23rd January, 2008
Judy gets Transport Minister pledge on trailers
Following the coroners inquest on the death of four-year old Finlay Martin in Heage last July, Amber Valley MP Judy Mallaber has secured a commitment in the Commons from Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick to investigate whether new regulations on trailers could stop such tragedies in future.
Finlay was run over by a trailer that broke free from a car. The inquest found that the trailer was defective and not fitted with a breakaway cable and the brakes were faulty. Questioning the Minister in Transport Questions, Judy said the deputy coroner was writing to his Department to ensure lessons were learned from the tragic accident. She asked the Minister to investigate the introduction of an annual mandatory test of road worthiness for trailers pulled by road vehicles and compulsory brake systems as requested by Finlay’s grandparents and local residents.
Expressing his sympathies to Finlay’s family, the Minister said the introduction of MOT-style tests had been looked at before but pledged a further investigation with Department officials.
Judy said: “Dangerous trailers should not be allowed and the Minister said there had been several such accidents in recent months. I was able to talk to the Minister after Questiontime and understand that often such accidents result from poor driving or failure to attach a trailer properly. But I was pleased at the Minister’s commitment to me that his officials will examine whether action can be taken to prevent tragedies such as Finlay’s death where they result from faulty vehicles.”