Sad letter in the local anti cycling rag

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  • Sad letter in the local anti cycling rag
  • Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    If you choose wrong, is it reasonable to prosecute you?

    I don’t think someone should or would be prosecuted purely on that basis.

    The bigger issue was that he had 17 seconds in which to spot other vehicles pulling out but didn’t.

    And also that he knew he hit “something”, stopped briefly but didn’t investigate properly and left the scene.

    My sympathies too eyerideit, an awful waste of life.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    GrahamS wrote:

    I don’t think someone should or would be prosecuted purely on that basis.

    I agree. I did realise after I posted that particularly given my history on stuff like this it would be easy to take my comment the wrong way and make assumptions about what I thought the answer was, so well done for not doing so.

    I also agree with the rest of what you say – as with the woman overtaking on a bend, I have a feeling the only available direct witness has a made up story.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I have a feeling the only available direct witness has a made up story.

    To be fair they did have another witness, a scooter rider, who according to road.cc said:

    Witness Clive Jones told the court that the low sun and glare had been “blinding”. He was riding a scooter at the time of the crash and told the court: “I was doing about 40mph, no more than 45mph.

    “It was blinding. My first reaction, if I couldn’t see, was to take my hand off the throttle. I was concerned about traffic going into the back of me.

    “It all happened in such a quick time. It was just a whiteout.

    “I couldn’t really see anything at that point. Even with my sun visor pulled down. It was the glare that just hit me.”

    Mr Jones added that he was later able to “just make out tail lights” and he realised something had happened.

    “In a split second, to my left, that’s when I thought I saw a person in the road.

    “I wasn’t aware it was a cyclist. I hadn’t seen the cyclist prior to the accident.”

    But I agree that “blinded by the sun” seems to be a very common excuse.

    In this case the driver was wearing sunglasses, and had the sun visor down, but somehow didn’t see the cyclist or presumably the car in front of him pulling out, despite testifying that “I was concentrating. I could just see the car in front with its lights on.”

    lilchris
    Member

    Neither are great options, but when forced to I’d choose the one less likely to kill someone myself in my metal box.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I’d choose the one less likely to kill someone myself in my metal box.

    Phrase it how you like, that’s the decision I would make if I was forced to.

    Better to risk the quite minor possibility of killing an unseen cyclist than the far more likely risk of being rear-ended at speed and causing a multi-car pile up that could kill dozens.

    pondo
    Member

    Press complaints can’t help on a matter of taste and decency –

    “…there is no body that performs the function you describe. However, editors have a direct interest in responding to concerns about taste and decency issues because they will lose readers if they do not take their views into account. I recommend therefore writing to the editor to express your concern about the letter.

    With regard to the issue you raise about hate crimes, I am not able to give legal advice but I do not believe that cyclists are a protected class under any relevant UK legislation. If you believe a crime has been committed, however, it is best to contact the police.”

    How do we go about getting protected class status?

    Cletus
    Member

    Unfortunately there are thousands of morons like the letter writer but for the paper to publish such vitriol is shocking.

    I would hope that the publishing of such a letter would go against the writer if they are ever involved in an incident (was going to write accident but it could be a deliberate act) with a cyclist.

    Hopefully karma will arrange for a 50 ton lorry to hit his 2 ton car with him in it and for the legal process to fail him too.

    I have enormous sympathy for the friends and family of the rider killed. I would be appalled to read this sick garbage if it were one of my friends or family.

    DT78
    Member

    So sad.

    I live just round the corner from mountbatton way, in fact I regularly ride the junction of regents park and mill brook just up from mountbatton way which often has bunches of flowers in the middle. I think for another cyclist killed a few years back.

    I was quite close to being clipped yet again on Monday. Really hits home how dangerous it can be, and how thoughtless and uncaring some people are.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/yoursay/letters/10996773.Cyclist_s_death__was_the_fault_of_all_cyclists_/

    Lots of reputable companies advertise on the site where that bile is published.

    Volvo, Martins Group etc.

    I wonder how thrilled they are to have their names and contact details on the same page as it?

    mrmo
    Member

    On the original case, one question I want answered. The cyclist was hit with the wing mirror. This means the van had started to pass the cyclist. Was the cyclist so close to the kerb that the minibus had no reason to move out and it simply was a case of blindness, or did the driver see the cyclist and not move out sufficiently and is basically lying.

    mrmo
    Member

    one thing for those saying about driving blind, you are driving along then you are blinded, if you have been paying attention you have a good idea of what is ahead of you. Yes slow down etc because something may appear that wasn’t there, but with decent sight lines you have a fair amount of warning. It is likely that drivers further ahead would have moved or used brakes when approaching the cyclist. Things the driver should have been looking for.

