Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Graham Watson MEP signs up to prevent HGV blind spot deaths

Graham Watson MEP is supporting a European Parliament move to eliminate truck blind spots, which are responsible for 400 deaths on our roads every year.

As part of Brake’s national ‘See Me, Save Me’ campaign MEPs have signed the petition calling for safety rules to be enforced. New technology will allow drivers to fit reversing aids and new radar sensors to detect pedestrians and cyclists.

The campaign was started by the family of Eilidh Cairns who was killed cycling home from work.

It is estimated that 2000 cyclists are killed on EU roads every year and many of these deaths are caused by blind spots. 13,000 children were injured in road accidents in the UK alone last year.

 In Devon and Cornwall three people were killed by moving vehicles at work and 219 were seriously injured during 2007-2008. The campaign has the backing of Frances Reeves, whose husband, Bert, was killed by a reversing lorry at the skip waste site where he worked in Trowbridge. Mr Reeves was in a large blind spot in the lorry's mirrors when he was struck by the rear of the lorry and run over.

Research has shown that the proposed measures to reduce blind spot deaths will only cost about £300 per vehicle.

Graham commented:

‘I strongly support the ‘See Me, Save Me’ campaign and the work of my colleague Fiona Hall, who has been leading the petition in Brussels. Lorries account for 8% of EU traffic, but 30% of accidents, this is a travesty when you consider that these deaths are so preventable. As of this morning 233 MEPs signed the petition but we still need more for the campaign to be a success.’

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