Greg Mulholland MP named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year

PRESS RELEASE from Brake, the road safety charity

Awards recognising the contributions of parliamentarians in tackling devastating road crashes and casualties were presented by road safety charity Brake at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line Group.

Greg Mulholland_and_Julie_TownsendGreg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, received the National Campaigner Award for his work campaigning for automatic licence suspension for drivers who have killed or are caught at twice the drink-drive limit. The campaign was launched by the family of Jamie Still, who was killed by a drink driver in January 2011, working alongside Greg and Brake.

After the driver who killed Jamie was allowed to keep his licence for eight months before the case came to trial, Jamie’s 13 year old sister Rebecca created a petition and the website, calling for a change in the law. The petition has been signed by more than 13,000 people.

Inspired by and working alongside Jamie’s family, Greg asked the Prime Minister to change the law, to which David Cameron responded by agreeing it was an issue for consideration. Greg met then justice minister Crispin Blunt, Julie Townsend and Greg Mulholland                      and secured a debate in parliament to persuade the government to include provisions on bail conditions for those charged with dangerous or careless driving.

Justice minister Crispin Blunt congratulated Greg on his campaign and informed him guidance for courts was being reviewed and would be published for consultation later in the year. He said he expected it will recommend a no-drive bail condition if a defendant is considered a danger to other road users.

Greg also continues to work tirelessly with people affected by crashes in his constituency, highlighting problems around speeding and risky driving, and campaigning to improve safety across Leeds North West.

Greg Mulholland says: “The unimaginable loss Jamie’s family suffered when he was killed on New Year’s Eve 2010 was compounded by having to endure eight months knowing the man who killed him was allowed to continue driving, despite the recklessness of his actions. The campaign instigated by Jamie’s sister, Rebecca, brings the question of removing driving licences as a bail condition in such cases to the fore.

“We need this change, and I hope our efforts will ensure those who drive dangerously or carelessly and go on to kill will have their licenses suspended as a condition of bail. As an MP I am in a privileged position to be able to raise issues like this and I am pleased to have been able to do this on behalf of Jamie Still’s family. I am delighted to accept this award from Brake on their behalf, and look forward to continuing to work with Brake and local families to campaign for safer roads and ultimately fewer people suffering due to road crashes.”

Read more about the
Read more about Brake’s campaign on justice for road crash victims

The Awards were presented by Julie Townsend, Brake's deputy chief executive and Tom Woolgrove, managing director of personal lines of Direct Line Group, which sponsored the awards and reception. The reception was attended by Brake's supporters, including parliamentarians, corporate partners, road safety professionals and volunteers working in their communities to improve road safety.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "Greg’s efforts to champion crucial road safety measures, in his constituency and in parliament, and to give a voice to families devastated by road crashes, is truly commendable. Greg has shown tremendous dedication and resolve to bringing about positive outcomes for his constituents and communities across the UK, by fighting for safer roads and a tougher approach to tackling risky, deadly driving. Efforts like these are critical in making our roads and communities safe for everyone and preventing needless tragedies that inflict such terrible pain and trauma. Brake commends Greg for his valiant work which has, and will continue to, make a real difference to people's lives."

Tom Woolgrove, managing director of personal lines at Direct Line Group, said: "We are delighted to sponsor these awards and play our part in improving safety on our roads. Serious work and effort has been undertaken by MPs this year to promote and campaign on road safety; but more can and must be done. As a major motor insurer, Direct Line Group is committed to reducing death and injury on UK roads. However, we know actions speak louder than words. That’s why this year, as well extending our sponsorship with Brake, we have chosen them as one of our four main charity partners. What’s more, we’re providing our staff with the opportunity to volunteer during work hours, on some quality road safety initiatives, to make our communities safer.”

Notes to editors:

About Brake's parliamentarian awards
Each month Brake honours a parliamentarian who has made a commendable contribution to road safety, in their constituency or in Parliament, by giving them the title of Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month.

In January, we compare the winners from the past year and award two Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year Awards, for a national campaigner and a community campaigner. These winners have shown outstanding commitment to road safety and achieved positive benefits for their community or nationally. We give these two winners their award at our annual reception, this year held on Wednesday 16 January 2013 at the Houses of Parliament. These awards and reception are kindly sponsored by Direct Line Group.

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 (18-24 November 2013), 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.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc

Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.