Richard Cuerden, Brake trustee and director of the UK’s TRL Academy, opened the reception with a thank you to supporters and to Slater & Gordon, OCU, Bolt Burdon Kemp, and Alderstone for sponsoring the event.
Brake’s Interim CEO, Ross Moorlock acknowledged the vital work of Brake’s National Road Victim Service, the charity’s long history of campaigns for change and its hopes for the future. In his address, Ross emphasised the importance of members of the road safety community working together for safe and sustainable solutions that meet all needs, as well as the vital need to continue to fund and deliver the National Road Victim Service, supporting those who have been bereaved or suffered catastrophic injuries in a crash. He reminded those in attendance of the severity of five people dying on UK roads each day, and announced plans for Road Safety Week in November to challenge this statistic.
Jeremy Philips, Director of Road Safety at National Highways, spoke about their work with Brake to push towards safer road networks and work towards Vision Zero.
Chris and Nicole Taylor, bereaved parents of road crash victim Rebecca, spoke about the practical actions we can all take, such as keeping within the speed limit, replacing tyres when they are below 3mm of wear and reporting road defects. They also spoke passionately about the need for a progressive licensing system – a call that Brake made with their recent report on driver testing and education – which will help young drivers gain experience whilst being safeguarded from the dangers of the road.
Ross Moorlock continued: “Being able to get around our communities, and between places, without fear of death and injury, and in ways that are good for our health and the planet, is everyone’s concern. We must now all work together to achieve our shared goal of ending the daily deaths and serious injuries on our roads. But talk is cheap – and now is the time for action.
“Our cause cannot be a battleground between different road users or organisations. We must work collaboratively for safe and sustainable solutions that meet all needs. And we must work to deliver tangible progress and outcomes.
“While people continue to die and suffer catastrophic injury on the UK’s roads Brake will continue to do everything we can to support road crash victims.”
Guests on the evening included Brake’s charity partners from across corporate, legal and fleet industries, other road safety NGOs and stakeholders as well as road victims and campaigners.