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Campaigner pushes for new motoring law before fourth anniversary of son’s death

Meera and Dev Naran (Family Handout)
Meera and Dev Naran (Family Handout)

A mother whose eight-year-old son died in a motorway accident is urging the Government to ensure all new cars are fitted with automatic braking systems.

Meera Naran is encouraging ministers to make autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology compulsory for new vehicles, which she believes would have saved her son’s life.

Dev Naran died on a hard shoulder of the M6 near Birmingham after a lorry struck his grandfather’s stationary Toyota Yaris on May 31 2018.

Ms Naran, 38, from Leicester in the Midlands, said she wants Dev’s Law to be passed to protect other families from the pain of losing a loved one in a traffic collision.

Dev and Meera Naran (Family Handout/PA)
Dev and Meera Naran (Family Handout/PA)

She 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.”

AEB is an in-vehicle safety technology that monitors the road ahead and automatically slows down the vehicle if the driver fails to respond to a collision threat ahead.

It could save more than 100 lives a year, according to Thatcham Research.

Edmund King said that vehicle repair and insurance company The AA has been lobbying the Government to make AEB compulsory for 10 years.

Dev Naran (family handout)
Dev Naran (Family Handout/PA)

Mr King, president of The AA, said: “For a decade we have pressed the Government to make AEB compulsory on all new vehicles as originally it was only fitted as standard on the most expensive models and was an option on some others.

“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.

“AEB is a proven technology and lifesaver, whilst other advances being avidly promoted, such as Automated Lane Keeping System, operating up to 37mph in motorway traffic, might save some shunts but is less likely to save lives.

“We would also encourage drivers in the used car and van market to opt for models with AEB as you never know when you might need it.”

Ms Naran previously secured government backing for an 18-point action plan around smart motorways.

The AA has also said that 74% of drivers would support the passing of Dev’s Law, according to a survey of 15,677 motorists.

Australia and the EU have already adopted legislation on AEB.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has been contacted for comment.