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New powers to revoke licences

Cassie McCord was hit by a driver who had failed an eye test days earlier. Photo: ITV News Anglia

New rules imposed by the DVLA mean licences can be revoked within hours of a driver failing an eye sight test.

The new fast track procedure was launched on February 7, 2013 and can be used when police believe the driver presents a severe risk to the public.

It comes exactly two years after teenager Cassie McCord was hit by a driver in Colchester who had failed a police eyesight test.

She died in hospital a day later.

Cassie's mum, Jackie McCord, has been campaigning for a change in the law since the 16-year-old was killed by the 87-year-old driver in Head Street.

The schoolgirl had been walking with a friend when the driver mounted the pavement and crashed into her.

Three days earlier, police had spent two hours trying to persuade him not to drive again after he was involved in minor collision and failed an eye test.

The officers had no powers to immediately suspend his licence and he chose not to heed their advice.

Jackie started a petition in a push to change the law and give police the power to immediately revoke a licence in these circumstances.

Jackie was supported by Essex Police in her push for Cassie's Law with senior officers raising the issue at a national level.

More than 20,000 people signed the petition and now the DVLA has launched a new fast track procedure where by a driving licence can be revoked within hours of a driver failing a road side eyesight test.

Under the new procedure, where an officer feels the safety of other road users will be put at risk if the driver remains on the road, they can request an urgent revocation of the licence through the DVLA.

When notified, the DVLA will review the case and respond with an emailed revocation for the licence.

Under the new system there are three levels of revocation - immediate, within 48 hours and postal whereby the driver will be dealt with via letter sent within 24 hours of notification from the police.

If a banned driver continues to drive, they commit a criminal offence which may lead to their arrest and vehicle being seized.

Although the change isn't quite what Jackie has been campaigning for, she's pleased it's a step in the right direction.

She said: "I'm pleased my work has been taken seriously. This is a positive step in the right direction but I think it's just the beginning - there are a lot of changes that need to take effect."

Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: "The new procedures launched by the DVLA to fast track revocations of driving licences have been welcomed by Essex Police.

"This new procedure is a great testament to Jackie's relentless determination and resilience, which I highly commend."

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