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Campaigners' fury as HGV blind spot ruling is delayed.

Byline: Brian Daniel

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to change European law following the death of a Northumberland woman have criticised politicians for a delay.

North East Euro MP Fiona Hall and the family of Eilidh Cairns are pushing for heavy goods vehicles to be fitted with cameras and sensors to remove their blind spot.

The 30-year-old former Ellingham woman died after being knocked off her bike by a driver who failed to see her in 2009.

The campaigners secured the support of more than half the total number of MEPs for a written declaration proposing the changes, meaning the European Commission (EC) will have to come forward with measures reflecting their wishes.

Now, however, the EC has delayed its report on the matter until the end of the year. Liberal Democrat Mrs Hall last night accused the EC of dragging its heels on road safety.

She said: "The will of parliament could not be any clearer. MEPS have backed action to eliminate the blind spots that cause thousands of deaths and serious injuries every year.

"The commission promised a response after the summer and now they are delaying until the end of the year.

"This is an important issue which requires urgent action.

"I will be writing to the commission to press for a more speedy response.

"The solution to this blind spot problem - sensors and cameras on vehicles - is available and affordable now, there is no good reason for delay."

Eilidh's mother Heather Cairns, a former leader of Alnwick District Council and a retired teacher who still lives at Ellingham, added: "There were two fatalities in London two days ago.

"People continue to be swatted like flies and nobody wants to make decisions."

Yet she added: "If a delay provides a positive result in the end that is okay.

"We remain hopeful and we shall continue to campaign."

A spokeswoman for the EC last night said the report would be published "before Christmas" and insisted "no one is dragging their feet on road safety".

Eilidh, who went to Alnwick's Duchess's High School, was living in London, where she worked for a television production company, when she was killed.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 29, 2011
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