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Ipswich/Colchester: Breakthrough in Cassie’s Law campaign - but battle goes on

PUBLISHED: 18:02 31 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:02 31 January 2013

Cassie - pictured (on the right) next to her mother Jackie (left) - was killed after being hit by a car driven by a pensioner, who police had warned just days earlier not to get behind the wheel.

Cassie - pictured (on the right) next to her mother Jackie (left) - was killed after being hit by a car driven by a pensioner, who police had warned just days earlier not to get behind the wheel.

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.

An appeal by developers to build 300 homes in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate after it branded the controversial scheme as unsustainable.

A remarkable Colchester 10-year-girl was recognised for her bravery at a prestigious national awards ceremony on Monday night, supported by Prince Harry.

Hundreds got the chance to meet Cardinal Wolsey in the flesh at Christchurch Park in Ipswich at the weekend.

The Duchess of Cambridge put her morning sickness behind her when Paddington Bear asked her for a dance - and she revealed she was fleet of foot.

Lifesaving skills were taught to pupils at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook today as part of Restart a Heart Day.

Motorists in Ipswich are being warned to expect delays on one of the town centre’s key roads from next week – with work planned for four weeks.

Send in your photos of the red sun spotted in the sky over parts of Suffolk today, caused by Storm Ophelia.

Don’t get caught out, take a look at the major roadworks that will be taking place across the East of England this week.

The East Suffolk Partnership’s fifth annual forum at the Trinity Park Conference Centre on November 10 is fully booked to consider the theme “Unlocking the potential of growth in east Suffolk”.

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