A number of individuals saw their efforts to improve road safety recognised by Brake and Direct Line at the road safety charity’s annual awards ceremony last night (24 February).
Parliamentarians, campaigners, educators and volunteers all picked up awards for what Brake described as tireless work to help prevent devastating road crashes.
The ceremony was held at the Houses of Parliament with the awards presented by Deborah Johnson, chair of Brake’s board of trustees, and Steve Maddock, managing director of claims and business services for Direct Line.
Iris Yee picked up Brake’s ‘Campaigner of the Year’ Award, while Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, was named ‘Parliamentarian of the Year’.
Sergeant Simon Castle was the inaugural winner of a new award category, ‘Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety Week’.
Mary Williams, OBE, founder and chief executive of Brake, said: “This has been an evening where we have focused on people – those affected by the devastating loss of loved ones and those who seek to prevent such tragedies from happening.
“The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond, showing great determination to make a difference in their communities and across the country, and achieving real results.”
Andrew Jones, road safety minister, who attended the event, said: “Every life lost on our roads is a tragedy and one too many.
“It is a tribute to the tireless work of those being honoured tonight that Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to improve that record.”
Campaigner of the Year: Iris Yee lost her partner in a road crash in 2013 and since then has campaigned to try and make roads safer by educating others. Over the last year she has dedicated a significant amount of time to supporting Brake’s work training police family liaison officers.
Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety Week: Sergeant Simon Castle received this award for his year-round work to educate all road users on life-saving safety messages. Sgt Castle played a key role in organising Brake’s 2015 Road Safety Week through his work with the Met Police’s cycle safety team. Brake says he went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of the event and engage the public with the ‘drive less, live more’ theme.
Parliamentarian of the Year: Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, has been recognised for his campaign to improve justice for victims of road crashes. In January, Mr Mulholland launched his Criminal Driving Bill (Justice for Victims) under the 10-minute rule in the Commons earlier this year.
Brake’s Fundraisers of the Year: Claire and Callum Smart raised more than £20,000 through “Doing it for Dan – Virtual Race”. In June 2015, 11-year-old Daniel Climance tragically died when he was hit by a road sweeper while out riding his bike. To keep Dan’s memory alive, his best friend 11-year-old Callum Smart and his mum Claire organised the virtual race. It was so successful it spread to six continents, with more than 1,000 runners from as far afield as Qatar, New Zealand and the United States running, raising more than £20,000 for Brake in Dan’s memory.