Commenting ahead of the debate, Brake’s chief executive, Mary Williams OBE, said: “On the first day of National Road Safety Week, it is no coincidence that this important debate is happening in Parliament, and no surprise that the petition that preceded it has had so many signatures.
“There are an estimated 100 or more cases of hit and runs every day across the UK; and those that result in deaths or serious injuries cause untold heartache to families, and also to the emergency services who can’t get there in time to provide vital emergency care and save lives.
“People are dying in agony due to the selfish behaviour of lawless drivers who flee the scene of crashes. Penalties for such appalling behaviour should be tough, making it clear to all drivers involved in crashes that it is vital to stay, call the emergency services, and help as much as possible. This will send the message to society that road deaths matter as much as homicides and terrorism, and lives can be saved by swift action.
“Road Safety Week is about celebrating the work of road safety heroes. Ryan Saltern’s family, and other victim families, are heroes for speaking up for road justice. Our emergency services are heroes for policing and saving lives on roads. The Government is being heroic by re-considering its road safety strategy and undertaking road safety measures such as funding cycle paths and the National Road Victim Service. Government is saying it is exploring options regarding justice in hit and runs.
“In line with the recommendation in the Safe Roads for All report this summer, submitted by Brake and other road safety experts to the Department for Transport, Government has an opportunity to review road traffic laws and sentencing guidelines and their impact on victim families and close loopholes like this one that re-traumatise families who expect justice, and don’t get it.”
The Highway Code contains advice about what to do to help at the scene of a crash including:
- if there’s no response, open the casualty’s airway by placing your fingers under their chin and lifting it forward.
- if there is bleeding and no imbedded object, applying padding and pressure to stem the flow.