Here are 25 highlights from this year to commemorate our 25th anniversary year. None of our achievements would be possible without the support and compassion of our many members, supporters, volunteers, fundraisers, and corporate and NGO partners, helping us deliver services that are needed by so many. A huge T H A N K Y O U to you all. We know by working with others we can achieve so much more – and we hope you enjoy reading about what we have achieved together!
The sudden and traumatic experience of a road death or serious injury can be devastating and isolating, but our support services provide a lifeline at a time of crisis.
“RoadPeace has helped me so much. I’m glad there’s a place to go to when you feel so isolated and alone.” Bereaved daughter
1. New services for victims in Scotland
RoadPeace launched a new support group for bereaved families in Edinburgh. The group also held a World Day of Remembrance service in November highlighting the toll of road deaths in Scotland and the need for more support for crash victims.
2. Expanded services for victims in Merseyside
RoadPeace introduced a new support group and held another Resilience Building Programme in Merseyside thanks to funding from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. The services help families cope and reduce the feeling of isolation suffered by so many.
3. Supporting families bereaved abroad
RoadPeace introduced bi-annual support meetings for families bereaved abroad. The meeting was supported by Eve Henderson from Murdered Abroad, and we look forward to working together on our common aims of improved support, information and justice for victims.
Trying to navigate the criminal and civil justice system can often re-traumatise crash victims. RoadPeace’s information, advocacy and advice service helps families through this confusing territory.
“[We] attended the RoadPeace service at the National Arboretum and came home with vital information. Learning about RoadPeace was the saving grace that my family needed, and I very quickly felt that we had gained a support network and appropriate advisors to reach out to at a time when we truly needed help.” Bereaved sibling
4. New Guides
Thanks to funding from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, RoadPeace introduced new guides on road death investigation, inquest and serious injury collision investigation for victims in the West Midlands. Our RoadPeace North East local group was successful in getting their guide on road death and serious injury endorsed by the police and crime commissioners of Durham and Cleveland. Thank you to our local group members for their contributions to these guides.
RoadPeace remembrance activities bring bereaved families and friends together for support and solidarity to remember loved ones and highlight the devastating toll of road death.
“I attended the very moving service today. It really was a wonderful tribute to those whose lives have been so suddenly taken. I am sure that, although it was very difficult for those family members, they would have felt surrounded by love.”
London Local Authority Mayor at the London Service of Remembrance
5. Remembering lives lost and broken
We organised remembrance services at the RoadPeace Wood and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in August for National Road Victim Month, and nationwide for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in November.
The issue of justice for crash victims and road crime is regularly overlooked by policy makers and the general public. RoadPeace has been working to change this since we began 25 years ago, by amplifying the victims’ voice and raising awareness of the injustices faced by crash victims.
“RoadPeace has been a consistent and long term champion of the victims’ voice, reminding policy makers of the need to reduce road danger and for a justice system that deters offenders and ensures fair compensation for victims. Londoners are fortunate to have RoadPeace, an active supporter of the Healthy Streets and Vision Zero road danger reduction programme.” Caroline Russell, London Assembly member, Green Party Transport spokesperson, London Assembly Transport Committee
6. Justice for Cyclists
When the APPG on Cycling announced a Justice inquiry, RoadPeace responded in full. We provided background information to the APPG and gave evidence at the first oral hearing. Our response identified changes needed in the priority areas of collision investigation, criminal prosecution, civil justice, traffic law enforcement, and victims’ rights. Our calls were supported by British Cycling, Cycling UK, London Cycling Campaign, Road Danger Reduction Forum and 20s Plenty for Us.
7. Lawless Roads—increased transparency with police prosecutions
RoadPeace published the first review of police prosecutions which covered both at court and out of court prosecutions. Our Lawless Roads report revealed the impact of austerity with the shift towards the lower cost option of out of court sanctions. Unfortunately, this means fewer drivers being given penalty points and thus less deterrence.
8. Fairer compensation
We continued our fight for fairer compensation, including victims of hit and run collisions, with our judicial review of the DfT’s Motor Insurance Bureau restrictive policies which deny innocent victims compensation.
9. Causing death by driving
Our latest annual review of causing death by driving offences showed a 31% increase in convictions, and revealed the sentences received. Our annual reviews track the use of the Causing Death by Dangerous Driving and Causing Death by Careless Driving, as these have varied widely over the past decade.
10. Tackling dangerous lorries
With thanks to funding from Transport for London, we started our lorry danger reduction project training survivors to advocate for safer lorries, and spare future suffering. By sharing their testimonies and stories, our campaign is directed at the construction industry and promotes the uptake of the CLOCS standards to manage work related road risk.
11. TfL Roads Policing activity
After many years of lobbying, TfL produced the first annual review of MPS’s roads policing activity for 2015. RoadPeace’s analysis highlighted the inconsistency between boroughs, revealing the need for closer monitoring by the community. These will be annual outputs for both TfL and RoadPeace.
12. London Police and Crime Plan
The new police and crime plan for London with its inclusion of traffic law enforcement and road danger reduction should mean greater priority being given to protecting life on the roads. RoadPeace coordinated a response on behalf of our RDR partners calling for these additions, as the previous plan did not mention road traffic crime.
