Hain urges cyclist deaths report

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by wafflycat, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_west/4593904.stm


    It says as follows: -

    "Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has called for a report into an accident in
    which four cyclists died when a car ploughed into them.

    One rider, Jon Harland, from Prestatyn, saw his 14-year-old son Thomas
    killed.

    The tragedy happened as 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club were out near
    Abergele in North Wales on Sunday.

    Club chairman Maurice Broadbent, 61, from Rhuddlan, Dave Horrocks, 55, from
    Llanerch and 42-year-old Wayne Wilkes, from Rhyl, were also killed.

    Police describe the deaths on Sunday as a "tragic accident". Officers said a
    Toyota Corolla travelling in the opposite direction, skidded on ice and spun
    into the riders, throwing several into a neighbouring field.

    Mr Hain said: "The thoughts of the people of Wales are with the families
    after this shocking accident. I will be asking the police and the local
    authorities for a report into how this tragedy happened."

    The cyclists had just set out from Mr Broadbent's home in Rhuddlan on a
    60-mile round trip to Great Orme when the crash took place on a notoriously
    dangerous stretch of the A547 Rhuddlan Road.

    Club secretary Scott Eccles said: "It was just a training ride. I've got a
    cold, otherwise I would have been out there today and I could have been
    killed."

    North Wales Police Chief Inspector Lyn Adams said the car driver had lost
    control on a gentle left hand bend because of ice.
    "There is no indication to suggest that this is down to something like
    excessive speed," he said.

    "Our best estimate at the moment is that the car was driving at something
    like 50 miles per hour. On a road like this, that isn't excessive speed."

    Conwy councillor Darren Miller said he contacted the chief highways officer
    as soon as he heard about the incident to ask why the road was in such poor
    condition.

    "I understand it was treated at 1730 GMT the previous evening but I
    personally don't feel it was acceptable given the condition of the road that
    morning," he told BBC Wales.

    One of the first people on the scene was Reverend Huw Rowlands, who told BBC
    Radio Wales: "I went to this lad [and] prayed with him. Then I heard a man,
    who was in shock, say, 'That's my boy'.

    "It was a sight you can never forget really."

    Club time-trial secretary Ashley Roberts said: "It's quite a small club.
    Everybody has some connection with the riders who were out there [on
    Sunday]. It's going to affect every member."

    Sharp bends
    Mr Broadbent, a qualified cycling coach in his 60s, was married with a son
    and a daughter. Mr Wilkes had two children and Mr Horrocks was also a
    married father.

    Dr Stuart Anderson, a good friend of Mr Broadbent, described him as "one of
    those genuinely nice people - a very modest but a very effective person".

    "Maurice always took the right precautions - he was a very keen safety man,"
    he said.

    "I'm sure from the point of view of him and his colleagues they took every
    precaution."

    In September, the A547 in the Abergele area was named among the 11 most
    deadly roads in north Wales by police.

    Sue Luckman, 48, a hospital administrator who lives near the accident site,
    said: "It was carnage, it was awful, absolutely awful."

    Seven of the eight cyclists taken to hospital were released last night,
    North Wales Police said. Mr Harland was still being treated for the broken
    leg."
     
    Tags:


  2. "wafflycat" <w*a*ff£y£cat*@£btco*nn£ect.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_west/4593904.stm


    (cut)
    > Officers said a
    > Toyota Corolla travelling in the opposite direction, skidded on ice and

    spun
    > into the riders, throwing several into a neighbouring field.


    (cut)

    > "Our best estimate at the moment is that the car was driving at something
    > like 50 miles per hour. On a road like this, that isn't excessive speed."


    (cut)

    What a desperately sad accident. The only thing I really, really take issue
    with in that account is that in icy conditions, 50mph can very easily be too
    fast. The claim that this wasn't esxessive speed seems to have come rather
    early.
     
