Awards recognising the contributions of parliamentarians in tackling road casualties and achieving justice and support for crash victims were presented by the charity Brake at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last week, sponsored by Direct Line.
Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, received the National Campaigner Award for his successful campaign for justice for families who experience the devastation of a serious injury at the hands of a dangerous driver.
When elected in 2010, Karl was approached by the father of constituent Katie Harper. Katie and her mother were hit by an overtaking vehicle. Katie, 23, suffered horrendous injury and had to spend months in hospital, including multiple breaks to her pelvis, two broken arms, facial injury and serious nerve damage to her leg. Her injuries still affect her mobility. Her mother was left with permanent injuries to her hands. Her father had to retire early to provide round the clock care.
Karl was moved to use his influence to rectify the lack of justice for families who have been affected by serious injury on roads.
Following Karl's campaign, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced a new charge of 'causing serious injury by dangerous driving' earlier this month.
Karl Turner commented: "I am proud and honoured to have won Brake and Direct Line's Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year 2011 Award. Brake does some wonderful campaigning work for road safety and I would like to thank Brake for its support in my campaign.
"I am delighted that I have been able to effect change in the law and the government have agreed to create a new law of Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving. This law will carry a maximum sentence of five years.
"I believe that this change will put the victim at the heart of the judicial process and the sentence more fairly reflects the terrible damage and suffering that can be caused by dangerous driving.
"I hope that this small change in the law will have a huge impact on the victims and families of dangerous driving."
Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood, received the Community Campaigner Award for his campaign for safety improvements on the A614, a road plagued with devastating casualties.
Mark supported the campaign for years, as an MP and before as a parliamentary candidate. Frustrated with the lack of action, he took the campaign to Westminster to fight for improvements.
Following Mark's intervention, a reduced speed limit and improved signage was introduced on the road. Although it was a great breakthrough, Mark believes there is still work to be done and will continue to fight for further improvements.
Mark Spencer said: "I'm pleased to say that statistically we seem to be making progress with improving the safety record of the A614 and a new 50mph speed limit order is in place between Ollerton Roundabout and Leapool Roundabout as a casualty reduction scheme.
"The challenge now is to ensure the enforcement of the speed limit and I have spoken with local police about ensuring this. There is still work to be done, particularly at the worst of the junctions, and I will continue to fight for improvements for those at Rose Cottage and Mickledale Lane."
The Awards were presented by Julie Townsend, Brake's deputy chief executive, and Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line, 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's deputy chief executive, said: "In 2011, these parliamentarians worked incredibly hard to achieve positive outcomes for their constituents and communities across the UK. Both have championed the cause of road safety and seen major breakthroughs as a result, contributing to improved safety on our roads and helping to reduce the terrible trauma suffered by crash victims. Moving into 2012, efforts like these are ever more important, if we are to tackle the resurgent death and injury toll on our roads. Brake commends both MPs for their valiant work which has, and will continue to, make a real difference to people's lives."
Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line, 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 and it's great to recognise that. Direct Line is committed to reducing death and injury on UK roads and we're particularly focussed this year on work which will help young drivers to drive more safely."
Posted January 16th, 2012 at 0945 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: email@example.com