Ipswich/Colchester: Breakthrough in Cassie’s Law campaign - but battle goes on
PUBLISHED: 18:02 31 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:02 31 January 2013
UNFIT drivers are to be banned in a matter of hours thanks to a campaign in memory of tragic teenager Cassie McCord.
But today her mother Jackie said her fight to rid the roads of drivers who are not medically fit to get behind the wheel would go on.
Cassie, 16, was hit by Colin Horsfall as she stood on the pavement in Head Street, Colchester, on February 7, 2011 – just three days after the 87-year-old had driven into the exit of a petrol station and failed a police eye test.
He walked with a stick and used a zimmer frame, but despite being urged to surrender his licence, he refused.
Police were applying to the DVLA for his licence to be revoked but the process took days.
Mrs McCord was speaking after winning the first part of the campaign – which means police can now remove a driver’s licence within hours, rather than days, if they are thought to be unsafe.
Mrs McCord said: “It’s on to campaign number two now. There needs to be more eye sight tests for them.
“If you haven’t passed an eye test in the last six months, then you shouldn’t get your licence back until you have.
“Common sense needs to prevail; there needs to be an intervention. It needs to be seriously looked at.
“No-one can drive indefinitely and any reasonable person should be happy to be reassessed.
“Competency levels for people driving over the age of 80 and 90 will be different as some people age quicker than others.
“We need to be confident there are competent drivers on the road.”
At present motorists aged 70 and over are required to complete a form every three years on which they must declare any medical condition - no medical is required.
Mrs McCord added: “People aged over 70 need to reapply more than every three years to renew their licence. They need to be pushed to see if they have got any medical conditions that they haven’t declared.”
Mrs McCord also thanked road safety minister Stephen Hammond after he confirmed an application from the police will be fast-tracked by the DVLA – meaning a licence can be revoked in a matter of hours, not days.