‘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
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