This week the Hillsborough inquest conclusion has reminded us of the importance of never giving up on the fight for truth and justice. Read on to find out the latest from our campaign for justice on behalf of road crash victims.
We also hope you will join us at our Annual General Meeting on Friday 17th June in central London to find out more about our plans for the future of RoadPeace. We have an exciting programme planned.
Please do help spread the word about RoadPeace by forwarding this e-news to anyone you know who may be interested in our work.
With best wishes
From the RoadPeace Team
Campaign for Justice
Driving offences review this year?
Dominic Rab, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, has announced that the government intends to consult on 'the full range of driving offences. It is important to ensure that there is proper accountability, as well as consistency between bespoke sentences for offences in this area and wider sentencing, particularly for homicide offences
.’ This was in response to a question posed by Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, on reviewing the sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.
This review is long overdue. A full review of driving offences was promised
almost two years ago and was to include not just sentencing of drivers but also the offences and their charging standards.
>> Click here to see the debate
>> To be reminded of the overlap and confusion between careless and dangerous driving, see RoadPeace’s 'You say careless, I say dangerous' campaign
Truth and Justice: Lessons and inspiration from the Hillsborough families
The Hillsborough inquest verdict of unlawful killing as well as the exoneration of blame from the Liverpool fans show how important it is to never give up the fight for truth and justice. We should all take inspiration from the Hillsborough families who fought for 27 years to get truth and justice for their loved ones. Our members empathised with them, as they too have suffered from victim blaming and insensitive treatment by the justice system. Julie Fallon, the bereaved sister, stated “ Through 27 years of stress and trauma, we have led the way for others seeking truth and justice for ordinary people. That is our legacy”.
And we are thrilled that the Hillsborough families were able to secure an unlawful killing verdict. This option is denied to those killed in crashes, including those where the culpable driver died or absconded and could not be brought to justice.
>> Read Julie’s article in full
>> See the Chief Coroner’s law sheet on Unlawful Killing
Supporting families after road death and injury
New services in the West Midlands
RoadPeace is holding the first local group meeting in Birmingham on Wednesday 29th June 2016, thanks to funding from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
RoadPeace local groups offer ongoing peer support to those bereaved by a road crash as well as the opportunity to learn about action as the local level.
>> If you would like to attend or for more information, please contact Belina
in the RoadPeace office.
Safer streets for all
RoadPeace Safer Lorries campaign
Each month we will bring you an update from our Safer Lorries campaign – RoadPeace’s long standing campaign to reduce lorry danger, dedicated to saving lives.
Earlier this week RoadPeace Chair Cynthia Barlow, who has campaigned tirelessly on this issue since her daughter was killed by a left turning lorry in 2000, spent a morning with the London Freight Enforcement Partnership. This is a new initiative from the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, DVSA and Transport for London aimed at getting dangerous lorries off our streets.
Set up last year, the partnership aims to ensures that information is shared between agencies on companies or drivers which are potentially a cause for concern. This allows for targeted enforcement by the Police and DVSA operations aimed at those drivers, vehicles, or operating companies which need to be monitored, and their compliance with the law checked.
‘A continuous flow of vehicles were brought in for compliance checking. There were indeed many problems detected, including no licence, no insurance, defective vehicles, excessive loads, a vehicle which didn’t have the additional mirrors and sideguards which are a requirement for lorries coming into London. In March this year 1,483 vehicles were checked and just 42% were compliant, the majority did indeed have problems which represented a danger to the public.
We need to send out the message that these checks are happening and that there are serious consequences for companies which persistently flout the law.’
>> Find out more about the London Freight Enforcement Partnership
Better justice for cyclists and walkers
Please take action and support our call for better justice for cyclists and walkers by responding to the government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). The draft strategy includes proposals for better streets, better safety and better mobility, but does not address the need for traffic justice reform. Please respond by 23 May.
>> Find out more about the consultation
>> See RoadPeace's key calls and background information
Scotland Road Safety Strategic Plan
Transport Scotland has updated its road safety plan. Despite being based on the Safe System approach which includes the post crash response, there are no actions included to improve the justice system, e.g. collision investigation, criminal prosecution and sentencing, or civil compensation. RoadPeace will be urging them to amend this key omission.
>> To see a copy of Scotlands’s new plan
>> To see the DfT’s British Road Safety Statement for comparison
RoadPeace Annual General Meeting and Conference
Another reminder that our AGM is taking place on Friday 17th June
in central London from 3.30pm-8pm. Our AGM is an opportunity for you to
- hear about the impact RoadPeace has had over the past year
- help us shape our future priorities
- find out more about our new campaign to improve the quality of road death and injury investigations
- hear from external speakers, including Vernon Everitt, from Transport for London (TfL), who will be speaking about TfL’s pioneering new bus safety programme, and Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulescombe on our All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice on Our Roads
- and meet other RoadPeace members and the staff and Trustee team over refreshments.
We hope to see you there. All RoadPeace members will be sent an invitation and programme during May, so if you are not yet a member of RoadPeace, now is the time to join us!
>> Please RSVP to let us know if you are coming
Ceremony of Remembrance at the RoadPeace Wood
Please make a note of the date for this year’s Ceremony of Remembrance at the RoadPeace Wood at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, which is taking place on Saturday 13th August.
All are invited to attend this annual ceremony where we gather to remember lives lost and broken on our roads.
During a short service in the Chapel, names of those being remembered are read out. This is followed by a short walk to the RoadPeace woodland, where members have dedicated trees to loved ones killed in crashes. The ceremony offers an opportunity to reflect quietly in the peaceful and tranquil setting of the arboretum, as well as the chance to meet others who have come to remember loved ones. All are welcome to join us, and you don’t need to have a dedicated tree to attend.
>> Contact us if you are unable to attend but would like the name of a loved one read out as part of the service.
City of London rows for RoadPeace
On Saturday 7th May 2016 a crew of 9 from the City of London Corporation will be rowing 20 miles from St Katherine’s Dock to Teddington to raise money for four charities including RoadPeace. None of the crew are in any way experienced rowers - so this will be a personal challenge for every member of the team.
If you are in London on the day please look out for them - and support them along the Thames and on the bridges!
>> Support the rowers
RoadPeace is proud to be the only membership based road victims' charity, founded on the principle of justice for road crash victims and road danger reduction. Road crash victims are at the heart of who we are and what we do - and we rely on an active and thriving membership to support our work. Please become a member today.
Dates for your diary
• RoadPeace North East group meeting – contact David
for more information
• RoadPeace North West group meeting - Wednesday 4th May
• RoadPeace London support group meeting - Tuesday 10th May
• RoadPeace Northampton group meeting – Wednesday 18th May
• RoadPeace South West group meeting – please contact Steve
for more information
RoadPeace Annual General Meeting - Friday 17th June 2016
Ceremony of Remembrance at the RoadPeace Wood - Saturday 13th August 2016
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims - Sunday 19th November 2016