Welcome to RoadPeace July e-news. The Department for Transport has recently reported the welcome news that the numbers of those killed on our roads during 2010 fell to an all time low of 1857. Compared to the previous year, 365 families, one a day, were spared the devastation of losing a loved one in a road crash. Whilst this is truly welcome news, we will not forget those families who suffered a road death last year as well as in previous years. Their loss does not diminish with time. Through our work with families who have been bereaved and injured by crashes, we know how their suffering is aggravated by the justice system's response to risk on the road. Our work continues.
Amy Aeron-Thomas, Executive Director
Rights of victims: Getting counted, getting included
Last year RoadPeace became aware that road crash victims had been excluded from the preliminary report by the Independent Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses Louise Casey into the treatment of the bereaved by the criminal justice system. Following successful lobbying by RoadPeace we were then invited to represent road crash victims on the Policy Review working group. Her recent report
calling for greater rights for the bereaved now includes those bereaved by culpable road crashes. We will continue to campaign for victims of crashes to be treated as victims of crime, with access to the same support and information rights, until it is proven following a thorough investigation that no crime was involved. At present, Victim Support will help bereaved families where there is a charge but do not help anyone injured, even where there is a criminal prosecution.
Alarm over causing death by driving charging decisions
Our fears have been confirmed. There has been a marked shift in the increased use of Causing Death by Careless Driving, and a significant drop in Causing Death by Dangerous Driving as statistics
from 2010 recently published by the Ministry of Justice illustrate. Our briefing calls for greater transparency and accountability in charging decisions and summarises the number of drivers prosecuted and convicted of causing death, along with the sentences they received, including how they have changed from 2009.
» See our website for more information
Obstructing civil justice
Crash victims will suffer under the government's proposed changes to civil compensation in its Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. Under current proposals, solicitor fees will be taken out of the claimant's compensation award, and it is also intended that these fees will be capped, which will mean that solicitors will be less likely to take on cases with potentially higher costs, for example those that may need investigating. There is more information on this damaging proposal on APIL's website
With 70% of road deaths resulting in an inquest, coroner reform is essential and long overdue. But the coalition government is proposing to abolish the position and office of the Chief Coroner. The charity Inquest
is coordinating a campaign to keep the Chief Coroner, as this is key to improving the consistency and effectiveness of inquests. RoadPeace is providing case studies that illustrate how the current system has failed those bereaved by road crashes.
The government is also conducting yet another consultation
on an even more watered-down charter for coroner courts, with responses due by September 5th. Please support our call for effective inquests by responding to this consultation.
» See our website for more information
Traffic Justice for a safer and fairer world #StreetTalk
In case you missed it first time round, you can listen
again to our presentation on the justice sector's tolerance of road danger, including the need for greater transparency and accountability, and how this plays a key role in creating a safer and fairer city.
Supporting victims of road crashes
Now in its third year, our next pioneering Resilience Building six week support programme for recently bereaved families will start in October. The programme involves small group sessions with experienced and qualified trauma specialists and aims to provide participants with a tool box of skills to help them cope with the symptoms of their traumatic bereavement. These include stress, negative thoughts, anxiety and distress, panic attacks, sleeplessness and nightmares, all of which are natural reactions to a sudden, traumatic and unnatural death.
The next session starts on October 11th in central London. Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Justice, there is no charge for attending. For more information, contact the RoadPeace office on 020 7733 1603 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Road danger reduction
365 spared the devastation of road crash
1857 people were reported
killed on Britain's roads in 2010, down 16% from 2009. Our response
to this welcome news puts this 'success' into context.
May 11 and DfT Road Safety Strategic Framework
Launched on the same day as the UN Decade of Action
for Road Safety on May 11, the DfT's Strategic Framework for Road Safety
contains only three main themes (enforcement, education and localism) and a 12 point action plan. No casualty reduction targets are to be set but casualties and casualty rates will be monitored. DfT will also be monitoring the perception of safety in whether or not people feel it is safe to walk or cycle. This has been done for many years by other countries including Denmark and Sweden.
August is National Road Victim Month, and this year we will be commemorating this with a number of events organised around the country:
RoadPeace Memorial Garden, Manchester – Friday 5th August
The service of remembrance held at the RoadPeace Memorial Garden in Beswick, Manchester will be held this year on Friday 5th August at 4pm. The RoadPeace Memorial Garden, Beswick, Manchester
is dedicated to the memories of Jodie Webb and Joanne Greenwood who died in an horrific car crash on August 6th 2000. It has been inspired by Jodie's mother, June Webb, in honour of her daughter and all others who lose their life on the roads. Situated in the Grange Community Centre, Beswick, the RoadPeace Memorial Garden offers a place of remembrance to other families.
Ceremony of Remembrance at RoadPeace Wood – Saturday 13th August
This annual gathering brings families and friends together to remember all those killed in a road crash. On Saturday 13th August we will be gathering for the annual Ceremony of Remembrance for road traffic victims at the RoadPeace Wood at the National Arboretum
, Staffordshire. The event will begin with a service in the Chapel followed by a short walk and ceremony at the RoadPeace wood, followed by refreshments. All are welcome.
Remembrance of Princess Diana and All Road Crash Victims – Wednesday 31st August
On the 14th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, RoadPeace Northwest group are again organising a Remembrance of Princess Diana and All Road Crash Victims. We will be meeting on The Rankin Steps outside Liverpool Anglican Cathedral , St James Mount, Liverpool, at 2pm. All are welcome, but please let us know email@example.com
if you are attending.
Are you a member
RoadPeace is proud to be the only membership based road victims' charity founded on the principle of road danger reduction. We rely on an active and thriving membership to support our work. Please join us and add your voice to our campaign for justice for road crash victims and road danger reduction.