Roadpeace lobby work wins ear of committee

Roadpeace, organiser of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims last Sunday, is celebrating a small victory in its campaign for traffic accident victims after the Parliamentary Transport Committee called for a "radical overhaul" of motoring offences.

Director Ben Tansley said a central issue for the charity is the lack of serious consequences for motorists who cause injury or death. "There is a growing perception that drivers who kill are not being charged with causing death," he said.

Zoe Stow, the charity's chairwoman, added that both the law and wider society trivialise dangerous driving. When a motorist causes a death, often the charge is only driving without due care and attention. "That's like driving into a lamppost," Stow said.

Harsher penalties were in place until the Road Traffic Act weakened the law. Stow said lawmakers believed juries wouldn't convict drivers of manslaughter: "The fear of the average motorist is that one day, some drunk will jump in front of their car and they'll be charged with manslaughter," Stow said.

Roadpeace is striving to get the laws toughened up again. The Transport Committee interviewed Roadpeace for its recent report, which included a section on victims, and recommended changes.

On Sunday, religious services across the UK honoured those who have suffered in road crashes.

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