David Stewart, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has been given his second Scottish Road Safety Parliamentarian Award by the charity Brake and Digby Brown Solicitors. Previously he secured three other awards by the charity in partnership with Direct Line Group.
The award is part of a series which recognises the contribution of MSPs to improve road safety in their constituencies and across Scotland.
This year, the Highlands and Island MSP has championed the establishment of a Road Collision Investigation Branch, supporting calls from Brake, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and others. Such a branch would help bring together the efforts of researchers, police, Crown office officials, local authorities and others to better learn the lessons from serious road crashes across the UK.
Mr Stewart has also, through the North of Scotland Driver Awareness Team which he founded in 2010, produced a series of powerful radio advertisements for its SMART campaign, Silent Mobiles Avoid Risk and Temptation.
The Highlands and Islands MSP is working on ‘Pass Safely’ – a campaign designed to educate drivers about the need to give space when overtaking cyclists – as well as publicity about the dangers on single track, rural roads. Mr Stewart is also supporting Brake’s Road Safety Week, taking place between 20 and 26 November, which will this year focus on the issue of speeding.
Brake spokesman, Jason Wakeford, said: “David and his team deserve full recognition for their continued hard work to help improve road safety across the region. David’s work has helped raise awareness of vital road safety issues, including the risks of using mobiles at the wheel, inadequate drug driving laws and the need for a Road Collision Investigation Branch. We are delighted to be giving an impressive fifth award to such a dedicated and passionate road safety campaigner.”
Accepting his award, David Stewart MSP, said “I am delighted for all those involved in road safety related issues with me and in particular those working with me at the North of Scotland Driver Awareness Team. For the last seven years all we have strived to do is make a positive difference to road safety across the Highlands Islands and Moray. I would like to think we have done that, but we will not be complacent and will work with others to make our roads even safer.”