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Minister backs Mail's hit and run message

A campaign for tougher sentences for hit and run drivers has been given the backing of transport secretary Alistair Darling.

The Government minister applauded the Birmingham Mail’s Stop Hit and Run Drivers campaign during a visit to the city, hailing it as an “extremely good campaign”.

He said: “Hit and runs are a terrible experience. There is no excuse for somebody not to stop when they have been involved in an accident.”

The Mail launched its fight after a number of hit and runs in the area, including that of Abigail Craen.

The 20-year-old was mown down as she used a pelican crossing, when a car went through a red light.

Following her death the Mail published a photograph of her lying dead in hospital, after her mum took the unusual step of releasing the picture.

The paper has put up a £5,000 reward to help track down her killer, and is pledging to back every move to help other grief-stricken families in the same situation.

Abigail’s mother, Susan, said: “The reward is a brilliant idea. It is important that this person is caught, not as an act of retribution and anger, but so that they can never do this to another human being.”

  • Mr Darling is leading a Bill through Parliament aimed at clamping down on dangerous and uninsured drivers. The Department of Transport estimates that 2m people are driving without insurance.