When speaking with local residents, too often, I find myself consoling grieving families who have lost loved ones in road traffic accidents.

I sadly know what this feels like as, many years ago, a family member of mine died in a road accident. Their death cast the longest and saddest shadow and ever since I have been acutely conscious of the human misery associated with road deaths.

The recent tragedy in Barugh Green has again brought this issue to the forefront of our minds and highlights the need for us to ensure our roads are safe for all who use them to prevent such heartbreak from recurring.

There are people already working hard to do this like Johnny Wood in Grimethorpe who, after experiencing a personal tragedy, campaigned tirelessly alongside Stephanie Peacock MP to raise awareness and change the law. Thanks to Johnny and dedicated campaigners like him, we have seen some progress made, but our work is far from over. Speeding continues to be a menace on our roads, and can kill without discrimination.

I think it I worth asking ourselves: when did some of the quiet streets in our community become racetracks? Why do people need to fiddle with their mobile phones while they’re driving? These questions demand reflection, but more importantly, action.

When I was the Shadow Justice Minister, I sought to bring about this action and championed initiatives to bolster road safety measures and toughen up penalties for death by dangerous driving. Unfortunately, they were dismissed by the Government at every turn.

However, changes in the law alone won’t stop road traffic collisions and the tragic loss of life that all too often occurs on our roads. We must foster a cultural shift, one where road safety is ingrained in our everyday consciousness and in the minds of those behind the wheel.

It's not just about obeying the speed limits. It's about fostering a mindset of responsibility, empathy, and vigilance. It's about acknowledging the profound impact our actions can have on others sharing the road.

We can and must do more. I know that I am likely preaching to the converted here, but I encourage everyone to be vigilant, to drive with care and consideration, not just for themselves but for the safety and well-being of all road users – ensuring that every journey, whether on foot, bike, or behind the wheel, ends safely.

Let’s follow in the footsteps of people like Johnny and honour the memory of those we've lost by striving for a future where tragedies on our roads are less and not more common.