The event marked five years of Vision Zero in London, with a focus this year on post-collision response, a key pillar of Vision Zero, which aims to see zero deaths and serious injuries on roads.
It was announced that Brake’s National Road Victim Service would be fulfilling a one-year pilot to support victims of road crashes, with support from RoadPeace. Teams from both charities were delighted to be in attendance on the day to share more about why specialist, trauma-informed support is so crucial for road victims. The pilot is funded by TfL in collaboration with the Mayor’s office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
Throughout the summit there were powerful speeches, Q&A panels and updates from key stakeholders.
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime highlighted that bereaved road victims were expected to navigate an incredibly difficult bureaucratic process that they previously knew nothing about, while they were simultaneously dealing with the sudden trauma of the death or serious injury of a loved one. She stated that it was an “impossible task and an impossible ask,” and that is why this level of support is vital.
Road victim Tesse Akpeki gave a powerful speech about the impact of the tragic death of her brother Tony who was killed by a drug driver whilst he was collecting Covid-19 samples from care homes. Tesse spoke about the battles she and her family went through to try and achieve justice for Tony.
Louise Beams, a National Road Victim Service caseworker from Brake shared a collection of stories from the broad range of families that she has supported during her time as a caseworker with Brake. This included listening to a farmer talking about how much he missed his son, and a woman who couldn’t throw away the jar of Marmite that her husband had used the day he was killed in a road crash.
Ross Moorlock, Interim CEO of Brake joined Sophie Linden, Andy Lord, TfL Commissioner, Supt Dan Card, Metropolitan Police, and Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, to answer questions from the audience such as ‘how do we ensure this level of service is rolled out across the UK?’
To this Ross Moorlock replied:
“All road victims deserve access to the level of support we are talking about today. It is important that we all take the learnings from this pilot and make it a national service. Funding is a critical part of that. We, Brake, want a consistent national standard of support for road victims, and to remove the postcode lottery. No matter where you are, you should be able to access this level of support when you need it, for as long as you need it.”
Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner at TfL, provided an update on the Vision Zero Programme across London. He stated that “we are in this together – we can’t do any of this alone.” Stuart Reid, Head of Insights and Direction at TfL, followed to provide more detail on the progress against the five pillars of Vision Zero – safe speeds, safe streets, safe vehicles, safe behaviours and post collision support.
Representatives from Lambeth Council, Boroughs of Richmond and Wandsworth followed to provide the local perspective on how these measures had been introduced and the initial results.
Ross Moorlock, Interim CEO of Brake said:
“This important event, marking 5 years of Vision Zero in London, set out very clear intentions for the coming year. It was inspiring to get together face-to-face with so many key decision makers, who all share in Vision Zero and welcome this pilot.
“We hope this is just the beginning of further roll outs of consistent, well-funded and well-resourced victim support until we achieve a world where road users are safe, and this service is no longer needed.”
The National Road Victim Service provides a free, specialist, case-managed service for anyone bereaved or seriously injured in a road crash throughout the UK. The newly announced funding allows Brake’s National Road Victim Service to deliver this support with local caseworkers.
Referrals will be made directly through the Met Police to Brake’s specially trained team of local caseworkers. The new service will work alongside TfL's Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on the transport network.
Find out more about Vision Zero for London here.