Inspirational road safety campaigner scoops Archangel Award

Inspirational road safety campaigner scoops Archangel Award

An inspirational mother who challenged the owners of a lorry that killed her daughter while she was cycling to work has scooped a prestigious Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) award for her exceptional commitment to preventing similar tragedies.

Cynthia Barlow was nominated in RoSPA’s Guardian Angel Awards scheme for her determination to reduce road accidents following the death of her daughter Alex Jane McVitty.

She was presented with an Archangel Award - the highest accolade in the Guardian Angel Awards - at a gala banquet at Excel London last night. (Tuesday, June 16)

Alex had been cycling to work when she was hit by a lorry turning left across her path in 2000. Since then, Cynthia, who is chairman of RoadPeace - a charity for road traffic victims - has worked tirelessly to prevent other families from suffering the same tragedy.

She bought shares in the company that owned the lorry involved in her daughter’s fatal accident and stood up at its AGM to challenge them to do more to make its lorries safer. It resulted in the firm developing new driver training measures and introducing new safety technology and sideguards in its lorry fleet.

Cynthia, who was also awarded an OBE for services to road safety, has worked with the freight industry, fleet operators, Transport for London and national government to ensure that contractors and operators take responsibility for the risks posed to road users by their business operations.

Cynthia received her award from Lord Brougham and Vaux, president of Safety Groups UK, and RoSPA chief executive Tom Mullarkey.

Mr Mullarkey said: “It speaks volumes about Cynthia’s strong character and determination, as well as her great love of her daughter, that when faced with such unthinkable tragedy, she selflessly dedicated her life to safety and accident prevention through her vigorous campaigning.

“Thousands of people are needlessly killed and seriously injured on our roads every year and Cynthia’s contribution to reducing road danger is simply exemplary.

“She has shown that standing up for something you are passionate about can make a real difference and most importantly, save lives. There is no better way for RoSPA to recognise Cynthia’s outstanding achievements than to present her with our Archangel Award.  We are honoured to have her as one of our winners.”

RoSPA, the UK’s family safety charity, established the Guardian Angel Awards as a way of shining a light on individuals whose commitment to safety and accident prevention is displayed through personal initiative, diligence and enthusiasm.

Further Guardian Angel Awards presentations will take place in Birmingham on July 14 and 15, while other winners, who are unable to attend a ceremony, will receive their awards through the post. Guardian Angel Awards presentations are taking place as part of the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2015.

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