23 February 2022

Roads campaigner dedicates MBE to son killed in smart motorway crash

23 February 2022

A road safety campaigner has dedicated her MBE to her eight-year-old son who was killed in a collision on a smart motorway, after she collected the award from Windsor Castle.

Meera Naran said no one should “ever feel what we had to feel” and vowed to continue highlighting the risks until there were “zero deaths” on the roads.

Her son Dev died on a hard shoulder after a lorry struck his grandfather’s Toyota Yaris on the M6 in May 2018.

I don't want anyone to ever feel what we had to feel. Our eight-year-old little boy didn't reach home

Speaking after the ceremony, Ms Naran said: “It was very emotional. I was very touched with how invested the Princess Royal was on the work.

“I don’t want anyone to ever feel what we had to feel. Our eight-year-old little boy didn’t reach home and I don’t want any parent to lose their loved one in such a sudden and tragic way.

“Road deaths are tragic and that’s exactly what I will continue to campaign for – everyone reaching home.”

Ms Naran, from Leicester, paid tribute to her “kind, generous and hard-working” son and said her campaign for safer roads came from “all the unspent love I have for Dev”.

“To be honest, this whole day has been me collecting this medal for Dev. This is Dev’s medal and I’m so proud of him, and I always will be,” she said.

“I’m just being mum today and collecting it for him.”

Meera Naran (Kate Hopewell-Smith Photography/PA) (PA Media)

Ms Naran, a university lecturer, said she welcomed the pause in the smart motorway rollout, adding it would allow time to “reassess” the system.

The introduction of the network has been halted until at least 2025 for a five-year review of safety data to be collected and analysed.

The Department for Transport has committed £900 million on existing all-lane-running (ALR) motorways, including £390 million to install 150 more emergency areas.

“I think this five years is so valuable, not only just in looking at the data, but looking at a solution for the future for us all,” Ms Naran said.

“Road deaths are not inevitable. They are preventable, and we need to do everything we can to mitigate risks.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox