Cassie’s Law has ‘saved 1,000 lives potentially’, says former Ipswich mum Jackie McCord
PUBLISHED: 18:10 28 November 2016
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A former Ipswich mother’s campaign to rid Britain’s roads of unsafe drivers after her teenage daughter died in a tragic accident has resulted in over 1,000 revoked licences.
Jackie McCord, 57, described the figures as “fantastic” but insisted more should be done to crack down on motorists who pose a safety risk. Eye tests should be part of insurance renewals and GPs should encourage older patients showing signs of poor vision to be tested, she suggested.
Her daughter Cassie McCord, 16, was killed when a car mounted the pavement in Colchester in February 2011. The driver, Colin Horsfall, then 87, had failed a police eye test three days earlier but refused to surrender his licence. He died three months later from his injuries.
Under the new system – ‘Cassie’s Law – the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can revoke a licence almost immediately after receiving an emailed report of a failed eye test from police. Previously, the process took days or weeks.
Police can administer a roadside eye test, which involves reading a numberplate from 20 metres away, if they have concerns over drivers.
Since the new powers were introduced in February 2013, some 1,034 driving licences have been revoked, DVLA figures show.
Mrs McCord, who moved to High Wycombe last year, said: “Potentially, 1,000 lives have been saved in Cassie’s memory – people being taken off the road who could have killed other people.
“It is fantastic, but it is sad that so many drivers should have had their licences taken away before they got to that stage.
“I just feel there is more that needs to be done. They shouldn’t be driving, so why aren’t we doing something to stop those driving from being on the road sooner?
“This isn’t an age thing, and a failing eyesight isn’t necessarily something which only happens as you get older, but certainly when you get older, you go to your doctor more and your GP is in a position to assess the situation and maybe say this particular individual’s actions are slower, their eyesight is poor – they shouldn’t be driving.
“And why, as part of getting your insurance, shouldn’t we have to have an eyesight test? It’s not difficult or expensive. Surely that should be a mandate for people being able to drive. Your car has got to be road worthy. But the driver doesn’t have to be? That doesn’t make sense.”
Asked if it was irresponsible for people to drive knowing they have poor eyesight, she said: “It’s a hard one to call. When your eyesight fails, it’s gradual process. You don’t suddenly wake up and think I can’t see.
“But actually driving, you are driving a dangerous weapon, potentially.”
She added that she thinks about Cassie every day, adding: “Her life was taken. It shouldn’t have been. It was a tragic accident that was avoidable.”
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