The road safety charity Brake has honoured a number of individuals for their efforts to raise awareness of road safety and help prevent collisions.
Brake’s annual awards, which were presented at the charity’s annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last week (25 Jan), went to Liz McInnes MP – parliamentarian of the year, Dawn (pictured right) and Ian (left) Brown-Lartey – campaigner of the year and Michelle Livesey (centre) – outstanding contribution to road safety by a journalist.
The awards were presented by Deborah Johnson, chair of Brake’s board of trustees, and Gus Park from Direct Line Group, Brake’s partner for the annual event which is designed to ‘celebrate the work of everyone involved in UK road safety’.
Gary Rae, director of campaigns and communications at Brake, said: “Our annual awards are an opportunity for Brake to thank all of its supporters for their hard work, and to recognise individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to improve road safety.”
The winners – and why they received an award
Parliamentarian of the Year: Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton
Liz McInnes was recognised for supporting Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey’s campaign to achieve justice for victims of road crime.
Ms McInnes made representations in the Commons, and also behind the scenes with ministers, on behalf of the Brown-Larteys. She also actively campaigned in the media to raise awareness of the need for a sentencing review for road crimes, and passionately supported Brake’s Roads to Justice campaign.
Liz McInnes MP said: “I am incredibly humbled to receive this award. Many other campaigners including MPs from all parties, and of course wonderful organisations including Brake, have also worked tremendously hard to give this issue the attention it deserves.”
Campaigner of the Year: Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey
Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey lost their 25-year-old son Joseph when a speeding driver ran a red light at more than 80 miles per hour. Shocked at the sentence given to the person who killed Joseph, they resolved to campaign for tougher jail sentences, and working with their local radio station launched the #JusticeforJoseph campaign.
The couple also endorsed Brake’s #RoadstoJustice campaign and gave permission for the car in which Joseph died to be used to help launch the campaign, which Brake says was its most successful-ever launch event.
Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey said: "Working with the Brake team this year has been so rewarding and we could not have achieved this alone. Brake do such a great job and their work is so necessary."
Outstanding Contribution by a Journalist to Road Safety: Michelle Livesey
The winner of this new award, introduced this year to recognise the important contribution that journalists can make to road safety campaigning, is Michelle Livesey of KEY 103.
Michelle became involved in the #JusticeforJoseph campaign very early on, helping the Brown-Larteys spread the campaign message and securing attention from other journalists and politicians
Michelle also became involved in Brake’s #RoadstoJustice campaign, and her involvement was described as ‘instrumental to the campaign’s success’.
Michelle Livesey said: "This award was totally unexpected. My work is about making sure people’s voices are heard and this can only be done as part of a team. The Roads to Justice campaign has captured the attention of the public and Government – now we must all keep fighting for the law to be changed."