Darlington MP awarded for boosting road safety for young drivers

Written by: Abaranji Sivakumar, Last updated:14th February 2022

Photo: honglouwawa/iStock

A Darlington MP has been officially recognised for her efforts in improving road safety in their constituency.

Jenny Chapman was awarded the Brake and Direct Line Group Parliamentarian Award for July for her campaigning efforts to save the lives of young drivers, which were inspired following a tragic crash in her Darlington constituency.

She has coordinated road safety groups, insurers and fellow parliamentarians around this cause, and hopes to agree measures that can achieve cross-party support and make a positive change to the safety of the UK’s young drivers.

Jenny first raised the issue of young driver safety during PMQs back in February, proposing that the government look at the merits of introducing a system of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) in the UK.

Since then, Jenny has met with road safety groups to gain insight on the issue of young driver safety and all this hard work paid off in late June with the first meeting of the Young Driver Safety Group in parliament.

The group aims to raise the profile and awareness of this issue over summer and gather support ahead of the Autumn Parliamentary session.

In Britain, 25 young drivers are killed or seriously injured on our roads every week.

Jenny Chapman

Those aged 17–24 make up only seven per cent of licence holders, but represent nearly a fifth of drivers killed or seriously injured in car crashes.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, is calling for urgent action to stop the tragedy of young driver death and injury on UK roads.

“Jenny is leading the charge for young driver safety in parliament and we thank her for her efforts,” he commented.

Reacting to the award, Jenny said: “Far too often young drivers are caught up in road collisions that result in fatal consequences for the driver, passengers, pedestrians or other road users.

“We need to work together to ensure our young drivers have the skills and experience to navigate the UK’s busy road network.”

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, added: “Black box insurers have helped make UK roads safer for younger drivers and business fleets can improve safety for their drivers by introducing telematics.”