Bereaved parents tell government not hesitate in implementing EU lorry law
Mother of Eilidh Cairns says she is 'amazed, distressed and concerned' at government delaying on EU law
The mother of Eilidh Cairns, who was killed in London by an HGV, was among a number of bereaved parents who have called on the British Government to adopt safer lorries laws approved by the European Parliament.
On Tuesday we reported how the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted through legislation aimed at making lorries safer around cyclists and pedestrians, although it may be several years until any changes come into effect at national level.
Some 606 MEPs voted for the proposals, with just 54 voting against them and 12 abstentions.
They also rejected plans to make it easier for heavier and longer lorries, known as "mega trucks," to operate across national borders within the European Union.
Under the new laws, lorries will, have to have bigger windows and rounder fronts in an effort to reduce blind spots.
The UK government is not rushing to implement the changes however, saying it needs to perform more research.
Heather Cairns, who set up the See Me Save Me campaign following Eilidh’s death in an effort to prevent blind spots, told the Northumberland Gazette: “We are extremely pleased with the decision taken by the European Parliament, but I am amazed, distressed and concerned about the fact that the Secretary of State for Transport appears not to accept the ruling and says more work needs to be done.
“See Me, Save Me will continue to campaign for cycle safety.”
The father of Josh Jarvis, 21, who was killed in a collision with a cement mixer in Manchester in February, agreed and said: “Anything that improves road safety in this respect has to be a good thing, but perhaps they haven’t gone far enough. The British Government needs to take this seriously.”
Others have pushed for faster implementation. Jeannot Mersch, president of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims, urged national governments not to waste time in putting the new rules into effect.
He said: "With today's vote the European Parliament has taken citizens' safety to heart. Thousands of lives are sadly lost and many more victims are severely injured in lorry crashes every year.
"Rounded, streamlined lorry cabs could help avoid hundreds of these deaths and injuries. The EU governments have a moral obligation to embrace this hugely beneficial decision. Weakening, delaying or blocking this decision would be unforgivable."
British Cycling's policy adviser, Chris Boardman, added: "This is another step towards creating an environment on the roads that accommodates the needs and safety of cyclists.
"Lorries are involved in almost one in five cycle fatalities in Britain and part of the problem is dangerous cab designs."