  3. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Colin Davidson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    >
    > What a desperately sad accident. The only thing I really, really take
    > issue
    > with in that account is that in icy conditions, 50mph can very easily be
    > too
    > fast. The claim that this wasn't esxessive speed seems to have come rather
    > early.
    >



    You aren't the only one who thinks that the claim this wasn't excessive
    speed was made a bit early...

    Cheers, helen s
     
  4. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    wafflycat wrote:
    >
    > You aren't the only one who thinks that the claim this wasn't excessive
    > speed was made a bit early...
    >


    ....and nothing of course to do with the fact they had done nothing to
    make the road safer after a similar accident on the same stretch an hour
    earlier.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  5. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    wafflycat came up with the following;:
    > "Colin Davidson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>
    >> What a desperately sad accident. The only thing I really, really take
    >> issue
    >> with in that account is that in icy conditions, 50mph can very easily be
    >> too
    >> fast. The claim that this wasn't esxessive speed seems to have come
    >> rather early.
    >>

    >
    >
    > You aren't the only one who thinks that the claim this wasn't excessive
    > speed was made a bit early...


    I think the problem is that 'the speed limit' is now the measure, in the
    Polices' eyes, for excessive speed, not what the conditions actually are.
    As a Police Force, NW police have been tough in enforcing speed limits,
    perhaps they don't really understand that what is excessive isn't
    necessarily over, or indeed anywhere near the limit, depending upon
    prevailing conditions.

    Which is, I guess, the same argument used for people to exceed the limit on
    a clear, dry motorway ... ;)

    Lessons to be learned, I think.

    --
    Paul ...
    (8(|) Homer Rules ..... Doh !!!
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Paul - xxx wrote:

    > I think the problem is that 'the speed limit' is now the measure, in the
    > Polices' eyes, for excessive speed, not what the conditions actually
    > are. As a Police Force, NW police have been tough in enforcing speed
    > limits, perhaps they don't really understand that what is excessive
    > isn't necessarily over, or indeed anywhere near the limit, depending
    > upon prevailing conditions.
    >
    > Which is, I guess, the same argument used for people to exceed the limit
    > on a clear, dry motorway ... ;)


    No, it really isn't, although no doubt some speedophiles will take it
    upon themselves to attempt to use it.

    R.
     
  7. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Richard came up with the following;:
    > Paul - xxx wrote:
    >
    >> I think the problem is that 'the speed limit' is now the measure, in the
    >> Polices' eyes, for excessive speed, not what the conditions actually
    >> are. As a Police Force, NW police have been tough in enforcing speed
    >> limits, perhaps they don't really understand that what is excessive
    >> isn't necessarily over, or indeed anywhere near the limit, depending
    >> upon prevailing conditions.
    >>
    >> Which is, I guess, the same argument used for people to exceed the limit
    >> on a clear, dry motorway ... ;)

    >
    > No, it really isn't, although no doubt some speedophiles will take it
    > upon themselves to attempt to use it.


    I didn't mean it is a valid argument, just that it is one that is used
    frequently to try and excuse driving above the limit.

    --
    Paul ...
    (8(|) Homer Rules ..... Doh !!!
     
  8. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Paul - xxx wrote:
    > I think the problem is that 'the speed limit' is now the measure, in the
    > Polices' eyes, for excessive speed, not what the conditions actually are.


    Apparently there is a specific definition so the officer was
    technically correct, though misleading to non-specialists.

    > As a Police Force, NW police have been tough in enforcing speed limits,
    > perhaps they don't really understand that what is excessive isn't
    > necessarily over, or indeed anywhere near the limit, depending upon
    > prevailing conditions.


    ITYM inappropriate

    > Which is, I guess, the same argument used for people to exceed the limit on
    > a clear, dry motorway ... ;)
    >
    > Lessons to be learned, I think.


    All that sits between you and a similar accident is four small contact
    patches and friction. That is it. No amount of blarney can deny the
    laws of physics.

