Campaign calls for employers to play role in road safety

Eilidh Cairns.
Eilidh Cairns.

The story of a north Northumberland woman who was killed while cycling to work is being used as a case study as part of a national safety campaign.

Eilidh Cairns, 30, from Ellingham, died in London, where she was living, after being knocked off her bike on February 5, 2009, by a tipper lorry.

Her sister Kate, who lives at Newton-by-the-Sea, founded the See Me Save Me campaign four years ago in the wake of Eilidh’s death.

And last week, Brake, the road-safety charity, issued an appeal to employers to play their part in preventing devastating casualties among pedestrians and cyclists.

Newly-released government figures show six people are killed and 157 seriously injured every week while walking or cycling. At least 24 per cent of road deaths and serious injuries involve a vehicle being driven for work.

A Brake and Licence Bureau report finds that among companies with staff who drive for work, many don’t have good practice procedures to protect people on foot and bike.

More than half (54 per cent) don’t provide driver education on protecting pedestrians and cyclists, while nine in 10 (89 per cent) don’t plan routes to avoid schools and residential areas.

And Eilidh’s story is being used to highlight the need for better guidance.

Kate said: “We appeal to all companies to fulfil their duty of care to the public and make sure their drivers are fit to be behind the wheel, properly trained to look out for vulnerable people on foot and bike, and that their vehicles are fitted with the latest blind-spot technology, to make sure that people like my sister are not carelessly and unnecessarily mown down on our streets.”