Brigitte Chaudhry MBE
RoadPeace Founder and President

When Brigitte’s only son, Mansoor aged 26, was horrifically killed in October 1990 by a van driver who had ploughed into him whilst driving through a junction with lights already red for a long time, she was shocked at the shabby treatment of his innocent death. Brigitte quickly learnt that the response to a road death, however blameless the victim and reckless the offender, was worlds apart from the response to a violent death caused by someone in other circumstances. She protested through legal actions in the High Court – eventually three judicial reviews over five years. She found other people who were bereaved through letters in newspapers and approaches to Compassionate Friends, and she documented their experiences.

These experiences made it clear that a grave injustice was being perpetrated and suffered. Together with some of the people she met, Brigitte decided that to challenge the casual attitude to road casualties and offer support to the victims, a dedicated organisation needed to be set up, since none existed and no-one spoke up for road victims. RoadPeace's first meeting was held around Brigitte's dining table in 1991 and the organisation began in 1992 with the first ever helpline for road crash victims, which she manned at the same time as developing the organisation.

As National Secretary, Brigitte has been involved with the day-to-day work of RoadPeace for 16 years, stepping down at the 7th April 2008 conference, which celebrated RoadPeace’s 15 years of pioneering work since its public launch on the same date in 1993. Brigitte’s engagement with RoadPeace continues in her role as president, but she was also working at international level for road crash victims: from 2004 to 2010 she has been President of FEVR (European Federation of Road Traffic Victims) and in collaboration with the World Health Organisation she continued to develop and promote the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, resulting in this Day now being celebrated throughout the whole world following its adoption by the United Nations in 2005. Brigitte was at the origin of this day in 1993 and is also the author of the World Day websitelaunched in early 2008, and was its editor until December 2017.

For more of Brigitte's experiences please read the following:
Hidden Victims - how RoadPeace began Past and future challenges - Brigitte Chaudhry speech to the RoadPeace 15th Anniversary Conference

Cynthia Barlow OBE

Cynthia's only child and daughter, Alex Jane McVitty, was tragically killed on 7 June 2000, aged 26. She was cycling in the City of London when the driver of a concrete mixer lorry turned left across her path.

Cynthia's experience of the investigation, inquest and the court procedings were painfully disappointing and isolating. She was compelled to carry out her own analysis of what had happened and drew her own conclusions of the responsibilities that needed to be taken by the driver and by his employer. She bought shares in the company and attended their Annual General Meeting, speaking out about what had happened to her daughter and offering suggestions for what the company should be doing to prevent further injuries or loss of life.

Cynthia's determination and courage was met by the company agreeing to work with her to improve their vehicle and driving practices. Since then, Cynthia has been involved in many areas of road danger reduction, but is especially engaged in the dangers of HGVs to cyclists and other vulnerable road users and the responsibilities of freight operating companies. You can read more about Cynthia's experiences in this testimony to her daughter - Alex Jane McVitty testimony
In 2011 Cynthia was shortlisted as an SMK Campaigner Award Finalist.

In 2014 Cynthia was awarded an OBE for services to road safety

Nic Atkinson QC

Before retiring this year Nic practiced as a barrister for almost 50 years, more half that time as a QC, and as a part time Judge for 35 years. Nic says: 'It became clear to me many years ago that the public were very poorly served by the criminal law in respect of crashes that resulted in death. I was involved in a trial where five children sitting on a bench had been killed by a disqualified driver who lost control of his car whilst racing on a public road. At the time the maximum possible penalty faced by that driver was imprisonment for a period of 5 years.
Towards the end of that trial I was approached by a grieving father whose son had been killed in another crash and he was becoming involved in the setting up of RoadPeace. Following that approach I volunteered to assist in some way. Thereafter I spoke at the launch of the charity and at various RoadPeace events at the House of Commons and elsewhere, including abroad. I contributed to discussions on radio and television. I was pleased to be asked to become a Patron. During the Blair years I was part of RoadPeace delegations to the Home Office. Every year we received a sympathetic hearing from junior minsters who changed annually as they climbed up the political greasy pole. Little progress was made although the same silent civil servants were usually present. Death on the roads is dealt with as a Road Traffic Offence. It has always been my view as it remains that it should be dealt with as Homicide. Such a classification would reflect the views of those in society affected by these tragedies on the road and would result in greater attention and importance given to the investigation by the Police, the involvement of the CPS and the Courts.'

Pauline Fielding

As well as being a Trustee, Pauline also co-ordinates the RoadPeace North West local group. Read Pauline's moving story of how she came to be involved with RoadPeace: They Never Found My Sons Killer

David Frost

David is a survivor of a lorry crash in which both his mother and father were killed. His mother a couple of days before his 7th birthday and his father a couple of days afterwards. He had two broken legs. David has first-hand experience of the life changing impact careless driving causes. This experience has given him a deep sense of empathy and a desire to help other victims of crashes.
He was also involved in a separate hit and run, whilst cycling home from work in 2012, . He was cut up by a lorry at a junction and his bicycle went underneath. He had to take a protracted leave of absence from work to recover. The police were unable track down the vehicle so David took the investigation into his own hands. He found the company and the driver. The culprit was fined and given points on his license. To prevent further incidents like this, he took civil action. The company settled out of court, paying a substantial sum in costs and compensation. David is a life and resilience coach with a specialism in post-bereavement intervention. He is a motivational speaker, speaking in front of a wide range of audiences including school children, politicians and CEOs and will bring a wealth coaching, fundraising, policy, voluntary and charity board experience to RoadPeace.

Petra Kendall-Raynor

Petra is a journalist with 20 years' experience in print, broadcast and online news. She specialises in health and writes across publications for RCNi, the publishing company of the Royal College of Nursing. She has had articles published in the national press and previously worked for news agencies in both London and Los Angeles.
Petra started her career with internships at the Tallahassee Democrat in Florida and The Independent in London. She helped raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association by organising a photographic exhibition and auction in London, showcasing the eclectic and inspiring work of her close friend and friend’s brother, who was diagnosed with the disease. She is interested in human rights and social justice. Petra lost her father after he was hit by a car when crossing a road. She believes in the importance of prevention and awareness about road safety.

Laura Middleton-Guerard

Laura represents the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers on the RoadPeace Board of Trustees. Laura is a solicitor in the Serious Injuries Team at Irwin Mitchell's London office. Through her work, she acts for victims of preventable crashes who have sustained life changing injuries, such as head injuries, spinal injuries and severe orthopaedic trauma. The majority of these injuries are caused by road traffic crashes, where the defendant driver was drinking, on drugs, distracted, speeding, not heeding to the presence of cyclists on the roads.

Alexandra Swann

Alex is a senior marketing professional who has worked with a range of organisations over the last three decades to deliver strategic marketing and communications. She has also worked in a voluntary capacity with the City of London division of Cancer Research UK to raise funds.

Alex has first hand experience of dealing with the consequences of a fatal road crash that resulted in the death of two close relatives. As a Trustee, she is committed to using her skillset to help RoadPeace reach people in need of support and do everything she can to promote RoadPeace’s principle of road danger reduction.