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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Leicester mum Meera Naran calls for automatic braking device law

A campaigner whose son was killed on a smart motorway has urged the government to bring in new rules over automatic braking systems.

Dev Naran, eight, was killed in May 2018 on the M6's hard shoulder, when the car he was in was hit by a lorry.

His mum Meera, from Leicester, played a key role in changes to smart motorways and is now calling for "Dev's Law".

She said making Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) compulsory in new cars would save lives.

Dev was confirmed dead at the scene near Birmingham's spaghetti junction

AEB monitors the road ahead and automatically slows down the vehicle if the driver does not respond to a potential collision.

Mrs Naran, 38, who was made an MBE for her work on road safety, said: "AEB will significantly reduce the number of crashes and fatalities, so it needs to be adopted as a matter of urgency.

"No one wakes up in the morning intending to harm someone else, and Dev's Law is a way in which we can keep ourselves and others safe on our roads and prevent more families going through such painful losses."

Meera said the device, which is being introduced in Europe, would save lives

She pointed to data that estimates AEB in all vehicles would save 1,100 lives and prevent a further 122,860 casualties on UK roads over the next decade.

Mrs Naran, a university lecturer, also believes the move would be popular, with an AA survey indicating 74% of drivers would support its adoption.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, said: "The adoption of Dev's Law mandating the fitting of AEB on all new vehicles, including vans, would be a massive milestone in road safety akin to major safety advances such as seat belts, breathalysers or air bags.

"It will be compulsory across Europe from July so the UK shouldn't be left behind."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "Our thoughts remain with Dev's family and we welcome Mrs Naran's continued work to improve road safety.

"We're currently considering the vehicle safety provisions within the EU's General Safety Regulation, which includes advanced emergency braking (AEB), to determine requirements that are appropriate for new vehicles in Great Britain."

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