    ...d
     
  9. davidof

    davidof Guest

    wafflycat wrote:
    >
    > "Colin Davidson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>
    >> What a desperately sad accident. The only thing I really, really take
    >> issue
    >> with in that account is that in icy conditions, 50mph can very easily
    >> be too
    >> fast. The claim that this wasn't esxessive speed seems to have come
    >> rather
    >> early.
    >>

    >
    >
    > You aren't the only one who thinks that the claim this wasn't excessive
    > speed was made a bit early...


    Living in the mountains I drive on snow and ice for most of the winter
    (including on my MTB). It is very easy for even an experienced and
    careful driver to lose control on ice even when equipped with winter
    tires. Ice offers absolutely no grip unless you have snow chains or
    studded tires. Skidpan training doesn't help much, nor do ABS brakes. In
    some circumstances just being out on the road is the issue, if there is
    a camber or slope you can skid without much control over direction even
    at low speeds.

    I think Peter Hain is right to ask for more information about this
    accident. The driver might not have been going excessively fast in
    normal conditions - should there have been better road maintenance and
    some indication of the dangerous conditions? It sounds like it is not
    entirely clear cut. I hope someone posts the results of the inquiry.

    I say this as someone who has lost several friend cyclists to dangerous
    drivers and am the last person to excuse dangerous driving.
     
  10. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    davidof wrote:
    >
    > I think Peter Hain is right to ask for more information about this
    > accident. The driver might not have been going excessively fast in
    > normal conditions - should there have been better road maintenance and
    > some indication of the dangerous conditions? It sounds like it is not
    > entirely clear cut. I hope someone posts the results of the inquiry.
    >


    I agree but I also wonder. When I was young roads were ploughed if it
    was snowy but that was it. These days we expect them to be gritted and
    salted and that we can get on with driving as normal. When suddenly you
    find a road that isn't gritted people have little idea how to cope. If
    we gritted roads less I wonder whether people would start to realise
    that when its snowy or icy there are slippery roads out there. As it is
    we get people thinking its fine to drive normally whatever the
    temperature or weather which leads to the mass stranding on Dartmoor
    recently as people suddenly find there are still limits.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  11. would like to add some local information. The earlier messages about
    temperature and snow on Saturday night are correct. On Sunday morning
    it was very cold and clear in Bodelwyddan. (1 mile fromn scene of
    accident) When I went down Engine Hill at 10.00- local people will know

    that the council gritting depot is here, I saw no gritters and the
    B5381 and Engine Hill weren't gritted. The reports say that the road
    were the accident happened was gritted at 17.30 the previous day.At
    0700 this morning I counted 4 gritter lorries leaving the depot in 10
    minutes. It was nowhere near as cold or frosty this morning. Engine
    Hill and the B5381 resembled a sand pit !! I hope someone is going to
    find out from the council the tonnage of grit spread today(not needed)
    with the tonnage used yesterday
     
  12. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    davidof wrote:
    >
    > Living in the mountains I drive on snow and ice for most of the winter
    > (including on my MTB). It is very easy for even an experienced and
    > careful driver to lose control on ice even when equipped with winter
    > tires. Ice offers absolutely no grip unless you have snow chains or
    > studded tires. Skidpan training doesn't help much, nor do ABS brakes.


    Have you had any ice driving training? Skid pans are no use. You need
    the training cars mounted in the special grip varying frames so that you
    can practice on ice like conditions and simulate suddenly hitting ice
    from a dry road. It does seem impossible but you can learn to have more
    control than you ever thought possible. IIRC one of the TV programmes
    took one of the presenters on a course on a Scandinavian lake and he
    couldn't believe the transformation either. Too many people think they
    can make it up when they need it but it doesn't work like that.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  13. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "davidof" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > I think Peter Hain is right to ask for more information about this
    > accident. The driver might not have been going excessively fast in normal
    > conditions


    'normal' or 'perfect'? Almost certainly wasn't going excessively fast for a
    warm dry road.

