Colchester: Cassie McCord’s mother backs drivers’ eyesight test campaign

Jackie McCord holding a picture of Cassie.

Jackie McCord holding a picture of Cassie. - Credit: Peter Lawson/Eastnews Press Agen

The mother of an Essex teenager killed by a driver with defective eyesight has backed a national campaign to encourage motorists to get their eyes tested every two years.

Jacke McCord’s daughter, Cassie, was run down on Colchester’s Head Street in Feb 2011 when Colin Horsfall lost control of his Vauxhall Astra. Mr Horsfall, 87, had been stopped three days earlier and police found he was unable to read a number plate at 20 metres. They asked if he would surrender his licence, but were unable to persuade him.

Since then Mrs McCord has successfully campaigned for the introduction of the so-called Cassie’s Law, which allows police officers to revoke a driver’s licence on-the-spot if they fail a roadside eyesight test.

Now, she wants road users to be more proactive about checking their eyesight and has got behind a campaign launched by road safety charity Brake yesterday.

Mre McCord said: “It’s a reality of life that as we get older our eyesight and reactions get worse. But, because it happens gradually we don’t notice and we are all guilty of carrying on as normal when things are failing.

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“Going for an eyesight test every two years would prevent a lot of accidents and it need not cost society much. All pensioners are allowed a free eye test every two years while the cost of eye tests for everyone else is currently far outweighed by the cost of police time dealing with accidents.”

The campaign, also backed by the DVLA, insurer RSA and Specsavers, comes as figures show many drivers are failing to ensure they can see properly on the road.

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In a survey of 1,000 drivers, released by Brake yesterday, a quarter said they haven’t had a vision test in the last two years while 9% admitted to not visiting the optician for five years or more. A further 9%, who said they need glasses or lenses, admitted not always wearing them at the wheel.

Research from RSA from last year claimed that drivers failing to ensure their vision is good enough to drive were responsible for up to 2,900 road casualties a year.

Deputy chief executive of Brake, julie Townsend, added: “Being a driver is a huge responsibility, and means you need to look after your own health and fitness to drive as well as making sure your vehicle is roadworthy.

“If your vision isn’t up to scratch you are posing an enormous risk on roads, as being able to see properly is fundamental to being a good driver.”

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