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So the next time anyone feels like having a pop at cyclists.......

Discussion in 'Personal' started by peakster, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Just over two years ago in my home city a world renowned scientist was knocked off his bike and killed by a motorist coming out of a side road without looking.

    As is usual with these things it has taken a long time to get to court.

    Her "punishment" was a 12 month suspended sentence, a small fine and 150 hours of unpaid work.

    She also got a 12 month driving ban.......12 months !

  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    A motorist admitted she "just didn't see" a renowned conservationist on his bicycle before the crash in which he lost his life.

    Dr Anthony Whitten, 64, suffered fatal injuries in the collision in Cambridge on 29 November 2017.

    Emma Featherstone, 56, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving at Cambridge Crown Court.

    A police spokesman said the incident had been "completely avoidable".

    The court heard Ms Featherstone, of Eachard Road in Cambridge, turned right out of Sun Street into Newmarket Road at about 21:15 GMT.

    Dr Whitten, of Gilbert Road in the city, was cycling across the road when the crash happened.

    Described as a "giant of the conservation world", the zoologist was a senior advisor with Fauna and Flora International - one of the world's oldest conservation groups.

    He is commemorated in the scientific names of 11 species that he championed, including geckos and beetles.

    Ms Featherstone was interviewed at the scene and admitted being the driver of the car - but claimed she "just didn't see" the cyclist, police said.

    She said she turned right at the junction while in first gear.

    A collision investigation report concluded Ms Featherstone had failed to look adequately before pulling out of the junction.

    PC Paul Gale said: "It's incredibly sad when we have to attend incidents where drivers have made a mistake resulting in tragedy.

    "We attend these kinds of incidents far too often and many are completely avoidable."

    Ms Featherstone was handed a 12-month community order, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and has to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

    She was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.
  3. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    That will brighten DoY's day.
  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Whilst a custodial sentence is not always appropriate, there is undue leniency when it comes to deaths caused by driving. Especially when it involves a cyclist. (I wonder if any premeditated murders have used this knowledge?)

    I think, though, if someone dies through a consequence of another person's poor driving then it should be an automatic life ban on having a driving licence.
  5. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    The same often applies to collisions with motorcycles. They are known as a SMIDSY (sorry mate I didn't see you). Failure to properly observe should treated as the road traffic offence it is.
    les25paul likes this.
  6. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    It is shockingly easy however to miss a motorcyclist and I'm speaking as a motorcyclist who also drives a car. I always take a second last look before changing lane taking special care to look for a bike but on a few occasions I have been surprised when a bike appears that definitely wasn't there at the start of my manoeuvre.

    I have always believed that bike riders (motorised or not) make better car drivers. But then maybe I a little biased. :)
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Only to a certain extent.

    Nobody gets side-swiped by a pedal cyclist doing 55 in a 30mph zone.
    peakster likes this.
  8. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I have only started car driving the last 5 years after using bikes for decades. I miss the ability to do sharp and immediate U turns, being able to park anywhere and of course not sitting in jams.

    I'm not sure it makes me a better car driver but yes, I do check blind spots a lot and make sure cyclists in particular are given a wide berth as I know even heavy motorbikes can get blown off course. And as any biker knows when you are crawling through towns - pedestrians WILL run out between parked cars. I cringe at the speed many car drivers drive past lines of parked cars (and so close, too).

    I think the best way to improve road safety is to make it mandatory a cyclist must spend time in a car, on a motorbike and in a lorry - and vice versa.

    Once you have driven a lorry you will never - ever - pass one on the left. You will not follow it around a roundabout, either (something some other car drivers get well angry at me for doing until they see it has to cut the corner to exit).
    Pageant likes this.
  9. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I can't see why it would. Perhaps you can explain your thinking?
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You hate cyclists
    LondonCanary likes this.
  11. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    That's fundamentally untrue. I dislike reckless cyclists who have no respect for the rules of the road or pedestrians. Provided cyclists respect other road users and ride sensiblty, I don't have a problem with them. Ride on the road and not on the pavement. Stop at red lights. Go the correct way down one-way streets. Watch where you're cycling. How bleedin' difficult is it?
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    In other words - you hate cyclists.
    LondonCanary and nomad like this.
  13. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    I didn't learn on a motorcycle until I was 48. It did make me a more observant car driver. They teach you that on the Direct Access training. The thing that bothers me (on two wheels) is the way other motorcyclists will suddenly blast past you when you have not seen them in your mirrors because they arrive so quick and may be exceeding the speed limit. My current two wheels has the best mirrors I have ever had on a motorcycle, but you can't be looking in them non-stop.
  14. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    I do not hate cyclists.

    I'm more scared by the thought that they hate humble, non-driviing, pedestrians like me.
  15. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'm wondering whether the victim here was wearing a helmet...The BBC report of the court case says that the driver was in first gear - which to me means no more than 15-20 mph - and if so the collision was at that speed it would normally not be fatal (but could be if the cyclist hit his head unprotected).

    Here's a question (not directly related to this sad case): should NOT wearing a helmet be regarded as contributory negligence as regards any injuries? (Ditto for drivers not wearing seat belts etc).
    border_walker likes this.
  16. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    The problem here is you then open a whole new area of cost and fighting for lawyers as they will argue the helmet did not fit correctly, was old (not approved safety marks), was already damaged (as incredibly many are) or was not secured properly etc etc.
  17. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not really. You either wear a helmet or you don't. If you don't, you get (say) 50% of any damages withdrawn.

    PS I would actually make it compulsory to wear them. And prosecute those who don't. But if we don't go down that route, then perhaps introduce some liability...
    peter12171 and hhhh like this.
  18. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I doubt the car was doing more than 10mph. What's likely to be more relevant is the speed the cycle was travelling at.

    As a driver, I'm contantly alert to what's going on around me. I notice kids, animals and pedestrians hundreds of yards before I reach them. I also notice vehicles at junctions that might suddenly pull out as I get near. I fail to understand why the same shouldn't be true of any road user.

    Also as a driver, I'm well aware of how vulnerable I am when driving amound large vehicles, so I take steps to ensure my personal safety and not behave recklessly when I'm near trucks and buses. Lorry drivers have limited vision, so it's down to me to take responsibility for my safety, just as much as it is the truck driver's responsibility to be careful.
  19. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I would not support anything that gives the driver of a potential death weapon (a car) the feeling they will only be held 50% responsible if they take out a cyclist. Or any percentage that starts taking the onus away from the car driver.

    Sadly we have far too many outrageously stupid people in our society - we don't need them thinking 'it's alright we get a rebate, innit?' as they mow a cyclist down.

    I am not a fan of cyclists but they are the most vulnerable and need car drivers to at least feel the need for extreme care at all times.
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Fair point about the speed of the cyclist. The driver pleaded guilty and, I'm sure, has been traumatised by the fact that their mistake has cost a human life.

    Driving is difficult...this morning, less than an hour ago, I was stuck at a busy junction waiting to turn right. Lots of traffic coming from my right were winking and turning left, a few turned without winking...I was stuck for 4 or 5 minutes...a queue built up behind me. Then a few cars were coming, all winking, but I waited until I was sure, and one car, still winking, drove straight on! :mad: You just have to be careful...;)

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