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Campaigning mother who lost daughter in tragic accident says pain 'never leaves'

Jackie McCord with her 16-year-old daughter Cassie Picture: PA

Jackie McCord with her 16-year-old daughter Cassie Picture: PA

A mother who campaigned to make Britain's roads safer after the death of her teenage daughter in a tragic accident eight years ago says the "pain never leaves her".

Jackie McCord's daughter Cassie was 16 when she was kiled after 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 after a minor collision but refused to surrender his licence.

At the time, officers had no powers to immediately suspend his driving licence. Mr Horsfall died three months later from his injuries.

Mrs McCord campaigned for an instant ban and Cassie's Law was introduced in 2013, giving police the power to request an urgent revocation of the licence through the DVLA if they believe other road users would be at risk.

Jackie McCord, the mother of Cassie McCord, collects signatures for Cassie's Law Picture: ARCHANTJackie McCord, the mother of Cassie McCord, collects signatures for Cassie's Law Picture: ARCHANT

Mrs McCord, who previously lived in Ipswich and Colchester but is now based in High Wycombe, said: "The pain of losing Cassie will never leave me. You learn to live with it side by side but it never goes away.

"That isn't me being a poor me, that's the reality of the situation. Your children, whether they are living or not, are always in your thoughts and you think about them all the time."

MORE: Cassie's Law has 'saved 1,000 lives potentially', says former Ipswich mum Jackie McCord

More than 1,000 driving licences have been revoked since Cassie's Law began six years ago. 
Speaking at the start of national road safety week, Mrs McCord, 59, said: "It wasn't easy but it was worth it. Colin failed an eye test three days before he killed Cassie, and I think it was the frustration of that made me want to do something.

"It was a small change but what a difference it has made."

Jackie McCord and Sam McCord,  mother and brother of Cassie McCord, collect signatures for Cassie's Law in 2012 Picture: ARCHANTJackie McCord and Sam McCord, mother and brother of Cassie McCord, collect signatures for Cassie's Law in 2012 Picture: ARCHANT

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Road safety week, organised by charity Brake and supported by Kwik-Fit and Specsavers, is highlighting campaigners who are 'Stepping Up for Safe Streets' and improving the safety of roads.

Mrs McCord added: "Prevention is better than cure. I would encourage everyone to get involved and think how they can make our roads safer. It's power of the people. I know that sounds clichéd, but if everyone sticks together then changes can and will be made."

The number of people killed on roads in Essex rose in 2018.

There were 931 Killed and Serious Injury (KSI) collisions in Essex in 2018, with 52 deaths, compared with 926 KSI and 46 deaths in 2017.

In Suffolk, there was a decrease in deaths and KSI collisions in 2018. There were 255 KSI crashes in 2018 and 18 deaths, compared with 275 KSI and 33 deaths in 2017. The county has seen 24 deaths so far in 2019.

MORE: 'My life has been completely changed': Woman who suffered serious brain injury in crash pleas for road safety

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Across the region, people are working tirelessly to campaign for safe streets, organising petitions, meeting with MPs and councillors and raising money and awareness.

"This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets. Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus?

"If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs? Let's all Step Up for Safe Streets and, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone."

Nicola Foster, chairman for The Safer Essex Roads Partnership, said: "The partnership's purpose is to reduce death and serious injury on Essex roads to zero, an ambitious vision and one which we cannot tackle alone: each road user plays a part.

"By 2020 we aim to have fewer than 830 killed or seriously injured collisions (KSI) per year in Essex. This is an interim target towards our vision of zero people killed or seriously injured on our roads, as one life ended or changed in a road traffic collision, is one too many.

"The data tells us we are heading in the right direction but there is still work to be done. We promote road safety through a number of activities, interventions, programmes and products which involve a combination of education, engagement, engineering and enforcement. We will interact directly with more than 270,000 Essex road users each year."

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