Road Safety News
 

Grieving young mum supports motorcycle safety campaign

Friday 29th April 2016

 

 

A bereaved mum is supporting a Road Safety GB North East campaign which urges motorcyclists to slow down and anticipate the mistakes of other road users.

Look out for each other’ was launched in March on the back of figures which showed that almost 2,500 motorcyclists have been killed or injured in the north east over the past five years - and in response to a 13% rise in serious bike collisions during 2015.

Faye Keeler’s husband, Chris, was killed in July 2015 after his bike collided with an oncoming truck less than a mile from their home near Cleveland.

The couple had a young son (Harley), and Faye hopes to save others from the feelings of ‘anger and emptiness’ that she has experienced.

Faye said: “I can’t get my head around the fact that he went out and simply didn’t come home. It’s been nine months, but sometimes it feels like nine years and other times it feels like nine minutes. I still feel numb.

“I want to save someone else going through what we are going through.

“Chris loved riding and his bike was his pride and joy, so I would never tell people that they shouldn’t ride bikes, but they should take it easy and ride safely.”

Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB North East, said failure to look properly - by both drivers and bikers - is a major factor, along with motorcyclists losing control of their bikes.

In the run-up to the Bank Holiday weekend, he is appealing to all road-users to slow down and drive according to the conditions.

Paul Watson said: “We appreciate that riding for some people is a way of life and a much-loved pastime, so we are not here to tell people not to ride. However, we do want people to take it easy and to make sure they have the skills and experience required for riding the larger bikes.

“Drivers of cars and heavy goods vehicles also need to take a second longer to look for bikes at junctions and before they overtake on major roads because they are easier to miss.

“I don’t think anyone wants to go through what Faye is experiencing, or be the cause of it, so we urge everyone to look out for each other.”

 

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As a biker for at least 55 years and a retired police officer my thoughts go out to young bereaved family. I have seen many an incident or collision where serious injuries are suffered but the loss of a loved one is the worst. We do not know the full circumstances of this incident but I can only say from those incidents I have knowledge of that presumptions come into play. Such as presumptions that one has been seen. Presumptions that another vehicle has seen us and presume that it will not pull out. Presumptions on the part of a driver that a motorcyclist will not be at a junction before pulling out. Presumption that he is riding slower than he actually is. Many presumptions are made on the road millions of times and many are right or inconsequential. However some are wrong in which case an incident or collision occurs. In defensive riding skills a motorcyclist can be taught what to look for and identify, see and react to a potentially perceived danger. Drivers can be made to realise the same thing and to assist in the avoidance of incidents between themselves and bikers.
R.Craven Blackpool

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