When Cassie McCord died after being hit by Colin Horsfall’s car three days after he had failed an eye test, Cassie’s mother campaigned for a change in the law that would allow the DVLA to instantly revoke the licence of the driver in question.
Until now it has taken time for the process to be completed. Police were going through this process with the DVLA with Mr Horsfall when Cassie was knocked over on a pavement. Mr Horsfall, who had difficulties with mobility and had failed a police eye test after driving into an exit of a petrol station, was urged to give up his licence but he kept driving.
Following Cassie’s death, almost two years ago, her mother collected around 45,000 signatures to change the law, looking at instantly banning drivers who it is felt are unfit to be on the road. As a result of her campaigning, the DVLA will now inform people that they are not legally allowed to drive in a matter of hours once they have been informed by police. This is not a change in the law as such, but it will improve the process of revoking a licence and has been welcomed by authorities who say that it could potentially save lives.
The Department of Transport said that although licences will not be revoked immediately, channels of communication will be greatly improved between the police and the DVLA. Once the licence has been detained, it will be up to the DVLA to decide if it should be returned to the driver or withdrawn. Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: ‘The decision whether to revoke a driving licence on medical grounds remains with the DVLA, though the process for informing drivers that their licence has been revoked has now been accelerated.’
The amendments to the process that is followed now. has been referred to as Cassie’s Law. Mrs McCord said that she regarded Mr Horsfall, who died three months after Cassie’s death, as a selfish man who knew that he was unfit to drive but continued to anyway. She was also thankful to the support that she has had during her campaign: ‘We could not have done this without all the people who have supported us and I do not have the words to express my gratitude to them.’
What do you think about Cassie’s Law? Do you think it is enough or should more be done?