The South London family behind Lillian’s Law, the campaign which helped pave the way for the introduction of a specific drug-driving offence, has been recognised with a Pride of Britain Award.
The Groves family from Croydon, whose 14-year-old daughter Lillian was killed by a drug driver in 2010, campaigned tirelessly and successfully to persuade the Government to introduce the new drug-driving laws which came into force in March 2015.
The Pride of Britain Awards honour ‘ordinary people’ whose ‘acts are truly extraordinary’.
Lillian’s parents, Natasha and Gary, and her uncle and aunt Michaela and Trevor, were presented with the Special Recognition Award at last night’s ceremony (31 Oct) at the Grosvenor Hotel, London.
The speeding driver responsible for Lillian’s death had been smoking cannabis, but because police did not carry drug testing kits, a test was not completed until nine hours after the incident. Because of this the driver evaded a charge of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drugs, which carried a maximum 14-year sentence. Instead he served a total of eight weeks.
The legislation introduced in 2015 makes it illegal for motorists in England and Wales to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified levels. This includes eight illegal drugs and eight prescription drugs.
The laws were introduced to make it easier for police, who previously had to show driving was impaired by drugs in order to prosecute, to catch offenders.
Figures published in June 2016 show that almost 8,000 motorists were arrested for drug driving in England and Wales in the 12 months following the introduction of the new legislation – a sharp rise compared with the 12-month period before the new laws came into force.
The 2016 Pride of Britain Awards ceremony will be screened on ITV at 8.00pm this evening (1 Nov)