On February 5th 2009, cyclist Eilidh Cairns was knocked down and killed by a tipper lorry in Notting Hill Gate, London. She was an experienced cyclist, making a 20 mile round trip on London roads every day. The coroner concluded that she was most likely riding ahead of the lorry, which then ran into her rear wheel.
Last year the driver pleaded guilty to driving with uncorrected defective vision and was given 3 points and a £200 fine. He said he did not see her. He is still driving his truck.
Heavy Goods Vehicles count for 45% of all London cyclist deaths but make up only 5% of road traffic. Across Europe 4000 people, mostly unprotected road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are killed each because of HGV blind spots.
Eilidh’s sister Kate is campaigning for a change in European law to oblige HGVs to fit sensors and cameras to cover these blind spots and save lives. You can find out more here:
The key actions you can take are
- Contact your MEP to ensure they sign Written Declaration 81 to bring in this legislation. Of Scotland’s MEPs, 3 still haven’t signed (Ian Hudghton, Alyn Smith and Catherine Stihler)
- Ask your friends and family in other EU constituencies to do the same
- If you want to do more, you could join the campaign group in London on February 14th or in Strasbourg on February 15th and 16th to lobby MEPs in person