‘Driv­ing is a priv­i­lege, not a right. We must stop the ob­ses­sion that cars are king’

Sis­ter of killed cy­clist speaks out as deaths rise

Sunday Sun - - News - By Michael Mun­caster Re­porter michael.mun­caster@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

DEATHS on the re­gion’s roads havee hit a record six-year high, prompt­ingg the fam­ily of a cy­clist killed by a trucker to re­new their pledge too keep fight­ing for im­proved safety.

Eilidh Cairns, from Elling­ham, near Al­nwick, Northum­ber­land, died after be­ing knocked off her bike by a heavy goods vehicle while she cy­cled to work in Lon­don eight years ago.

Since the tragedy, on Fe­bru­ary 5 2009, the 30-year-old’s heart­bro­ken fam­ily has cam­paigned tire­lessly to im­prove safety for vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple on the roads.

New fig­ures by the Royal So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Ac­ci­dents (RoSPA) show 1,792 peo­ple were killed on roads in Bri­tain in 2016 – the high­est num­ber of deaths since 2011. Many of ca­su­al­ties were classed as vul­ner­a­ble road users, with pedes­trian deaths up by 10%, while the num­ber of cy­clists killed rose by 2% from 2015.

Eilidh’s sis­ter, Kate, said: “Sadly, the rise in deaths is not sur­pris­ing. The roads are shared but the risk is not.

“Road safety has mostly been about re­duc­ing risk to vehicle oc­cu­pants. We must stop the ob­ses­sion that cars are king.”

For­mer Duchess’s Com­mu­nity High School stu­dent Eilidh had been work­ing for a tele­vi­sion com­pany in the cap­i­tal when she was killed. The driver later ad­mit­ted he had not seen her but the Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice rec­om­mended no fur­ther ac­tion be taken against the trucker, who had al­ready been con­victed of driv­ing with de­fec­tive vi­sion.

Kate and her mum Heather setup the See Me Save Me cam­paign after Eilidh’s death, with the aim of mak­ing the roads safer for cy­clists by elim­i­nat­ing lorry blind spots.

Kate said: “We need to fo­cus on re­duc­ing dan­ger at the source. The High­way Code tells us to ‘ex­pect the un­ex­pected’ and to take care in looking for vul­ner­a­ble road users in

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