Response to Brighton cyclists death



B

Brian Drury

Guest
The inquest into the death of a Brighton cyclist is reported here:

http://www.theargus.co.uk/search/di...list_killed_after_pulling_out_at_junction.php

The father of James Danson-Hatcher has posted the following on
[email protected]

The cyclist, James Danson-Hatcher, was my son.
I would like to thank all contributors for their messages of
condolence and sympathy.

Here are some more details for you to consider.
1. The motorist was an inexperienced driver (full licence for 4
years, driving about 8000 miles a year, he drives along this road to
and from work daily).

2. At the inquest the motorist was unable to cite cyclists as
something he needed to consider in the vicinity of this junction - it
is of course in close proximity to a recognised cycle crossing.

3. In his formal interview with the police the motorist admitted to
driving at between 60 and 65 mph. He also said that if he had been
driving slower he might have missed James.

4. The Highway Code article 104 states: "The speed limit is the
absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed
irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road
and traffic conditions can be dangerous. You should always reduce
your speed when:
- the road layout or condition presents hazards such as bends
- sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, particularly
children, and motorcyclists
- weather conditions make it safer to do so
- driving at night as it is harder to see other road users."

5. This is the second death on this stretch of road in the last 3
years (Brighton & Hove CC Highways Dept information).

6. When I asked the Brighton & Hove Road Safety Manager if, in the
light of this death, she considered a 60 mph speed limit appropriate
for the whole of the Devil's Dyke/Saddlescombe Road she replied yes.

6. The following indicates the confused thinking that exists about
speed in the local government/road policing/justice organisation: the
SUSSEX SAFER ROADS PARTNERSHIP (www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk) provides
this as an answer on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of its
website:

"No. The police have made it quite clear they will not prosecute
people who drive just over the speed limit"

This contradicts other information on the page and is difficult to
reconcile with the law and official reports or plans published by
partnership members. But please visit the website to see for
yourselves.
On this basis you can only wonder how a little bit of burglary, or a
little bit of racial discrimination or a little bit of rape might be
defined and what tolerance it is shown.

Please get behind the campaigns to reduce tolerance of speeding, road
death and careless or dangerous driving. I hope you will actively
support the initiatives of Bricycles and other organisations working
for safer roads in and around Brighton.

James was an experienced and competent cyclist. He had a broad
experience of urban and rural conditions, had covered many tens of
thousands of miles on tarmac and competed in mountain bike classes. He
loved cycling.
I will now do what I can to make cycling safer in Brighton and
elsewhere.

Mark Danson-Hatcher
 
C

Coyoteboy

Guest
Brian Drury wrote:
> The inquest into the death of a Brighton cyclist is reported here:
>
> http://www.theargus.co.uk/search/di...list_killed_after_pulling_out_at_junction.php
>
> The father of James Danson-Hatcher has posted the following on
> [email protected]
>
> The cyclist, James Danson-Hatcher, was my son.
> I would like to thank all contributors for their messages of
> condolence and sympathy.
>
> Here are some more details for you to consider.
> 1. The motorist was an inexperienced driver (full licence for 4
> years, driving about 8000 miles a year, he drives along this road to
> and from work daily).
>
> 2. At the inquest the motorist was unable to cite cyclists as
> something he needed to consider in the vicinity of this junction - it
> is of course in close proximity to a recognised cycle crossing.
>
> 3. In his formal interview with the police the motorist admitted to
> driving at between 60 and 65 mph. He also said that if he had been
> driving slower he might have missed James.
>
> 4. The Highway Code article 104 states: "The speed limit is the
> absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed
> irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road
> and traffic conditions can be dangerous. You should always reduce
> your speed when:
> - the road layout or condition presents hazards such as bends
> - sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, particularly
> children, and motorcyclists
> - weather conditions make it safer to do so
> - driving at night as it is harder to see other road users."
>
> 5. This is the second death on this stretch of road in the last 3
> years (Brighton & Hove CC Highways Dept information).
>
> 6. When I asked the Brighton & Hove Road Safety Manager if, in the
> light of this death, she considered a 60 mph speed limit appropriate
> for the whole of the Devil's Dyke/Saddlescombe Road she replied yes.
>
> 6. The following indicates the confused thinking that exists about
> speed in the local government/road policing/justice organisation: the
> SUSSEX SAFER ROADS PARTNERSHIP (www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk) provides
> this as an answer on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of its
> website:
>
> "No. The police have made it quite clear they will not prosecute
> people who drive just over the speed limit"
>
> This contradicts other information on the page and is difficult to
> reconcile with the law and official reports or plans published by
> partnership members. But please visit the website to see for
> yourselves.
> On this basis you can only wonder how a little bit of burglary, or a
> little bit of racial discrimination or a little bit of rape might be
> defined and what tolerance it is shown.
>
> Please get behind the campaigns to reduce tolerance of speeding, road
> death and careless or dangerous driving. I hope you will actively
> support the initiatives of Bricycles and other organisations working
> for safer roads in and around Brighton.
>
> James was an experienced and competent cyclist. He had a broad
> experience of urban and rural conditions, had covered many tens of
> thousands of miles on tarmac and competed in mountain bike classes. He
> loved cycling.
> I will now do what I can to make cycling safer in Brighton and
> elsewhere.
>
> Mark Danson-Hatcher
>