    The question is did other drivers manage to negotiate that road safely? If
    so, it suggests that this particular driver was doing something wrong.

    clive
     
  14. Gwyn Oakley

    Gwyn Oakley Guest

    In message <[email protected]>
    Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:

    > davidof wrote:
    > >
    > > I think Peter Hain is right to ask for more information about this
    > > accident. The driver might not have been going excessively fast in
    > > normal conditions - should there have been better road maintenance and
    > > some indication of the dangerous conditions? It sounds like it is not
    > > entirely clear cut. I hope someone posts the results of the inquiry.
    > >

    >
    > I agree but I also wonder. When I was young roads were ploughed if it
    > was snowy but that was it. These days we expect them to be gritted and
    > salted and that we can get on with driving as normal. When suddenly you
    > find a road that isn't gritted people have little idea how to cope. If
    > we gritted roads less I wonder whether people would start to realise
    > that when its snowy or icy there are slippery roads out there. As it is
    > we get people thinking its fine to drive normally whatever the
    > temperature or weather which leads to the mass stranding on Dartmoor
    > recently as people suddenly find there are still limits.


    I also think that "modern" cars are a contributory factor. I remember in
    old cars in winter you knew when it was cold outside as th heater
    struggled to cope etc. Modern cars insulate and isolate the occupants
    from the outside so much that an appreciation of the real conditions is
    not made soon enough.

    Returning to the comment of the Chief Inspector Lyn Adams I feel that
    his comments were unwise because they could be interpreted as 50mph is
    an acceptable speed to drive on ice and if anything goes wrong the
    driver is blameless...

    >


    --
    Gwyn
     
  15. Tony Raven wrote:

    > davidof wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I think Peter Hain is right to ask for more information about this
    >> accident. The driver might not have been going excessively fast in
    >> normal conditions - should there have been better road maintenance and
    >> some indication of the dangerous conditions? It sounds like it is not
    >> entirely clear cut. I hope someone posts the results of the inquiry.
    >>

    >
    > I agree but I also wonder. When I was young roads were ploughed if it
    > was snowy but that was it. These days we expect them to be gritted and
    > salted and that we can get on with driving as normal. When suddenly you
    > find a road that isn't gritted people have little idea how to cope. If
    > we gritted roads less I wonder whether people would start to realise
    > that when its snowy or icy there are slippery roads out there. As it is
    > we get people thinking its fine to drive normally whatever the
    > temperature or weather which leads to the mass stranding on Dartmoor
    > recently as people suddenly find there are still limits.
    >

    I agree. They don't salt the roads in Japan, for instance. In parts of
    the US you get sand. Less corrosion on the cars.

    In parts of Europe, where there is snow all winter, the locals generally
    use snow tyres. They have steel wheels for winter and alloy wheels for
    summer, which makes swapping tyres just a case of changing the wheels.
    Try and find a single car in the Austrian Alps in summer *without* alloy
    wheels!
     
  16. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Zog The Undeniable wrote:


    > I agree. They don't salt the roads in Japan, for instance. In parts of
    > the US you get sand. Less corrosion on the cars.


    I was told at school this was because the salt on gritted roads reduced
    the freezing point to -4oC; quite effective in the UK but no use when
    it is routinely much colder.

    Also re the comment about the police requesting the road be gritted in
    the morning, I thought that once the water had frozen the damage was
    done.
     
  17. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    > Zog The Undeniable wrote:
    >
    >
    > > I agree. They don't salt the roads in Japan, for instance. In parts of
    > > the US you get sand. Less corrosion on the cars.

    >
    > I was told at school this was because the salt on gritted roads reduced
    > the freezing point to -4oC; quite effective in the UK but no use when
    > it is routinely much colder.
    >
    > Also re the comment about the police requesting the road be gritted in
    > the morning, I thought that once the water had frozen the damage was
    > done.


    Grit is a blend of sharp sand, fine gravel and salt, the precise blend
    of which depends on the conditins. For temperatures around zero, common
    salt works well as it will liquify the ice. It does have the
    consequence of cooling the surface slightly (entropy dear boy) so any
    freezing rain falling will dilute the salt (reducing its effectiveness)
    and be more likely to freeze. Salting the road just before the rainfal
    was potentially worse than not salting at all.

