Feb 052011

We retweeted an appeal yesterday on our twitter account for people to get involved in a campaign to help improve cyclist/lorry safety that is currently being run by the family of Eilidh Cairns, a cyclist killed in London, over two years ago.

We thought it was worth going into a bit more detail about what the campaign involves and help give the campaign more deserved public awareness.

See Me Save Me

Eilidh Cairns was killed by a lorry while cycling in London’s Notting Hill Gate two years this February. She was only 30. Since her death a campaign has built up to get lorry/trucks/HGVs fitted with sensors and cameras that in turn will help lorry drivers with their blind spots when they turn right or are unable to see cyclists beside them.

The campaign, called See Me Save Me, has focussed on attempts to get EU legislation on the registration of new HGVs (Directive 2007/38/EC) changed.

Eilidh’s family has been working with their local Member of the European Parliament, North East MEP Fiona Hall, to try and force the European Parliament to make proposals to the legislative body of the European Commission to get the directive changed to include the mandatory fitting of sensors and cameras on HGVs.

To do this, a written declaration must be submitted to the European Parliament for such action to be taken. However the declaration requires the support (by signing up to it) of 369 MEPs, which is half of the 736 MEPs that are currently members of the Parliament, for the proposals to be taken on to the next level.

Get involved

Ms Hall has already submitted the written declaration (WD81) to the European Parliament. However, the declaration, lapses on Feb 16th (Wednesday) and so the See Me Save Me campaign are asking for the UK and the general European public to write to their local MEPs to get them to sign the declaration before the 16th.

So far 33 out of the 72 UK MEPs have responded to the campaign with 29 saying they would sign the declaration. Of the four who would not sign, three are UKIP members.

The campaign has produced a ready-made letter, which is translated, along with the actual declaration, into all 23 languages across the EU, that can be sent to MEPs to urge them to back the proposed legislation.

The template letter and details of how to contact your local MEP can be found on the campaign’s website.

Raising awareness

Eilidh’s support group will be travelling out to Strasbourg and will be lobbying UK and other European MEPs the issue while the European Parliament is in session there from Feb 14th to Feb 16th.

Eilidh’s campaign is also asking for general public support to raise as much awareness about the campaign in the days before the declaration deadline.

London’s cyclists are invited to come and attend a protest on Hyde Park Corner in London on Monday February 14th  from 11:30 – 12:30. Road safety charity Brake is also helping to push the campaign story to the wider public in the next week or so.

There is also a Facebook page highlighting the campaign and of course remembering/celebrating the life of Eilidh Cairns.

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