New date to be set for road safey bill

SIR Alan Beith is arranging a new date for the second reading in Parliament of his Road Safety Bill, which was due to be heard last Friday.

As the Bill was such a long way down the list of Parliamentary business last Friday, it had no chance of being heard, so he is arranging it to return to the Commons on another date.

Sir Alan said: “The number of collisions between vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists is not falling, and behind every collision there is a family devastated by the death or serious injury of a loved one.

“And we must not underestimate the effect on drivers who are involved in collisions, who can be very badly affected.

“I will continue to keep this issue on the public agenda and work with colleagues at every level of Government to help reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

The North Northumberland MP is tabling the bill as part of the See Me, Save Me campaign organised by the family and friends of Eilidh Cairns, who was killed in a crash with an HGV while riding her bike to work in February 2009.

Eilidh grew up near Alnwick and her family still live in the area.

The coroner’s report into Eilidh’s death concluded that she was to the front and right of the HGV when it hit her bike and she was caught up in its wheels; the driver said he did not see her.

Liberal Democrat MEP for the North East Fiona Hall has also taken the campaign to the European Parliament, where more than half the Euro MPs signed a written declaration calling for the mandatory installation of sensors on lorries.

This would help prevent collisions caused by blind spots which currently prevent drivers from seeing nearby cyclists and pedestrians.

Fiona said: “This campaign began in the North East but has grown beyond expectations to achieve widespread support from all quarters, with efforts to improve safety in the UK and, indeed, across the rest of Europe.

“I’m continuing to push for new proposals as soon as possible from the European Commission in response to the written declaration.”