Essex Police are lobbying the Government for a change in the law after a crash that killed a teenager in Colchester.
Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison has asked for new powers to temporarily suspend a motorist’s licence if officers think they are unsafe to drive.
And what has led to this?
It comes after the death of Colchester Sixth Form College student Cassie McCord, 16.
She died after Colin Horsfall’s Vauxhall Astra veered off the road and fatally injured her, in Head Street, on Feburary 7.
Following the incident, it emerged Mr Horsfall, 87, from Rowhedge, had been involved in an accident at the Tesco petrol station in High Woods, days earlier, and was set to have his licence revoked.
He was still allowed to get behind the wheel because he had not received the revocation notice from the DVLA.
So there’s two ways to take this:
1) the police, in a desperate attempt to grab yet more arbitrary power for themselves, are using this hideous accident as leverage, or
2) the police, recognising that this is a severe loophole that could ensure dangerous drivers are free until bureacracy catches up, are seeking to keep everyone safe.
Certainly, we are told that b) is how the police see it:
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Senior officers at Essex Police have raised this issue at a national level to seek a change in the law, to allow police an additional power to temporarily suspend a driving licence, until a medical examination can be undertaken, where drivers are found to be potentially unsafe.
“For example, a driver who fails a police roadside eyesight test would have their licence suspended immediately. This action would provide additional protection to other road users.”
Which way you jump on this will, I suspect, tell us a lot about your faith in our relationship with the police. And with the state.