Road safety campaigners recognised with BEM

Giulietta Galli-Atkinson and George Atkinson
George Atkinson and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson's daughter was killed after a driver mounted the pavement [PA Media]

A husband and wife have said being awarded British Empire Medals for their work as road safety campaigners is a fitting "memorial" for their late daughter.

George Atkinson, 77, and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson, 76, have helped to introduce tougher sentences for drivers who harm pedestrians.

The couple, from Rugby in Warwickshire, began campaigning after their 16-year-old daughter Livia was killed when a driver mounted the pavement while she walked home.

Mrs Galli-Atkinson said: “It's fantastic. It was a surprise [and] we're honoured, because it's great recognition.”

Mr Atkinson said their 25 years of work had kept the memory of their daughter alive.

“It's a suitable memorial for our daughter Livia for all the work that we have done, we've contributed to something that we've really believed in needed doing.

“We're very humbled and delighted to have won it because it acknowledges what we've done with road safety."

Livia Atkinson
Livia was walking home when she was killed [PA Media]

The couple's campaigning has contributed to legal change, with more severe sentences now in place for drivers who kill and cause injury.

They have helped delivered road safety training to about 100,000 secondary school children across the country.

Mrs Galli-Atkinson said the couple were moved to make a change immediately after Livia's death due to its sudden and violent nature, and because they had read of similar incidents in the newspapers that were "not treated seriously".

She said: "We could see what other campaigners like RoadPeace and Brake were doing, and we supported them.

"But at the same time, we wanted to do our own thing... where we could see that perhaps we could be more vociferous."

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