Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wrong Way Tragedy

Yesterday, when driving back into Westgate from London on my motorcycle, I narrowly avoided a head on collision with a car coming from the other direction. Increasingly I worry about my own chances of survival when motorcycling in Thanet and this concern is reinforced by what happened on the Thanet Way on Tuesday, after a fatal crash claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

The tragedy happened London-bound near Herne Bay at about 6.30pm on Tuesday when a motorcycle rider collided  with a Rover Metro.

The motorcyclist, believed to be a 37-year-old man from Sittingbourne, died at the scene. The driver of the Metro, an 86-year-old woman from Herne Bay, was taken to hospital.

A police spokesman said: "It is believed the Metro was travelling the wrong way along the A299.

"Both carriageways of the road were closed and did not reopen until after midnight to allow for the crash investigation."


Anonymous said...

There seems to have been a spate of tragedies involving bikers recently, none of which have been, on the face of it, their fault. As a biker myself, my sympathy goes to the families, who must be left wondering why these things happen. I know from my own experience that riding defensively helps, but it's impossible to anticipate that someone is going to be travelling towards you on the wrong side of a dual carriageway.

Better awareness of bikers by car drivers, fewer uninsured and unqualified drivers on the road, and annual tests for the over 70s would help, though, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

If it is proved that this 86 year old was driving the wrong way not only should she br prosecuted but, also the person who certified her fit to drive.

It is all to common that when people over 70 get thier licence renewed it is done without any thought.

The sooner compulsory retesting of everyone every 7 years was brought in.

Old Codger said...

Please avoid the tendency to ageism here. The statistics clearly show that the greatest risk to themselves and all other road users and pedestrians are young male drivers between the ages of 17 and 24, well within 7 years of taking the ever more stringent driving test.
I would support compulsory re-training and re-testing of any driver who is responsible for any serious accident.
I trust the police will deal with this case as appropriate but it should be recalled how an equally horrific accident at Victoria Traffic lights was dealt with in a risible manner.

a biker said...

Old Codger - I agree that most accidents are caused by young drivers, but to re-test and re-train people AFTER they've been involved in a serious accident is way too late. I'm not being ageist, and personally I think the priority is to get the uninsured, untaxed, unlicensed drivers off the road. I say that as a biker who's been hit by an uninsured hit-and-run driver myself.

That said, I know age can bring wisdom and experience, but it also unfortunately and inevitably dulls the mind and senses for some people. Annual re-testing over the age of 70 might catch those who are no longer fit to be on the road, and maybe go some way to preventing the kind of tragedy that happened on the Thanet Way on Tuesday night.

Anonymous said...

I am told, although cannot say with absolute certainty, that GP's know of patients who are not fit to drive, but will not report them to the DVLA because of fear of litigation. Perhaps someone better qualified could put the record straight on this?

Anonymous said...

The motorcyclist was doing at least 100mph and swerving between cars on all lanes moments before this crash. Doesn't help having a woman driving the wrong way though.

(as a person told me who was at the scene of this accident and driving along before it happend having seen the motorcyclist).

Anonymous said...

Bikers who speed, and there are enough, deserve what they get.

Young Drivers cause more speed/drink/drug related deaths than old ladies driving down a road the wrong way. (no excuse for old Ladies or High Young men...)

I noticed that there are new 50 MPH signs all the way down St.Peters and Dane Court Road now. As I drove along there at 50 this AM, 2 speeding bikers, a speeding taxi, and a White van all found it neccessary to overtake me.

Will they NEVER learn?