I'm not sure cutting the speed limit anywhere the road gets anything
other than straight is the answer. I'm not too sure what the father
wants, although I feel for him naturally. The cyclist pulled out of a
side road, making it his responsibility to ensure it was safe to do so
without causing other traffic to have to avoid him. This isnt always
easy to ensure of course, and I dont know the area in question. Really
the only thing that ultimately is wrong here is the drivers choice of
speed in the location, seeing as I presume there would be warning of the
junction in the form of signs as there normally are, which the driver
should have heeded and slowed for.
 
N

Niall Wallace

Guest
"Coyoteboy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Brian Drury wrote:
>> The inquest into the death of a Brighton cyclist is reported here:
>>
>> http://www.theargus.co.uk/search/di...list_killed_after_pulling_out_at_junction.php
>>
>> The father of James Danson-Hatcher has posted the following on
>> [email protected]
>>
>> The cyclist, James Danson-Hatcher, was my son.
>> I would like to thank all contributors for their messages of
>> condolence and sympathy.
>>
>> Here are some more details for you to consider.
>> 1. The motorist was an inexperienced driver (full licence for 4
>> years, driving about 8000 miles a year, he drives along this road to
>> and from work daily).
>>
>> 2. At the inquest the motorist was unable to cite cyclists as
>> something he needed to consider in the vicinity of this junction - it
>> is of course in close proximity to a recognised cycle crossing.
>>
>> 3. In his formal interview with the police the motorist admitted to
>> driving at between 60 and 65 mph. He also said that if he had been
>> driving slower he might have missed James.
>>
>> 4. The Highway Code article 104 states: "The speed limit is the
>> absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed
>> irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road
>> and traffic conditions can be dangerous. You should always reduce
>> your speed when:
>> - the road layout or condition presents hazards such as bends
>> - sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, particularly
>> children, and motorcyclists
>> - weather conditions make it safer to do so
>> - driving at night as it is harder to see other road users."
>>
>> 5. This is the second death on this stretch of road in the last 3
>> years (Brighton & Hove CC Highways Dept information).
>>
>> 6. When I asked the Brighton & Hove Road Safety Manager if, in the
>> light of this death, she considered a 60 mph speed limit appropriate
>> for the whole of the Devil's Dyke/Saddlescombe Road she replied yes.
>>
>> 6. The following indicates the confused thinking that exists about
>> speed in the local government/road policing/justice organisation: the
>> SUSSEX SAFER ROADS PARTNERSHIP (www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk) provides
>> this as an answer on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of its
>> website:
>>
>> "No. The police have made it quite clear they will not prosecute
>> people who drive just over the speed limit"
>>
>> This contradicts other information on the page and is difficult to
>> reconcile with the law and official reports or plans published by
>> partnership members. But please visit the website to see for
>> yourselves.
>> On this basis you can only wonder how a little bit of burglary, or a
>> little bit of racial discrimination or a little bit of rape might be
>> defined and what tolerance it is shown.
>>
>> Please get behind the campaigns to reduce tolerance of speeding, road
>> death and careless or dangerous driving. I hope you will actively
>> support the initiatives of Bricycles and other organisations working
>> for safer roads in and around Brighton.
>>
>> James was an experienced and competent cyclist. He had a broad
>> experience of urban and rural conditions, had covered many tens of
>> thousands of miles on tarmac and competed in mountain bike classes. He
>> loved cycling.
>> I will now do what I can to make cycling safer in Brighton and
>> elsewhere.
>>
>> Mark Danson-Hatcher
>>

