Charity aims to raise awareness of road dangers
Specialist personal injury lawyers from law firm Irwin Mitchell are supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the potential dangers on the region's roads.
August marks RoadPeace's National Road Victim Month. The charity, which provides support for victims of road crashes and campaigns for justice for injured parties, aims to raise awareness of the 3,000 people killed and 500,000 injured on the UK's roads every year.
"The figures paint a bleak picture," says Stephen Nye, Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham, who represents many families dealing with the loss of loved ones, many due to wholly avoidable collisions on the roads.
“Despite vigorous campaigning by charitable organisations such as Roadpeace, and Government programmes to raise awareness, the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads remain unacceptably high. Drivers still fail to appreciate the potential consequences of their actions and disturbingly drink and drugs continue to be a common factor in serious road traffic crashes.”
One family who have endured the tragedy of losing a loved one in a road crash are the Critchleys from Northfield, Birmingham.
On 4th January 2009, 77 year old John Critchley was driving to Chamberlains in Oldbury where he worked as a security guard. As he was correctly proceeding at a crossroads of the A4040 at Portland Road in Edgbaston , he was struck at high speed by a Lexus vehicle being driven by Amaar Shabir. Mr Critchley was killed instantly.
Following an investigation by West Midlands police, it was found that Mr Shabir from Moseley, Birmingham, had been driving under the influence of alcohol. On 11th May 2009 he was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving and was imprisoned for 8 years, as well as being banned from driving for 10 years
“Although the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence, it is of little comfort to Mr Critchley’s widow, Alice, and his children Michelle,Christine, Sarah and Gary, who are still coming to terms with their great loss,” said Mr Nye.
“We are now representing the family in respect of their civil claim arising from the incident. Whilst this will ultimately provide the family with both justice and some financial security, it will of course never make up for their loss.
“The family know only too well what the tragic consequences of drink driving can be and are giving their full support to National Road Victim Month, in the hope that similar tragedies may be avoided in the future.”
August was chosen as National Road Victim Month, as it marks the first ever death by a car which took place on August 17 1896. The month also saw the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 and there are increased risks of children being injured or killed while off school as well as holidaymakers being involved in a car crashes.
RoadPeace is staging a number of memorial events across the country in support of the awareness month.
August 8 sees a ceremony taking place between 2pm and 5pm at the RoadPeace Wood, National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
For further information please visit the RoadPeace website