THE son and daughter of a 'loving and positive' pensioner fatally injured by a motorist at a busy junction are calling on drivers to be more vigilant.
Dorothy Spires (picture), 84, was knocked down as she crossed at the junction of Kenton Lane and Gooseacre Lane on August 18 last year. She was airlifted to hospital, where she died five days later.
At Harrow Crown Court last Thursday, Mark Bar-Oz, 38, of Kenton Road, Kenton, was found not guilty of causing death by careless driving.
Mr Bar-Oz had admitted during the trial that he had been distracted for 'a split second' while he changed the radio station and turned up the volume in his wife's Suzuki Swift at the time he hit the grandmother.
Speaking following the verdict, Mrs Spires' daughter, Penelope, and her son, Peter, said the trial had been 'traumatic', and urged motorists to be more vigilant.
"We want to remind them to watch the road and to look out for pedestrians, especially the young or the elderly, to cut their speed, to cover their brakes, and consciously make the effort to avoid adjusting their radios or CD players at that time."
The siblings are now planning a campaign to get the crossing 'upgraded' at the junction where their mother was killed.
They said: "We want to concentrate on the pedestrian crossing on Kenton Road, by the junction with Gooseacre Lane and Charlton Road.
"Our mother, who walked with a stick, did not think the crossing was safe and had previously telephoned Harrow Council herself, to complain about it. Since the accident, the police and council have apparently reviewed the crossing and tell us that it is 'adequate'. Adequate is not good enough."
The siblings described their mother as a 'loving, positive, intelligent person whose strength helped us to cope with several tragedies in our past'.
They added: "We are finding it difficult, but we are trying to look for something positive to come out of this.
"With that aim we would ask the Harrow Observer to plead with all drivers to be vigilant when approaching pedestrian crossings and driving through junctions.
"We want this crossing to be the best and safest yet designed and we would ask readers to support us in asking for an upgrade for this crossing."
While giving evidence, a clearly distraught Mr Bar-Oz said the incident has haunted him ever since and will continue to do so for as long as he lives.
He told the jury: "As I approached the junction, the light was green. I looked down at the radio and pressed the button to change it over and turned the volume up. When I looked up again I saw Mrs Spires and I hit her.
"I automatically pulled over to the side of the road - I was in total shock. I couldn't believe it had happened to me. I didn't know where she had come from.
"It is a trauma that I have had to suffer with every single week since; there's nothing I can do about it. I will have to live with that for the rest of my life."
Mr Bar-Oz has had a clean driving licence for 20 years and has no previous convictions.