Charities for road crash victims:
Brake supports people bereaved and seriously injured by road crashes and campaigns for safe and healthy mobility for all. The charity’s national freephone helpline is a quality accredited service for people affected by road death and serious injury, providing emotional and practical support, information, and access to local face-to-face support services, legal help and people who have suffered a similar bereavement. Its helpline officers can also speak on your behalf to officials to ensure your voice is heard, and help you access services available to you. Brake coordinates Road Safety Week, and runs road safety education programmes in schools, communities and companies. The charity also encourages government to improve road safety legislation and enforcement.
The charity provides many volunteering opportunities for bereaved families.
Helpline 0808 8000 401 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm) or email@example.com
To donate, join, or volunteer, go to www.brake.org.uk or call 0148 455 9909.
RoadPeace provides support and information to people bereaved or seriously injured by a road crash. They offer practical support with post-crash guidance reports and informative briefing papers; emotional support through a helpline and their befriender scheme (coordinated by staff with volunteers who have been affected by road death or injury); and advocacy assistance to support evidence-based campaigns for the improvement of post-crash responses. The charity coordinates remembrance activities, including Remember Me roadside plaques, and provides the bereaved and seriously injured with access to a network of peer support. RoadPeace promotes road danger reduction and updates to the justice system to make the legal standards and sentences after a crash fit for purpose. The charity supports active travel opportunities that give greater consideration to vulnerable road users and the environment.
Helpline 0845 4500 355 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Office 020 7733 1603 or email@example.com
SCARD (Support and Care after Road Death and Injury) working with CADD (Campaign Against Drinking and Driving)
Two charities working together to provide emotional and practical support to those who have lost a loved one, or been injured or affected by drunk or reckless driving. SCARD offers a helpline staffed by volunteers 365 days a year and access to free, face-to-face counselling sessions and legal advice. It also provides information on coroners and inquests, criminal and civil law, appeals and private prosecutions and can offer road safety education workshops for schools and organisations. With its sister charity CADD, SCARD offers road safety education and awareness-building workshops to groups and individuals, including anti-drink-drive workshops. SCARD holds an annual Oakleaf memorial service to remember road crash victims.
Helpline 0345 123 5542 (7 days a week, 9am-9pm including bank holidays)
Office enquiries 01484 723649 / 01924 562252 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other organisations campaigning for road safety:
Works to improve the safety of children and young people travelling by bus, coach, taxi and car. Offers support and guidance for parents about safety issues, legislation and the hiring of transport. Produces educational material for schools and co-ordinates School Transport Safety Week. Can put bereaved families in touch with other bereaved families.
Call 01495 981185 or email email@example.com
RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents)
RoSPA’s road safety department raises awareness about the causes of road crashes and promotes measures to help prevent them. This charity does not provide support services for road crash victims.
Call 0121 248 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisations supporting people bereaved by any cause:
Cruse Bereavement Care
Call 0808 808 1677 or go to www.cruse.org.uk
For children and young people go to www.hopeagain.org.uk
The Samaritans operates a 24-hour helpline for anyone in need.
Call 116 123 or go to www.samaritans.org
Quaker Social Action
If your partner has died:
WAY (Widowed and Young)
If a child or a child’s relative has died:
Child Bereavement UK
Call 0800 02 888 40 or go to www.childbereavementuk.org
Child Death Helpline
Call 0800 282 986 or 0808 800 6019 if calling from a mobile or go to www.childdeathhelpline.org.uk
The Compassionate Friends
Care for the Family
Call 029 2081 0800 or go to www.careforthefamily.org.uk
Call 08088 020 021 or go to www.winstonswish.org
Organisations campaigning for sustainable transport:
Campaign for Better Transport
Promotes sustainable and public transport.
Promotes safety and accessibility for pedestrians.
Making it easier for people to walk and cycle by creating spaces that are walkable and cycle-friendly; supporting communities to have the opportunity and ability to walk, cycle, scoot and wheel; and working with decision-makers to create policies that make walking and cycling a more attractive choice.
Government bodies with responsibility for road safety:
The government bodies listed below have responsibility for road safety regulation and education. You may wish to contact the relevant organisation directly if you have a road safety concern.
The Department for Transport
The Department for Transport is responsible for road safety policy including giving guidance to local authorities (on topics such as setting local speed limits) and reviewing road safety legislation (such as the drink-drive limit). It also commissions road safety research and runs publicity campaigns. It oversees several agencies (see below). The department’s road safety work is led by the Road Safety Minister.
The Welsh Government
The Welsh Government is responsible for some aspects of transport and road safety in Wales, including maintenance of motorways and major trunk roads.
Highways England is the agency responsible for operating, maintaining and improving all motorways and major trunk roads in England.
Local authorities are responsible for local roads that are not motorways or major trunk roads. Local authority highway engineers oversee local roads’ design, repair, markings and speed limits. Local authority road safety officers run pedestrian and cycle training for children, manage school crossing patrols and run local publicity campaigns. Contact your local authority for more information.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
The DVLA is responsible for licensing and registering drivers and vehicles and collects vehicle excise duty (tax).
DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency)
DVSA is responsible for annual testing of vehicles and enforcement checks on the maintenance standards of lorries, buses and coaches, and their compliance with laws including drivers’ hours rules. It is also responsible for driving tests and promoting road use rules such as the Highway Code.
Traffic commissioners are regionally appointed officials responsible for licensing companies to operate lorries, buses and coaches. Traffic commissioners have powers to issue and take away an operator’s licence. For your local traffic commissioner go to www.gov.uk/traffic-commissioners.
Your political representatives
If you are worried about a particular local traffic problem your local councillor may be able to help. You can find their contact details by phoning your local authority.
Your Member of Parliament (MP)
Your MP’s job is to represent your interests in Parliament. You may want to write to or meet them to discuss any aspect of your case which you think they could act upon. You can find out the name of your MP by going to the website www.parliament.uk and clicking on ‘contact us’ and then entering your postcode in the box on the right or by calling Parliament on 020 7219 4272.
You can also call the freephone enquiry service on 0800 112 4272 or email email@example.com
Your Welsh Assembly Member (AM)
If you live in Wales, your Assembly Member may be able to help. You can find the contact details of your AM by visiting www.assembly.wales/members.
Your local Citizens Advice can provide access to free, impartial and confidential advice, including on financial and legal matters. For your local branch go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
To contact the Citizens Advice Witness Service, call 0300 332 1000 or go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk/witness.
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This guide is written and produced by the charity Brake, with funding from the Department for Transport and additional funding support provided by a number of Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales. It is prepared in partnership and open consultation with families bereaved by road crashes and representatives from a range of organisations, including:
APIL (The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
Association of Natural Burial Grounds
Coroners’ Society of England and Wales
Crown Prosecution Service
East Yorkshire Police
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society)
Ministry of Justice
National Association of Funeral Directors
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC)
National Probation Service
Natural Death Centre
NHS Blood and Transplant
Office of the Chief Coroner
Restorative Justice Council
SAIF (The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors)
Slater and Gordon Lawyers
West Yorkshire Police
Disclaimer: This guide is for information purposes only. While it outlines processes of law and procedure, it does not aim to fully describe all aspects of law and procedures, and laws and procedures may also change.