Partner of Recovery Worker Killed on M25 Launches Nationwide Campaign to Improve Safety in Recovery Industry
Sam Cockerill, the partner of a road side rescue & recovery driver who was tragically killed just over a year ago whilst recovering a stranded car on the M25, is launching a nationwide campaign to improve safety in the recovery industry. Her partner, Steve Godbold, was killed on the 22nd September 2017 by a HGV that had strayed onto the hard shoulder. Her campaign is backed by the industry charity The Recovery Industry Support Charity (RISC) that supports people working within the independent recovery industry.
Sam Cockerill said, ‘With one devastating knock on the door from the Police I lost the man I loved and became a single parent. My young daughter Olivia will never know her dad. The grief and trauma are indescribable. Since his death I have become increasingly aware of the dangers that people in the recovery industry face on a daily basis. No family should have to go through what we have endured. I remember having the haunting feeling of ‘this only happens to other people’ when I had the awful job of telling Steve’s parents that their son had been killed. And this matters to every vehicle driver in the country. We could all break down or need assistance when on the roads. The driver being rescued by Steve was understandably traumatised by seeing the man helping him killed. With this Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue & Recovery (www.csrrr.org) I’m determined to help improve safety and increase awareness of the role of this vital industry.’
Richard Goddard of AutoManiaGroup, an independent recovery operator based in West London said, ‘For far too long our industry has been overlooked by Government. We provide a vital service to motorists and businesses alike. Without us, the nation would literally grind to a halt. I pay tribute to Sam’s dignity and bravery in coping with her grief and loss and still wanting to help lead this vital campaign in her partner’s memory. There continues to be a number of casualties, some of them fatal. This has to stop. Everyone who works in our industry has the right to be able to go home after their shift safe and well. No family should have to endure the knock on the door from the Police informing them that their loved one has been seriously hurt or killed carrying out roadside recovery and rescue.’
The campaign will be calling for a number of changes including the clearance to use prominent red lights on recovery vehicles, more mandatory lane closures on motorways and dual carriageways to protect recovery workers and a public awareness campaign to slow down and move over when approaching and passing stranded vehicles and recovery operations. Additionally, the campaign is looking to work with MPs to set up an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) focussed on the recovery industry and to make sure that the Government collates more accurate data about casualties and near misses in the industry.
Andy Lambert, Chair of Trustees at Recovery Industry Support (RISC), said, ‘At RISC we have become more and more frustrated by the number of casualties – sometimes fatal – sustained as a result of attending broken down vehicles. There have been many attempts to change things over the years by well-meaning individuals and trade bodies, but despite their best efforts progress has been too slow. But with Sam’s commitment, and the team we are building around her, we are confident that this campaign will achieve the success that our industry deserves. We know that we can never completely eliminate the risks associated with working by the roadside, but if the changes we are calling for are swiftly introduced it will unquestionable make a huge difference’.