Mum's battle to save lives goes into print
"I WAS determined that Cassie wouldn't die in vain. I needed something to happen."
A mother who turned into a road safety campaigner after the death of her daughter has written a book about her battle to save lives.
Jan Wildman, whose 13-year-old daughter Cassie died crossing a road in December 1996, has backed our RIP 479 campaign to raise awareness about road safety.
There have been 479 people killed on the county's roads between 2000 and 2012 – enough to fill eight double-decker buses.
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Mrs Wildman has spent the past 17 years working to improve safety on the road, but has decided to stop.
She said: "I started talking to Year 7s about what happened. I talked to them about how to keep safe by the road. I used to talk to sixth-formers about drinking and driving and speed.
"Then there were those awful deaths of young people in the Forest of Dean in 2005 and I became involved with Time and Place then.
"But I can't talk about Cassie any more. It's not good to keep going back."
Mrs Wildman, 59, a mother of three from Hucclecote, fought for three and a half years to get a crossing installed on the A40 in Gloucester, just east of the Longford roundabout, where Cassie was knocked down and killed.
She has been part of the county road safety unit's specialist team, working on the rehabilitation of convicted drink drivers and speeding motorists.
She also set up a bereavement group called CASSIE – Care and Support Shared in Empathy – for relatives of road accident victims and she worked with road safety charity Time and Place, working to save young lives.
Her work on a Kill Your Speed campaign won her the Road Safety Award in a scheme run by Prince Michael of Kent.
And Mrs Wildman, who has four grandchildren, has also been working as a trainer on a speed awareness course.
"It enables me to keep my hand in. We are showing people there's no need to speed. We show them what could happen. People are taking risks every day.
"It's all down to people and what they do on the roads. Every time there's a bad crash, people are up in arms and complain about the dangerous roads.
"It's not the roads, it's the people who are driving on them."
Mrs Wildman, whose book is awaiting approval from a publisher, added: "Road safety is really important. I've learned an awful lot since I started on this journey.
"I used to think about material things. When Cassie died, that was one thing that really hit me. Material things mean nothing.
"It's people that matter."