    I know the jury has reached a verdict and not much can be done now and I don’t believe the driver intended for what to happen to happen. Just far to much complacency in the system, far too much of a reluctance to ban drivers permenantly.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    According to the defence “the three lanes at Mountbatten Way are wide enough for cars to overtake without switching lanes”.

    (possibly another example of ignoring the Highway Code there!)

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    According to the defence “the three lanes at Mountbatten Way are wide enough for cars to overtake without switching lanes”.

    I hope this was shouted down by the prosecution, I doubt it was tho.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    mrmo wrote:

    the driver … is basically lying.

    My money’s on that.

    @D0NK – given the judge’s other rulings I imagine he would have refused to consider that to be relevant.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I think this is the right general are of the accident. The lanes don’t look that wide to me. 🙁

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Worth reading some of the summaries of court proceedings posted by Southampton Cycling Campaign. It does seem that several witnesses didn’t have any bother with the sun and that cyclists did regularly use that road.

    Report on the trial of Steven Petterson

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I think this is the right general are of the accident

    if so the defence is full of shit.

    29erKeith
    Member

    I think it was more like here a bit further up the road
    The lanes are not very wide, certainly not enough space to pass (IHMO) a cyclist safely at that sort of speed without crossing a lane marker
    [edit]the haras fencing wasn’t there then I done think[/edit]

    DT78
    Member

    Ive used millbrook flyover / mountbatton way once on the bike, very dangerous, its just too busy and fast. I regular ride a very short 200m section between totton and the m271 and that is worrying enough. The need to sort the token effort of a cycle path out.

    mrmo
    Member

    http://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/futility/

    scroll down to the bit about discrimination!

    when the judge allegedly states that the jury “will be directed to ignore Highway Code [rules 93 and 237, advising drivers to] slow down or stop if dazzled [because the] Highway Code is not law” and that the defendant’s failure to adhere to such rules “could be used as evidence of without due care and attention, or could be ignored“.

    …..

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Is there any possibility of attacking the judges ruling on that? Surely he’s actually applying the law incorrectly and should be corrected? Judges are answerable to scrutiny of their rulings aren’t they?

    29erKeith
    Member

    Is there any possibility of attacking the judges ruling on that

    good luck!
    I agree with what others have said about helmets, should vs. must etc within the highway code etc

    I’m sure the driver didn’t mean to kill the guy or even hit him, and the sun was bright that morning but!!!!

    The statement he made about thinking it was a “bus stop” is just bullshine! he’s local and has no doubt driven down there hundreds of times, he never though there was a but stop. Has anybody here ever hit a bus stop with a wing mirror? I doubt it, you’d have to be dragging your wheels along the kerb to manage that even then I doubt you’d hit many.
    IMO he had a good idea what had happened (probably not the severity) but just left, which is disgusting! Yes a lapse in concentration\a poor decision\distraction etc. yes, accidents can happen as sad as they are.

    Somethings imo just don’t add up, as I said I very much doubt he intended to do it. Do I think the standard of his driving (any many others on the road) is\fell below what I would expect\hope for? Yes.

    I haven’t read all of the court documents and I’m not sure about the driving charges and what I would have said were I on the jury on those, but leaving the scene of an accident. I do think he should have stopped and very likely had a good idea what had happened and leaving is disgusting.

    Makes me think of the Jade Clark case on the A31 a bit.

    I found this article every good ’The Problem with Good People’
    No he didn’t do the church\good person card, but I still think it relevant with regards the judge and jury’s handling of the case.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    It’s quite terrifying and tragic how much leeway is given to those causing death or injury on the roads and also to the amount of anti-cyclist rethoric that does the rounds on Twitter and in the comments section of newspapers.

    Bez writes about it very eloquently in his blog (beyondthekerb) but at every opportunity the driver is given the benefit of the doubt – they’re a good person, they do community/charity work, they didn’t mean it, they’re full of remorse.

    Equally, at every possible turn, the dead cyclist is vilified – they were wearing hi vis but it was dirty/partly covered. They weren’t wearing a helmet. They were riding on a road even though there’s a (rubbish) cycle path half a mile away they could have used. It was their first ride on that bike. It just goes on and on. Victim blaming at all points while defending the motorists absolute right to drive using vague subjective adjectives like “careless”.

    I hope we’re at a turning point where most of this is due to the vast numbers of extra people riding bikes now and the fact that the less enlightened still can’t get used to it. I hope that one day there will be proper sentencing that reflects the fact that a driver has just killed someone. But every court case I hear about gradually erodes that hope. 🙁

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