The following is a short piece written by Sara from RoadPeace explaining where your money goes and why we choose to support them.
RoadPeace is the proud charity partner of the Team Townend Pushbike Challenge. Now it its 5th year, the event has raised over £40,000 supporting our work helping families after road death and injury.
RoadPeace- Who we are and what we do
RoadPeace, which was set up by a bereaved mother 22 years ago, is working to challenge and change complacency around road death.
Support and justice are at the heart of what we do.
RoadPeace supports families who find themselves suddenly and traumatically bereaved with a range of services including a national helpline, befriender network, local groups and a support building programme.
We campaign for justice, calls for change and improvements to how the justice system responds to road crashes and road danger with a focus on inquests, police investigation, prosecution, sentencing and victims rights.
Every day, five people are killed on Britain’s roads, and over 2000 are injured, including some 200 seriously injured. In 2010 this included Niggy and Christian Townend, who were 2 of the 111 cyclists killed that year. Niggy and Christian were both experienced cyclists who were run over and killed by a coach driver while they were out on a training ride. The driver admitted driving at 50mph in freezing and snowy conditions, with a faulty windscreen washer which meant he couldn’t see clearly ahead.
The Townend family have had to deal not only with the terrible loss of two sons and brothers, but also an utter failing of the justice system.
The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to charge the driver with causing death by dangerous driving took over a year, and too little information was passed to the family during this time. During this time the driver was able to continue driving. And then despite the driver admitting that he was driving at speed, in difficult conditions and with no visibility, the jury found the driver not guilty of causing the deaths, either by careless or dangerous driving. An inexplicable verdict.
But this is not unusual. On average only 500 drivers a year are convicted of causing a death, and in fact drivers are four times more likely to die in a crash than be convicted of killing someone.
Time and time again the criminal justice system fails road crash victims and their families, like the Townends. RoadPeace works to support these families in getting justice for their loved ones.
Every Year RoadPeace Staff Head North for Team Townend
‘This fantastic event is now part of our annual calendar and we look forward to heading up to the Lake District to join 200+ others to take on the challenge of the Lakeland mountains. The event is extremely well organised by the brothers and friends of Christian and Niggy. Set in the picturesque village of Loweswater, the ride takes in the stunning mountains of the Lake District, which are then surpassed by an amazing afternoon tea of delicious home baked cakes provided by the local community. If you love cycling, nature and cake then this event is for you.’
Funds raised from the Team Townend Pushbike Challenge help us to stay independent and speak out on behalf of crash victims. But what we also see is an event that allows a family, and a community, to come together to commemorate the lives of two young men and to raise awareness of the needless and avoidable nature of road crashes.
Want to help more? Join RoadPeace. We have been supporting victims and campaigning for justice for over 22 years.