Writing for this week’s (February 18th), Rachel said:
“As a former transport minister, I have been moved by the many personal stories of terrible road incidents and fatal collisions shared with me, including by my own constituents. Ensuring Redditch remains a safe place to live, work, and travel within has always been a top priority of mine.
“The aftermath of a road crash can be devastating for victims and their families. The avoidability of these crashes is often striking.
“In order to make our roads safer, I have met with ministers in the Department for Transport and Ministry of Justice to raise the issue of failing to remain at the scene of a fatal or serious injury collision, and to report in time to be tested for impairment.
“I believe there is more to be done to upgrade our road safety legislation and so I have lobbied ministers to introduce several changes to current legislation including a reduction in the reporting period; a new criminal offence of failing to remain at the scene of a fatal or serious injury collision; and a change in terminology with reference to collision or crash and not accident.
“Last week I met with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport Baroness Vere. I was pleased to welcome her commitment to review current legislation relating to road safety and fatal collisions in the Road Traffic Act 1998.
“A call for evidence is scheduled to take place later this year and I will encourage constituents and stakeholders to share their views when its release. In the meantime, I will continue discussions with ministers and officials at the Department for Transport and Ministry of Justice to ensure the scope of the consultation is appropriate.
“I would like to thank Councillor Lucy Harrison for her tireless campaigning on this issue. It is because of Lucy’s work and the work of the charity RoadPeace that this issue has been pushed to the top of the agenda. I believe change is possible, and if progress is made it will be thanks to the work of Lucy and charities like RoadPeace.
“I am grateful to the police and traffic enforcement for all their commendable work to prevent dangerous driving and I will work to ensure they are given the opportunity to shape the consultation before its release.”