Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton & Uttoxeter, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line, for his work campaigning to improve safety on the A38. Andrew's campaign began after a serious crash on the road in April, and resulted last month in the Highways Agency closing gaps in the central reservation.
In April this year, sisters Parveen Kauser, aged 38, and Raheela Altaf, 37, from Derby were killed when their car turned over after hitting the beginning of a gap in the central reservation on the A38. Four others, including three children, were injured in the crash involving two cars. Both Parveen and Raheela left behind families, including children.
Less than 72 hours after the crash, Andrew wrote to the Transport Secretary asking for safety measures to be installed on the A38 to protect drivers and passengers. He also appealed for drivers using the A38 to send him their views the road. On receiving an overwhelming response from drivers fearing for their safety, and a promise from the Department for Transport that a review of safety on would be carried out, Andrew went out to see conditions on the road for himself, accompanied by Staffordshire police officers.
Andrew saw the dangers first-hand, from gaps in the central reservation, to a need for speed cameras to slow traffic. Taking the results of his visit and testimonies from drivers, he wrote to the Highways Agency asking them to make improvements.
In August 2012, Andrew secured a meeting with the Highways Agency to talk through the issues. The Agency ordered one of the gaps in the central reservation to be closed within two weeks and agreed to inspect the road and verges to ensure maximum visibility. They will also carry out a speed survey to decide whether to implement further measures, and consult more widely over the remaining gaps in the central reservation. Andrew aims to ensure this consultation leads to further safety improvements.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "As a charity that supports people bereaved and injured inroad crashes, we know how dangerous roads like the A38 can lead to terrible suffering and fear for the communities who use them. We're delighted that Andrew's campaigning has achieved such positive results so quickly, and Brake is pleased to recognise his success with this award. Andrew's work should encourage others around the country to take action on dangerous roads in their area, and inspire drivers using the A38 to do their bit in making it safer, by staying well within the speed limit, keeping their distance, and slowing right down in poor conditions."
Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, said: "I am honoured to have been named the Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month. Too many lives are lost on our roads, and the A38 has sadly been a particular example of that. I am delighted that my contribution in campaigning to make that road safer was enough to win this award."
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 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 (19-25 November 2012), 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 man-made, preventable, violent events that devastate lives. Brake does not use the term accidents because it undermines our work to tackle needless casualties and causes insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by road death or injury.
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.
Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK1 and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com
Direct Line Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1AG.