Every year, August marks National Road Victim Month – a time for remembering those who have been tragically killed or injured in road traffic accidents, whilst raising awareness to promote road safety in the future.
RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims in the UK. Set up in 1992 by a mother whose son was killed by a red light offender, they provide information and support services to people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes, and engage in evidence based policy and campaigning work to fight for justice for victims and reduce road danger.
The month August is significant for the charity and cause as it has traditionally seen the highest number of deaths on British roads. Furthermore, the RoadPeace site highlights several poignant historical road traffic accidents that occurred in August, including:
- Scientist Mary Ward, who was killed when she fell under the wheels of an experimental steam car on 31st August, 1869
- Bidget Driscoll, the first person to be killed by a car in the UK, 17th August 1896
- Princess Diana was killed in a road traffic accident on 31st August, 1997
Their campaign for justice –
“RoadPeace works to reform the justice system. Our aim is for improvements in the way the justice system responds to crashes, for victims to be treated better and safer roads. We campaign on victims’ rights, collision investigation, inquests, criminal prosecution and sentencing, and civil compensation. We monitor developments, analyse the evidence and lobby for a justice system that reduces danger.”
Awareness is Key
In 2017, figures showed that the number of people killed on Britain’s roads reached a five-year high. Some 1,792 deaths were recorded in road traffic accidents in 2016, up 4% on the previous year and the most since 2011.
The Charity stresses that the aftermath of a road crash is devastating. “We help bereaved families cope and build resilience through peer support, our local group network, befriending service and trauma support programmes. We also provide information guides on navigating the justice system and help with seeking fair compensation for bereaved families and seriously injured victims.”
This year, the RoadPeace Wood memorial has been planted at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, and a remembrance service will be held on Saturday 11th August 2018, from 2PM.
Road Safety Week is another awareness programme and is possibly the UK’s biggest road safety charity. The week aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the Week and beyond. It also provides a focal point for professionals working in road safety to boost awareness and engagement in their work.
This year, Road Safety Week will take place between 19th – 25th November 2018.