Brake and Direct Line have awarded Fiona Hall, MEP for the North East, ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award for the recognition for the campaign, ‘See me, Save me’ and in support for her efforts to improve road safety.
Fiona’s campaign, ‘See me, Save me’, calls for sensors and cameras to be fitted to lorries to reduce blindspots, which lead to many cyclist deaths and injuries in the UK and Europe. If all commercial vehicles had sensors and cameras fitted it would mean that drivers are more likely to spot vulnerable road users around their vehicle and many needless death and injuries on the road could be prevented. With a reported 2,447 cyclist killed on the roads in the EU in 2008, together with increasing trucking volumes, this campaign is clearly needed.
The campaign was started after the death of Eilidh Cairns from Northumberland. Eilidh was struck by a heavy goods vehicle while cycling to work in London. Since her death, her family has been continuously fighting for better road safety for cyclists. Their story struck a cord with Fiona and she is determined to do all she can to help prevent such a tragedy happening again.
On 10 November 2010, Fiona submitted a declaration to the European Union in which she asks for it to be compulsory for sensors and cameras to be fitted on heavy goods vehicles. If by the 17 February 2011 more than half of MEPs sign the declaration, the Commission will have to make proposals to change the law.
Fiona is calling for people who want to help stop these tragedies to contact their MEPs and urge them to sign WD 81. It is an EU wide campaign so anyone in Europe can support it. Click here to download a standard letter that can be emailed to your MEP.
Eildh’s sister Kate welcomed the campaign and is calling for others to lend a hand and help ensure that others do not have to go through the same heartache as herself and her family. “If people can make a small effort by writing to MEPs it would make a big difference.”
Julie Townsend, spokesperson for road safety charity Brake said,"We must act urgently to save the many lives which are cut short each year as a result of blind spots on commercial vehicles. Every lost life is a tragedy and an unnecessary loss when simple technology, such as sensors and cameras, is available which could help prevent deaths caused by road crashes. That is why Brake is urging MEPs to sign this declaration today to help protect vulnerable road users.
Fiona Hall said:"I'm very grateful to Brake for this award and I accept it on behalf of the whole team of people who are working to make the See Me, Save Me campaign a success. I hope this encourages even more people to get involved and raises awareness of the dangers cyclists and pedestrians face on our roads.
"If people take two minutes to write to their MEPs asking them to sign the WD 81 they can help reduce those dangers and cut the number of deaths and serious injuries that are happening every single day."
 CARE Database, reports and graphics, European Commission, 2010 see, http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/statistics/care_reports_graphics/index_en.htm