Widow makes appeal to bikers

14.51 | 6 April 2010 | | 3 comments

The widow of a motorcyclist killed in North Yorkshire last year is appealing to bikers to ride safe and keep speeds down.

In April 2009, six motorcyclists were killed on the roads of York and North Yorkshire, and Sarah McCarthy is working with 95 Alive The York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership to cut deaths.

Her husband Stuart, a keen biker from Bolton, died in a single vehicle crash last July, just a few weeks after his best friend also died on his bike.

Sarah said: "Stuart loved to ride his bike fast. On 2 July last year he came round a bend at speed and was killed instantly. 

“The devastation that has caused is unbelievable, having to tell your seven-year-old daughter that her father has died is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”
David Bowe, chair of 95 Alive, said: "On average 80% of motorbike collisions in North Yorkshire were caused by rider error.  

"What we need to be most concerned about is complacency, people think ‘it won’t happen to me.’ But it does. 95 Alive is urging bikers to make sure they’re in control and also think about getting extra training to improve their skills.“
The Partnership will attend regular bike meets throughout the season with the latest information on motorcycle crashes, high risk routes and information about subsidised higher level skills training courses.

For further information contact Janet Gleeson, 95 Alive communications coordinator, on 01609 798304.


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    In response to Jason I have unfortunately often had to adjust my riding position on a left hand bend due to other motorcyclists being on say the racing line [close up to or over the white line coming the other way] or because of car drivers doing the same and cutting the bend. Its not just motorcyclists.

    The recommendation is, for a left hand bend, if safety allows, move over to near the center line in order to see further round the bend but be able to sacrifice this position if there is a vehicle coming the other way.

    On right handed bends take up a position near the kerb/verge, being careful of any surface dangers and take the bend in that position only returning to the 2/3rd into the carriageway only when uprighting and if its safe to do so. AND being careful of deep and obviouse adverse cambers which can destabalise a bike.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Whilst I have every sympathy with Sarah, she said it all, that Stuart loved speed. I don’t mean just speed over the limit, many roads accidents happen on bends because of an excessive use of of speed but it could be just 20 or 30 miles per hour. Even slower could be too fast for the bend or what may be on the other side – ie the Blind Spot or death zone as some know it.

    We need to concentrate resources on teaching or at least improving awareness of such dangers and how they can be avoided. All rider manuals inform us to ride at a speed we can stop at, but those words have little meaning if u dont believe that anything can happen on a bend.

    I further believe that, from my own experience there is no consistancy re bend information in terms of signage. I have riden roads throughout the country with no signs or chevrons, some with just chevrons, some with just signs, some with signs or chevrons one way and not the other. Some signs that indicate the wrong way bend or double bend. Signs on bends that are not bends and many where we as a motorcyclist could do with a sign giving warning.

    We have to rely on many other pieces of information [ which take the eyes of the road at times] things to indicate a bend, perhaps about 7 or 8 things, when we could be instructed by way of information sign, in a simple form that would enable any motorcyclist or car driver to be aware of the severity of or possible danger associated with a particular bend.

    The 85 percentile rule applies. ie most motorcyclists appreciate the dangers associated with bends but unfortunately of the remaining 15% some of those within this group dont care and those are the ones to be identified and be perhaps given the drip drip drip of how to avoid accidents from happening.

    Maybe there should or could be a roadshow that could park up at meets or other places bikers congregate, with pictoral and written info or case studies or actual photos that others can see and ponder about. Maybe.

    bob craven
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    I understand that the North Yorks partnership is looking at cornering this year. A good idea. There are too many riders that don’t postion the bike into a corner correctly and so is out of place (eg too wide) coming out of it. QED, people. I guess the separate issue of speed is down the the police to enforce. Just get home safe, everyone!

    Jason, Harrogate
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