Drink-driving petition presented to Downing Street

5th July 2013

A petition created by a schoolgirl following the death of her brother when he was hit by a drink-driver has garnered more than 13,000 signatures.

Rebecca Still from Otley, aged 15, has taken the petition to Downing Street. It seeks justice for the families of those killed in drink-drive accidents.

Her brother, Jamie, then 16, was run over and killed by a drink-driver as he walked back from a local takeaway with friends on New Year’s Eve 2010. He was hit when Max McRae mounted the pavement with his car while under the influence.

The Jamie Still Campaign calls for tougher laws, longer sentences for drink-drivers and a driving ban on those who have killed while they are awaiting trial. Along with her local MP Greg Mulholland, mum Karen Strong and grandad Peter Strong, Ms Still made her case in a speech to the House.

Ms Still launched the campaign after becoming enraged that Mr McRae was allowed to retain his licence and keep driving in the eight months until his trial. Her petition is supported by road safety charity Brake.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake said: "Drink-driving remains one of the main causes of road death and injury. Every year thousands of people are killed or injured by drivers who have selfishly got behind the wheel after drinking, so it's an issue we should all be desperately concerned about and fighting to stamp out.”

She added that the charity aims to spread the message that even one drink can impact driving, so a zero tolerance approach is the only way to effectively crack down on drink-driving by avoiding the confusion of how much people can drink before getting behind the wheel.

“Our message to drivers is that even one drink is too much if you're driving: research is clear that even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically impair driving. We're also right behind the Strongs and their calls for government action: we need tougher penalties and laws,” Ms Townsend said.

Posted by Danielle Barge