Grandparents’ fight wins change in drug law

Family celebrates Lillian's Law with MP Stephen Lloyd
Family celebrates Lillian's Law with MP Stephen Lloyd

Grandparents are celebrating their successful campaign on drug driving after their granddaughter lost her life after being hit by a driver who had smoked cannabis.

Pam and Peter Sanders from Langney collected 15,000 signatures on a petition to change the law on drug-driving.

The couple lost their granddaughter, 14-year-old Lillian Groves, in a road crash in Croydon in June 2010.

The driver, 36-year-old John Page, was given an eight-month prison sentence for her death, despite there being a half-smoked cannabis joint on the dashboard of the car.

Mr and Mrs Sanders, from Langney, started campaigning for road-side drug testing equipment, tougher sentencing and spot checks on drug-driving. They called for the law on drug driving to be the same as drink driving with roadside testing.

The Eastbourne grandparents had the support of the town’s MP Stephen Lloyd and he, along with the family, was delighted to hear Lillian’s Law received Royal Ascent at the end of last week.

Mr Lloyd said, “I was delighted to welcome the family to Parliament.

“The success of their campaign to change the law - Lillian’s Law - was a tribute to people power and an amazing family who through tragedy have made a real difference that will benefit many other families.”

Lillian’s aunty Michaela Groves, who has helped lead the campaign, says equipment in the police stations has been given the green light by the Home Office and roadside testing equipment is awaiting the same approval.

The device will be carried in police cars, like Breathalysers, and will be able to detect the presence of 17 drugs from a person’s saliva.

Michaela said, “We wanted to be able to make sure that when people have driven under the influence of drugs they are stopped, tested and prosecuted.

“We are delighted this new part of the law will do just that.”