Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

Driving licenses to be revoked instantly if drivers fail fitness test to be behind the steering wheel

Date: (1 February 2013)    |    

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Drivers who are found medically unfit and not fit to sit behind the wheel would lose their licenses in matter of hours. This follows after a 16 year old girl was killed by a partially sighted 87 year old man which led to signing of a petition by 45,000 people.
Cassie McCord was hit by Colin Horsfall when she stood on the pavement, three days after he failed an eye test but still refused to surrender his license.
Cassie’s mother Jackie had been campaigning for the past two years for a law which would instantly bar unfit drivers.
The Department of Transport (DfT) has announced now that it was working to speed up the process to enable officials to seize licenses immediately.
Present practice takes days for the police to revoke a license of a driver deemed dangerous to be behind the wheels.
The law might now be brought on by passing legislation but the procedures would be improved and dubbed as Cassie’s Law which has been hailed by the police as a potential life saver.
Mother of the girl said that she was confident that this was a good solution. She appreciated the Department of Transport for listening to her appeals. She said next week it would be two years since Cassie’s death and the timing could not have been better.
Cassie an aspiring lawyer was on her way to college when she met with her fatal accident. Police were in the process of trying to get Mr Horsfall’s licence revoked when Cassie died.
It emerged that just three days prior to the accident Horsfall had driven into the exit of a petrol station in Colchester and then failed a police eye test. He walked with a stick and used a walking frame but refused to hand over his license when asked to do so.
Police who set out to revoke his license applied to the DVLA but the process took days.
Mrs McCord campaigned for a change in the law but the DfT said that it instead had strengthened procedures to stop medically unfit drivers from getting behind the wheels in quick time.
The practice of intimating to the DVLA via post or fax took up to four working days by the police but under the new plans the police would be able to tell the DVLA about eye test failures more quickly through a new electronic system.
The drivers would be told that they were not allowed to drive within matter of hours of failing a test.
Those who drive after their licence has been revoked could be fined up to £5,000 or sentenced to up to six months in prison.