    As the conditions get colder salt can have the wonderful effect of
    taking nice hard packed snow crystals that have some form and a degree
    of grip, and turning them into sheet ice overnight. Loverly. And so if
    it will be below about -5 they will not use salt but will use sand and
    gravel instead. IIRC There are also non-rock salt deicers but they can
    be expensive.

    In Scandinavia the road is not blamed. People slow down. Sure, shit
    happens but when it does it is not such bad shit because the speeds at
    which it happens are much slower.

    ...d
     
  18. davidof

    davidof Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > Have you had any ice driving training? Skid pans are no use.


    No just skid pan so I accept what you tell me.
     
  19. wafflycat wrote:
    > "Colin Davidson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>
    >> What a desperately sad accident. The only thing I really, really take
    >> issue
    >> with in that account is that in icy conditions, 50mph can very
    >> easily be too
    >> fast. The claim that this wasn't esxessive speed seems to have come
    >> rather early.

    >
    > You aren't the only one who thinks that the claim this wasn't
    > excessive speed was made a bit early...


    I don't have a source for this, but someone on the Singletrack forum quoted
    it as coming from a North Wales policeman on another forum:-

    -included message- (sorry, no paste as quote button)
    I saw that bumbling pillock of a boss on the news yesterday, saying that the
    accident was caused by the ice. The scene hadn't even been fully examined
    when he spoke - the vehicle and bikes were still in situ, and the A.I's were
    still doing their stuff.

    Not one witness statement would have been taken at that point, the vehicle
    wouldn't have been examined,
    the driver won't have been interviewed yet, and the P.Ms of the poor buggers
    who died haven't yet been done.

    Yet he was quite happy to state on television that the accident was caused
    by an icy road.
    If it turns out that the driver has committed any offences, I know which bit
    of footage I'd be playing at his trial if I was his defence solicitor.
    -end-

    Seems like a pretty acute assessment to me.

    --
    Ambrose
     
  20. Gwyn Oakley <[email protected]> wrote:
    > In message <[email protected]>
    > Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:


    >> davidof wrote:
    >> >
    >> > I think Peter Hain is right to ask for more information about this
    >> > accident. The driver might not have been going excessively fast in
    >> > normal conditions - should there have been better road maintenance and
    >> > some indication of the dangerous conditions? It sounds like it is not
    >> > entirely clear cut. I hope someone posts the results of the inquiry.
    >> >

    >>
    >> I agree but I also wonder. When I was young roads were ploughed if it
    >> was snowy but that was it. These days we expect them to be gritted and
    >> salted and that we can get on with driving as normal. When suddenly you
    >> find a road that isn't gritted people have little idea how to cope. If
    >> we gritted roads less I wonder whether people would start to realise
    >> that when its snowy or icy there are slippery roads out there. As it is
    >> we get people thinking its fine to drive normally whatever the
    >> temperature or weather which leads to the mass stranding on Dartmoor
    >> recently as people suddenly find there are still limits.


    > I also think that "modern" cars are a contributory factor. I remember in
    > old cars in winter you knew when it was cold outside as th heater
    > struggled to cope etc. Modern cars insulate and isolate the occupants
    > from the outside so much that an appreciation of the real conditions is
    > not made soon enough.


    I used to fit my motorcycles with a device called an Ice-alert (IIRC)
    which had a sensor mounted close to the road which lit a dash warning
    light when temperatures got icy. I stopped using it because I found it
    never told me something I didn't know already. But of course on a bike
    I was out in the weather unheated, and on only two wheels very well
    motivated to pay careful attention ot skidding risks :)

    I'm very surprised that such a device isn't fitted as standard to
    modern cars, given that they're designed to insulate you so well from
    the weather. It would be very cheap as a standard fitting.

    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
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