by Steve Beasant on 20 March, 2015
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland on Wednesday 18th March led the launch of a-manifesto on delivering proper justice for victims of criminal driving and their families. The launch was attended by parliamentarians, campaigners and families including constituents Peter Strong and Rebecca Still (photo on right), relatives of 16 year-old Otley resident Jamie Still killed in December 2010.
[Click HERE to view the manifesto]
This follows a roundtable event Mulholland organised and chaired in Parliament on 1st December which brought together a cross-party range of MPs and peers, who also brought along local families affected by criminal driving. The event was also attended by organisations such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists, and road safety charities RoadPeace and Brake.
The manifesto was written by Greg Mulholland MP and his office, based on evidence from the families, working closely with Brake. It sets out a number of changes being called for, from tougher punishments for dangerous drivers, better support for victims, improved investigations of collisions, and many other measures.
Greg Mulholland has been a long time campaigner for better justice for victims of criminal driving. In 2012, he was named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year by the charity Brake. He also laid a parliamentary motion, signed by 23 MPs in total, to mark National Road Victim Month which occurred last August.
His campaigning on this issue began after 16 year-old constituent, Otley resident Jamie Still, was killed in December 2010 by a drunk driver speeding while twice over the alcohol limit. The driver was eventually jailed for four years. David and Dorothy Metcalf of Tinshill, 68 and 65 years old respectively, were also killed in January 2012 after a drunk driver, also twice over the legal alcohol limit, drove into the back of their car at 100mph.
The manifesto has been sent to Home Secretary Theresa May, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. Put together with cross-party support, the manifesto has also been sent to all MPs and all three of the main political parties.
Commenting, Greg Mulholland MP said:
“Sadly we still see many incidents of criminal driving, which can result in the most tragic consequences.
“This has particularly been the case for my constituents Jamie Still, David and Dorothy Metcalf, who very sadly lost their lives but their families have had to fight for proper justice to be delivered.
“This manifesto has been put together with cross-party support and by many organisations and families. The families in particular deserve a huge thanks for their courage in contributing their views and experiences- this is what has allowed the manifesto to be put together. It has been sent to ministers, and we will all now be campaigning for key reforms to give families across the country the justice they deserve.”
Alok Sharma MP added:
“I was delighted to take part in the launch of the criminal driving manifesto for change. The manifesto contains a significant number of extremely pertinent issues which need to be taken into account as part of the Ministry of Justice’s review into driving related offences and I am pleased to back this campaign which seeks to redress the balance of justice in favour of victims and their families.”
Peter Strong, grandfather of Jamie Still, also added:
“We are very pleased as a family on how hard Greg has worked and supported us in our campaign, and now with so many other people also involved, we feel things are moving forward and we know Greg will continue to lobby for change.”
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity, added:
“Greg has been a fantastic champion for reform of criminal driving charges and penalties, and for better justice for victims and their families. We are proud to support the launch of this manifesto, which echoes many of the calls of Brake’s crackdown campaign.
“Through the support Brake offers to bereaved and injured road crash victims, we see every day the devastating impact these crimes have, and the way many are left feeling betrayed by the failings of the justice system. We are hopeful that this manifesto will help provide the impetus for meaningful and long-lasting change, moving us towards a justice system, and a society, that takes road crimes seriously and helps prevent more tragedies in the future.”Leave a comment