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Episode 2 - There’s no such thing as a traffic accident
August 2018
Nearly 2,000 people die on our roads every year. Road deaths are sudden, violent and premature, and families rarely have a chance to say goodbye. The victims of road traffic crime should be treated as victims of crime, and their families given support and information.

Cynthia Barlow, chair of Roadpeace 

Cynthia's only child and daughter, Alex Jane McVitty, was tragically killed on 7 June 2000, aged 26. She was cycling in the City of London when the driver of a concrete mixer lorry turned left across her path. 

 Cynthia's experience of the investigation, inquest and the court proceedings were painfully disappointing and isolating. She was compelled to carry out her own analysis of what had happened and drew her own conclusions of the responsibilities that needed to be taken by the driver and by his employer. She bought shares in the company and attended their Annual General Meeting, speaking out about what had happened to her daughter and offering suggestions for what the company should be doing to prevent further injuries or loss of life. 

Cynthia's determination and courage was met by the company agreeing to work with her to improve their vehicle and driving practices. Since then, Cynthia has been involved in many areas of road danger reduction, but is especially engaged in the dangers of HGVs to cyclists and other vulnerable road users and the responsibilities of freight operating companies. 

In 2011 Cynthia was shortlisted as an SMK Campaigner Award Finalist. 

In 2014 Cynthia was awarded an OBE for services to road safety

Extract from the book “Forged from the Soul”, 

Written by Sue Moores following the death of her son Wayne.

Wayne was killed following a road crash involving a drunk driver. Sue wants to help others by describing the effect on her and her family of Wayne’s death and also her subsequent dealings with the justice system.
 
"When salt is rubbed into the open wounds of a parent’s grief and when insufficient value is placed on the life of a precious son or daughter, there is inevitably a consequence. Injustice adds another painful layer to the distress of anyone who has just had their only son torn from them.
 
"I know there are many who join me in saying that, in future years, we need to do better for those who may follow in our footsteps. I hope that I can now play my part, by standing proudly in Wayne’s name, in helping to bring positive change and improvement to the UK’s drink-driving laws.
 
"I want to prevent others from going through the same ordeal as us, for I know how easy it is to become swallowed up or intimidated by the whole unwieldy and out-dated procedure. It spits us out, shattered and in pieces at the end, which is simply unacceptable. I believe that it really is time to put innocent families at the heart of everything, and for our government to be held accountable." 

Finding Support

The aftermath of a road crash is devastating. Road Peace help bereaved families cope and build resilience through peer support, our local group network, befriending service and trauma support programmes. We also provide information guides on navigating the justice system and help with seeking fair compensation for bereaved families and seriously injured victims.

Campaigning for Justice

RoadPeace works to reform the justice system. Our aim is for improvements in the way the justice system responds to crashes, for victims to be treated better and safer roads. We campaign on victims' rights, collision investigation, inquests, criminal prosecution and sentencing, and civil compensation. We monitor developments, analyse the evidence and lobby for a justice system that reduces danger

Useful links

Visit the Road Peace website

Action on Lorry Danger

More about Leigh Day’s work acting for victims of road crashes

Watch the 2 minutes with Leigh Day film about serious injury

Our guests

Cynthia Barlow's image

Cynthia Barlow

Cynthia Barlow is chair of Roadpeace. Her only child, Alex Jane McVitty, was tragically killed on 7 June 2000, aged 26 as she was cycling in London and a concrete lorry turned left across her path.

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Our expert

Sally Moore
Sally is head of the personal injury department at Leigh Day. She frequently acts for victims and families of people injured in road traffic crashes.
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