13. Merseyside Police and Crime Plan
Road safety has been included as a priority in the Merseyside Police and Crime plan. This is welcome news for our RoadPeace North West Group who lobbied for this change. Merseyside suffers the highest rate of pedestrian casualties in the country.
14. Road traffic crime and punishment
RoadPeace produced a series of briefings on key road traffic crimes of speeding and drink driving, highlighting the limited enforcement activity undertaken. We also published briefings on driving bans and prison, revealing how rarely both these sentence types were used.
15. National review of road death investigation
RoadPeace published the first review of road death investigation which covered the number of specialist collision investigators, national guidance, standards and how collision investigation is evaluated. RoadPeace called for quality assurance in road death investigation, including for national best practice standards to be agreed.
RoadPeace is proud to be the only membership organisation for crash victims in the UK. Our members contribute so much, despite their own suffering – whether it’s by supporting others through their grief journey, sharing their experiences to improve the justice system, or campaigning locally to prevent future victims.
‘My heartfelt appreciation for all the tireless dedicated work RoadPeace staff and volunteers commit themselves to. I am proud to be a member of RoadPeace and follower of all your amazing achievements. I am so grateful you have been there over the years for me.’
Long-standing RoadPeace member and bereaved mother
16. Pauline Fielding
Pauline’s son Andrew was killed 23 years ago in a crash caused by a driver who did not stay at the scene and who was never traced. Incredibly, the junction still remains unimproved – and has become increasingly dangerous. A petition has been started with the support of her local MP and improvements are now finally likely after many years of tenacious campaigning by Pauline. Pauline is a Trustee of RoadPeace and the North West Local group co–ordinator. Earlier this year she was commended by Merseyside Police for her many years work supporting crash victims and reducing road danger in Merseyside.
17. Lucy Harrison and Elaine Gordon
Lucy Harrison, whose brother Peter was killed, and Elaine Gordon, whose sister Georgina was killed, are campaigning to end the cruel practice of second post mortems so that other families are spared the suffering they experienced by the delayed release of the body of the deceased. They wrote to all the Coroners in England and Wales to highlight the pain this causes families.
18. Kate Uzzell
In 2011, Kate’s husband, Martyn was killed while cycling from Lands’ End to John O Groats for charity. He hit a pothole and was thrown off his bike into the path of a car. Kate joined RoadPeace, and has gone on to campaign tirelessly and with success for better highway inspections to protect cyclists. Kate is now co-ordinator of our South West Local group.
With no central government funding, we couldn’t deliver our services without the support of our amazing fundraisers. We don’t have room to mention them all here, but this is a snapshot of some of the inspiring achievements from this year.
‘It was so fantastic to have the support of you all – when I was running it really put things into perspective, that everyone was running for a reason and raising money for those who cannot compete themselves. It really gave my race a sense of purpose and I was proud to be representing RoadPeace.’ RoadPeace fundraiser
19. Going the distance in 2017
Terry Jones and friends ran from London to South Wales in memory of his sister Louise; Luke Edmonds swam the English Channel after recovering from a serious injury; Richard Evans cycled from London to Edinburgh and back again; and Ian Walker rode 4000km across Europe in The Transcontinental Race! Between them they raised over £15K!
20. In memory
The family and friends of Lulu Covey organised a music festival in her memory; Team Townend held their annual cycling sportive in the Lake District in memory of much loved and missed brothers Christian and Niggy; and Kerry Copperthwaite organised her annual Spring Sale and Tractor run in memory of her son Harry. Not only do these events raise vital funds for RoadPeace but they are a wonderful opportunity for a community to come together and honour the life of a loved one.
21. Online Raffle
For the second year running Geraldine Tunstall organised an online raffle in memory of two dear friends killed in separate crashes. This year she raised over £3300, kindly supported by her employer Boots.
22. The sky is not the limit!
Brave fundraisers Faye, in memory of her nephew Frankie, and John, in memory of his son Jonathan, did a skydive for RoadPeace.
23. A new website
24. A new Award
To commemorate 25 years of RoadPeace a new award was introduced at our AGM in recognition and appreciation of outstanding contribution to RoadPeace. The inaugural ‘RoadPeace Mansoor Chaudhry Award’ was given to RoadPeace founder and president Brigitte Chaudhry MBE.
25. A new Patron
We welcomed Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb as a new Patron of RoadPeace. She shares our vision of a world without road danger, and of a justice system that delivers fairness and compassion – and we look forward to working together to achieve these aims.
Please support our 25th anniversary fundraising appeal this Christmas, and help us mark 25 years of working for and with crash victims.
Our work helping families and campaigning for justice would simply not be possible without the generous support of our members and supporters.
A donation of £25 would help pay for us to send out an information pack to a family with guides and information on navigating the justice system. With your support, we can really make a difference to the lives of people dealing with the terrible aftermath of road death and injury.
‘RoadPeace provided such expert and compassionate advice to me throughout our case. Without it I would have felt completely lost.’ Bereaved partner
Every donation counts for RoadPeace, thank you.