety charity, has welcomed the government's revised Victims' Code, which aims to ensure victims of crime, including bereaved road crime victims, can access appropriate support.

The new Code recognises bereaved road crime victims as victims of serious crime with particular support needs, who should be referred to appropriate support.

Through its forgotten victims campaign, Brake has long campaigned for greater recognition and help from government for all families who suffer the horror of a bereavement or serious injury in a road crash, to ease their suffering and help them cope.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, says: "We welcome the new Victims' Code as a positive step in recognising the appalling suffering that bereaved road crash victims endure, and ensuring they can access appropriate support. In the terrible aftermath of a serious crash, it should not be left to reeling and traumatised families to seek out the help they need – yet this has been the reality for many. Specialist information, guidance and comfort should be offered, from the outset, to these families, so they feel cared for and are supported through their worst nightmares come true.

"We know the support we provide to thousands of crash victims every year is hugely valued and critical in enabling them to cope with the appalling circumstances they find themselves in – including dealing with extreme emotions and often bewildering practical matters, such as navigating the criminal justice system. We hope this new Code will mean road crash victims are better able to access the specialist support they need."

Brake is a national provider of support to people bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes, provided through partnership working with every police force and a range of other practitioners working with crash victims. Part-funded by the Ministry of Justice, Brake supports victims through a UK-wide helpline and acclaimed literature specifically tailored to meet the acute and wide-ranging needs of people whose lives are turned upside down by road death or injury. Read about Brake's support services.

About Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

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.