Safer lorries a step closer after Euro vote

Eilidh Cairns, from Ellingham, who was killed as she was cycling in London in 2009.
Eilidh Cairns, from Ellingham, who was killed as she was cycling in London in 2009.

Proposals to redesign lorry cabins to improve road safety are a step closer to becoming law after a vote in the European Parliament today.

The plans, which would reduce blindspots and lessen the impact of collisions, cleared the Transport Committee today, a crucial final step before a vote in full Parliament next month.

Safety campaigners, led by the Cairns family from Ellingham, near Alnwick, have praised the proposed changes as a vital step toward reducing the number of injuries and fatalities caused by HGVs.

Eilidh Cairns was 30 when she died after being knocked off her bike in London, where she was living, on February 5, 2009.

Her family, including her mum and county councillor for Alnwick, Heather Cairns, set up the See Me Save Me campaign to eliminate lorry blind spots and have worked tirelessly for cyclists’ safety.

The parents of another north Northumberland cyclist killed in a collision with a cement mixer on February 11 this year backed the See Me Save Me campaign. Josh Jarvis, 21, from Longhoughton, died instantly in the incident in Manchester, where he was studying.

Lib Dem MEP Fiona Hall welcomed today’s vote and said: “Lorries are involved in more than half of all cycling deaths on British roads. The current design of vehicle cabins can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians or cyclists nearby and the consequences of a collision are inevitably extremely serious.

“Making relatively minor changes to cabin design will have a considerable impact on the roads. After years of campaigning, we are now very close to real, practical action that will save many lives.”