Bristol MP receives road safety award

12.00 | 7 March 2014 |

Chris Skidmore, MP for Kingswood (Bristol), has received a road safety award from the charity Brake for campaigning to reform the law on dangerous driving.

Mr Skidmore began campaigning in January 2013, in response to the deaths of two of his constituents, Ross and Clare Simons, who were knocked off their tandem bike by a driver who was banned from driving and had 11 previous convictions for driving while disqualified.

Nicholas Lovell was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and received a sentence of 10 years and six months, the maximum the charge would allow, as well as a life-time driving ban. However, he could be out of jail in six years.

Together with Ross and Clare’s families, Chris Skidmore launched a campaign to ensure disqualified drivers who kill are given much stronger sentences.

As part of the campaign, they handed a petition to 10 Downing Street, with more than 15,000 signatures from supporters all over the country.

On 27 January 2014, Chris secured a backbench debate on dangerous driving, during which a number of MPs raised cases involving their own constituents who had been killed by law-breaking drivers.

Brake says that the debate “illustrated the depth of all-party support for changes in the law”.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Chris has brought this vitally important issue to the fore.

“Every day, illegal drivers end lives senselessly, inflict terrible injuries, and cause devastation to families, friends and communities.

“It is critical that sentences for these crimes properly reflect the seriousness of the devastation they cause, to ensure justice for families and to deter risky, illegal driving."

Chris Skidmore said: "Both families of the couple (Ross and Claire Simons) have worked so hard to ensure that we have raised the campaign for tougher sentences for serial dangerous drivers who are already disqualified from driving to a national level.

“We will be continuing the campaign to change the law on dangerous driving – as the debate in Parliament showed, this is something that MPs from all parties want to see happen, and now is the time for change."


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