Birmingham & Black Country

Poppy-Arabella: MPs contacted over proposed law change

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionParents of crash death girl call for law change

The family of a girl killed by a driver with poor eyesight are contacting MPs in a bid to change the law.

Motorist John Place had been told to stop driving weeks before he struck Poppy-Arabella Clarke, three, as she used a pedestrian crossing.

The family, from Sutton Coldfield, want medical experts to alert the DVLA to people who should not be driving.

Solicitors are contacting MPs on their behalf in an attempt to gain government interest.

Poppy-Arabella was killed at a pedestrian crossing on Chester Road in Sutton Coldfield, last July. Her mother, Rachel Clarke, was crossing with her at the time and suffered a broken pelvis.

Place, 72, was jailed for four years on Monday for causing death by dangerous driving.

He told police he was not wearing his glasses and that he had not seen the red light or the crossing itself. Two optometrists had told him his eyesight, even with glasses, fell below the required standard set by the DVLA.

More stories from Birmingham and the Black Country here

Speaking to the BBC Mrs Clarke said of Poppy-Arabella: "She's everything you could wish for in a little girl. She was always dancing and singing, she lived her life like she was in a musical."

Image copyright Family handout/BBC
Image caption Before her death Poppy-Arabella Clarke had spent the morning "playing with mummy"

Richard Langton from Slater and Gordon, representing the family, told the BBC the current legal position on reporting people not fit to drive is a "grey area."

"Medical professionals tell people they are not fit to drive, but whether that person actually notifies the DVLA is really up to them," he said.

The obligation to inform the relevant body should be with medical professionals, he said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The collision on Chester Road happened in July 2016

As well as GPs and medical experts, Mrs Clarke and her husband say family members could also take some responsibility to stop people declared unfit to drive from getting behind a wheel.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites