A local newspaper is stepping up its campaign to urge the government to introduce roadside drugs tests a month after it was launched.
The Croydon Advertiser joined forces with the parents of 14-year-old Lillian Groves, who was killed by a driver who had been smoking cannabis, to launch Lillian’s Law.
A petition has now gained 3,500 signatures and the newspaper is asking its local Tory MP, Gavin Barwell, to help the family get a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss drug-driving laws.
The Northcliffe-owned newspaper eventually hopes to get the 100,000 signatures needed for the issue to be discussed on the floor of the House of Commons.
Mr Barwell has now tabled a question about Lillian’s Law which, if chosen will be asked in the Commons. He is also looking into arranging a meeting with the Prime Minister or Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.
Senior reporter Gareth Davies said: “It’s an ambitious request but we have to aim as high as possible if the campaign has any hope of success.
“While we’ve had an encouraging start I know there’s still a huge amount of work to be done, particularly if we are to meet the target of the 100,000 signatures needed for our e-petition to be discussed in the House of Commons.
“While Lillian’s Law is an Advertiser campaign we are aware that we will need national support in order to achieve its goals, which is why I have been talking to the Press Association about covering the family’s cause. I have also passed news of the campaign on to BBC London Television, though I am yet to receive a response.”
Lillian’s Law calls on the government to introduce a roadside testing device like the breathalyser, used to test drivers for alcohol.
Police officers found a half-smoked joint on the dashboard of John Page’s car after he knocked down and killed Lillian outside her home on 26 June last year.
He was not made to undergo a blood test until nine hours after his arrest.
Lillian’s family are adamant that if he had been tested by the roadside, Page would have been charged with the more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
Instead he will serve half of an eight-month jail term for causing death by careless driving.
Click here to sign the newspaper’s petition.