The petition is now closed. It made 20,002 signatures in the end – an obvious sign that there is something that needs to be done about dangerous elderly drivers.
Unfortunately, it fell short of the 100,000 needed to get it debated in parliament, although by exceeding 10,000 it should get a comment. Ironically, a petition about the West Coast Franchise debacle has nearly 200,000! One about beer duty has over 100,000! Others of ridiculously low significance also have a disproportionate number.
As I’ve said before – and in the words of Kent Brockman – democracy simply doesn’t work.
Fortunately, as this story reveals, Cassie’s Law WILL be passed (sort of).
The driver, Colin Horsfall, had already been warned by police to stop driving after he went into the EXIT of a garage and ran into trees.
He failed an on-the-spot eye check during this particular incident, but refused to surrender his licence. Police have no powers to ban people immediately. Unbelievably, this happened just three days before he killed Cassie, so she’d obviously still have been alive today if Horsfall had been forcibly removed from the roads.
A verdict of unlawful killing was returned. Horsfall was injured in the incident and died – apparently from his injuries – several months later. This was recorded as accidental death. So, as well as deliberately continuing to drive when he was clearly completely incapable of doing so safely, he was also never brought to task over Cassie’s death.
Cassie’s mother, Jackie, has set up an e-petition asking that police be given the power to temporarily suspend drivers in such circumstances. It has the backing of the police, who also suggest that they should be allowed to confiscate vehicles as well. I fully agree. People like Colin Horsfall are absolute menaces. Horsfall was by no means unique.
You can view the petition and sign it here (or click the image). I urge everyone to do so – getting these types of dangerous drivers off the roads permanently is one of the best things the government could do.
EDIT: Note this story, too. An elderly driver killed an innocent motorist as a result of being unfit to drive through age .
And note this story where another elderly driver also got on the wrong side of the road and collided with two other cars.
And this one, where an elderly driver with defective eyesight injured a cyclist.