Greg Mulholland, MP for North West Leeds, has been awarded a Road Safety Award by the charity Brake and Direct Line for his work campaigning for automatic licence suspension for drivers who have killed or are caught at twice the drink-drive limit. The campaign was launched by the family of Jamie Still, who was killed by a drink driver in January 2011, with backing from Greg and Brake.
In May Mulholland welcomed the announcement in the Queen’s Speech to bring the Crime and Courts Bill forward during the next year, which he hopes will include legislation on this issue.
Mulholland secured a debate in Parliament on 17 July to try to persuade the government to include provisions on bail conditions for those charged with dangerous or careless driving. Victims minister Crispin Blunt congratulated Greg on his campaign and informed him guidance for courts was being reviewed and would be published for public consultation later in the year. He said he expected it will recommend a no-drive bail condition if a defendant is considered a danger to other road users.
Mulholland pledges to continue his work with Jamie’s family to see this law changed.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Greg’s support of Jamie Still’s family and their campaign has been instrumental in bringing their cause to Parliament, so we’re pleased to recognise his efforts through this award. It’s unacceptable that those charged with causing death by dangerous or careless driving do not have their licence automatically suspended. It means reckless, selfish drivers are allowed to keep driving, sometimes for many months, risking further casualties. That’s why we’re backing Greg and the family of Jamie Still in their campaign to change the law and protect the public from dangerous drivers who don’t deserve to be behind the wheel.”
Mulholland said: “The unimaginable loss Jamie’s family suffered when he was killed on New Year’s Eve 2010 was compounded by having to endure eight months knowing that the man who killed him was allowed to continue driving, despite the clear recklessness of his actions. The campaign instigated by Jamie’s sister, Rebecca, brings the question of removing driving licences as a bail condition in such cases to the fore.
“We need this change, and I hope that our continuing efforts will ensure that those who drive dangerously, or carelessly, and go on to kill will have their licenses suspended as a condition of bail. As an MP I am in a privileged position to be able to raise issues like this and I am pleased to have been able to do this on behalf of the family of Jamie and I am pleased to accept this award from Brake.”