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Brake announces the winners of its road safety 'Parliamentarians of the Year Awards'

The UK’s independent national road safety charity, Brake, has announced the winners of its annual Parliamentarians of the Year Awards. The awards recognize the contributions of parliamentarians to tackling road casualties. David Stewart, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, received the ‘National Campaigner’ Award and Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, received the ‘Community Campaigner’ Award.

Stewart won his award for his work campaigning to introduce Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) and stop deaths among young people on roads. In June 2010, he launched a campaign group, ‘North of Scotland Driving Awareness Team’, bringing people together from different sectors and the community to improve road safety for young people. They introduced awareness-raising initiatives, such as hard-hitting posters on buses. In December he began a petition, receiving widespread public support, calling on the Government to listen to the evidence and introduce Graduated Driver Licensing. On receiving his award, Stewart commented, “I am delighted to receive such a prestigious national award, but it is not only for me, but for my campaign team. Making our roads safer for drivers of all ages and pedestrians is a cause I am proud to follow and I will continue to try to do this.”

McCabe won the award for his determination that it should be safe for children to get to all the schools in his constituency. One of them had been campaigning for a crossing on a busy arterial route for years, with no success, despite the level of local support and clear evidence that it was needed. McCabe stepped in and made representations to the council, but his plea was rejected. He then took the unusual step of dressing up as a lollipop man. He used the media attention to highlight the dangers faced by children, the fear of their parents and the inaction of the local council. Soon after, the council agreed to install the crossing that residents had been demanding for the past 10 years. He is now campaigning for 20mph zones around schools, nurseries, elderly people’s homes and places where there are other vulnerable road users in Birmingham.

Julie Townsend, Brake’s campaigns director, said, “Thanks to the efforts of David, Steve and many others, we are seeing important policies discussed and action taken to make roads safer. Brake would like to congratulate them and wish them luck with their important ongoing campaigning - pushing for vital action to tackle the needless waste of young lives on our roads. We thank all parliamentarians who have lobbied for road safety measures last year, and look forward to working with them in 2011, especially as we move into a global Decade of Action on Road Safety.”

 

January 24, 2011

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