>
> I'm not sure cutting the speed limit anywhere the road gets anything other
> than straight is the answer. I'm not too sure what the father wants,
> although I feel for him naturally. The cyclist pulled out of a side road,
> making it his responsibility to ensure it was safe to do so without
> causing other traffic to have to avoid him. This isnt always easy to
> ensure of course, and I dont know the area in question. Really the only
> thing that ultimately is wrong here is the drivers choice of speed in the
> location, seeing as I presume there would be warning of the junction in
> the form of signs as there normally are, which the driver should have
> heeded and slowed for.


Not knowing anything about the case (other than readibng that article) it's
hard to comment but you state that the only thing wrong was the drivers
speed.
It is perfectly possible that the driver woudl ahve done exactly the same
regardless of the speed they were doing.

4 years at 8000 or 32000 miles sounds like a decent distance to have covered
in 4 years there are drivers who have not done that in 30 years of driving
but you wouldn't call them inexperienced because they are older.

If the driver did drive the road every day or at least every working day
complacency or distraction or driving from memory could play a part.

Based on the article it sounds like had it been a car or other motorised
vehicle pulling out of a junction into the path of other traffic the driver
emerging from the side road would almost certainly have been considered as
at fault (i.e. by my reading it was a side on because it seems that if the
emerging vehicle makes it far enough onto the main road for the acident to
be a rear end shunt the fault is considered to be that of the driver who was
approaching.)

It reads like the junction is just after a corner which most drivers and
modern vehicles could handle at speeds in excess of the limit, familuarity
would say I don't need to back off for this. Complacency would say, I do
this every day.
The 3rd point made by the father that the driver believes had he been going
slower he might have missed the cyclist, guilt would make him wonder that.
Whats to say that even had he backed off to 40 the emerging vehicles
operator still misjudged the speed of the approaching vehicle with the same
result?

Point 5 made by the father, 2nd death in 3 years at this same stretch (does
this mean corner and junction?) one more and the council might look at the
set up there, it is sick and ridiculous that Death or Serious injuiry
incidents have to happen before anyone bothers their **** to look at road
set ups.
Loads happened on the A90 Dundee to aberdeen stretch simply because at a
cross roads over it there was a one car sized gap in the central
reservation, when 2 vehicles tried to cross at the same time operators
faield to make the final check that where they were going was clear in found
themselves stranded broad side to lane 2. Taking the strict line of "No its
not the roads fault its the drivers for not looking" didn't help anyone, you
don't build bridges without safety margins, its about time that approach was
taken to road design as well you have to allow some room for the idiots, the
careless and plain old misjudgements. The car industry was years ago.

Niall
 
C

Coyoteboy

Guest
Niall Wallace wrote:
> you
> don't build bridges without safety margins, its about time that approach was
> taken to road design as well you have to allow some room for the idiots, the
> careless and plain old misjudgements. The car industry was years ago.
>
> Niall
>
>

Unfortunately they do already build roads in such a manner but the more
room you give for idiots the more room idiots take. Theres a road near
mine with the exact same setup as you describe. They widened the gap in
the CR and widened the CR so 3 cars could fit in it,now they pull in,
overhang and realise, then try to pull past the car in front to get
their tail off the road behind. All good but then because they have
moved someone else tries to get in where they were. There is no
accounting for brain dead in cars and you could go on all day making
allowances, if people are not held responsible for their own actions it
only gets worse.

In the end they simply banned crossing at that point, filled in the CR
with a paved area - now people drive over the paved area as if it were
road. There is no accounting for idiots.
 

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