Over 30 bereaved families have come together with the RoadPeace West Midlands local group, to launch a collection of moving stories in memory of their loved ones lost on the roads – and demand a change to improve safety and reduce road danger. They also call for improved justice for crash victims.
The local West Midlands group of the national charity, RoadPeace, who support and advocate for crash victims, has launched an anthology of stories, poems, drawings and photographs from over 30 bereaved families and others, including members of the emergency services personnel and MPs, who have all been impacted by road crashes in our region.
With a foreword from Baroness Helen Newlove, former Victims’ Commissioner and campaigner, the anthology Heartbreak, Hope and a Call for Change reflects on the terrible impact that road death has, conveying the heartbreak each family endures and the hope they so desperately seek to find, as well as calling for society to stop accepting these needless deaths.
The book has been produced in partnership with specialist injury solicitors, CFG Law, who support families who have been bereaved through road traffic collisions.
The launch took place on Friday 10th September, at St Martin in the Bull Ring, with many of the bereaved families in attendance. The day was marked with a service, where contributors, including Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham, Erdington, RoadPeace West Midlands Group members, and the emergency services shared their stories which demonstrate the devastating impact of road crashes across the region and beyond.
Bereaved families and emergency services gathered at the launch event.
Lucy Harrison, the RoadPeace West Midlands Coordinator, who lost her brother, Peter Price, in November 2014 after a speeding hit-and-run driver struck him, was one of the key motivators behind creating the anthology and said: “At first, this project was about giving a voice to our members who have all suffered the injustice of losing someone we love in a road crash.
As we started to develop the idea, we realised this was about so much more than just remembering those people, and we knew we had to create something that told their stories loud and clear and would make people take notice.
We want society to wake up to the devastation that road crashes cause and stop accepting them as both accidental and inevitable. It’s time for a change, for people to recognise driving offences as real crimes, and for everyone to take responsibility on the roads to reduce road crashes to stop even more unnecessary heartache for families.
Sadly, we know that more people will die on our roads, and this anthology is also for those families who will be left behind in the future until we tackle these issues effectively.”
RoadPeace West Midlands’ Facilitator, Jane Evans, whose husband was killed in 2004 by a hit-and-run driver who has never been found, also helped the project come to fruition, said: “This has been such a special project to work on with our members coming together to remember all our loved ones who have been killed as a result of road crashes.
Remembering someone lost in this way is so vital, and what better way to do that than by putting our stories together and creating this book.”
Polly Herbert, partner at CFG Law who worked with the RoadPeace West Midlands group to help produce the anthology and has shared her own personal experiences of working with bereaved families in the book, said: “When Jane and Lucy approached us about the idea for this anthology, we agreed to support them immediately.
Even if we weren’t quite sure at the time what it might look or feel like, we knew this was something we wanted to get behind and support RoadPeace in raising awareness, as well as support other families who have sadly been bereaved or injured as a result of road traffic collisions.
As the poems, pictures and articles came in, it was impossible not to take a moment with each submission and reflect on the life of a loved one. It’s been a real honour to work alongside Jane and Lucy, and all the members at RoadPeace West Midlands in pulling this together, and we hope it has as much of an impact on those who read it as it did for us in producing it.”
The book will now be shared throughout the UK to help people understand the impact of road deaths and bring action for change on our roads.
To find out more about receiving a copy of the anthology, please visit https://info.cfglaw.co.uk/roadpeace.
RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims in the UK. If you have been impacted by bereavement or serious injury as a result a road collision, visit www.roadpeace.org.
For more information, please contact CFG Law’s Marketing and Communications Team on 0161 437 9999 or email Emma.Yemm@cfglaw.co.uk