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No suggestion of dangerous driving

A North Yorkshire motorist has been fined £510 but kept his licence following a collision in which he failed to see a cyclist on December 1 last year. Stephen Blackmore pleaded guilty to driving without due care at Teesside Magistrates’ Court. The cyclist was initially left in critical condition before later stabilising.

Gazette Live reports that a 50-year-old cyclist in a high-vis jacket was riding on the A174 eastbound towards the coast at around 6.30am when the collision took place.

Alan Davison, prosecuting, said: “The weather was not brilliant when the complainant was riding his bike. At that point, there are three lanes. The left-hand lane is a dedicated lane which goes off towards Acklam, the two outer lanes are the A174 itself.

“Mr Blackmore was driving a Volkswagen Golf on the inside lane. There was a bus in the central lane. The bus driver saw the cyclist. The witnesses were wondering what he was doing on that bit of the road.”

Davison said that Blackmore came up the inside, into the Acklam lane and the cyclist moved to the left. He added that the driver behind had then seen, “an explosion of debris.”

Davison said the “first realisation” Blackmore had of the cyclist’s presence was when he hit his windscreen.

Cycling UK calls for clearer guidelines on careless and dangerous driving

The cyclist was taken to James Cook University Hospital with serious abdominal injuries. His current condition – including whether he sustained long-term injuries – is not known.

In mitigation, Callum Terry said: “He simply didn’t see the cyclist. It is fair to say it has had a significant effect on him. He was off work for seven weeks and diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.”

Judge Kate Meek said: “Yes, the cyclist was there to be seen but he had positioned himself in a way that was problematic.

“The fault is yours so far as the accident is concerned and I know that is something that weighs heavily on you. There is no suggestion by anyone that your driving was dangerous.”

As well as the fine, Blackmore was ordered to pay £85 costs and £51 charges, and eight penalty points were added to his licence.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

33 comments

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nniff [177 posts] 6 months ago
9 likes

"Problematic" in the sense that he was in the way to such an extent that he ended up in the windscreen hwne both parties were heading in the same direction?  Seems like the go to default excuse for anything then - that pedestrian on a zebra crossing - problematic. 

Still, I'm sure the driver will get over the shock.   Shame that the cyclist has to get over the shock and the physical battering.  Problematic, that.

Never mind - just as long as it's not dangerous or the driving falls far short of the standard reasonably expected.

Still not getting any better, is it?

 

 

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CygnusX1 [501 posts] 6 months ago
13 likes
Quote:

The witnesses were wondering what he was doing on that bit of the road.

Travelling between points A and B, on a vehicle allowed on A roads, perhaps?

Quote:

“He simply didn’t see the cyclist. It is fair to say it has had a significant effect on him. He was off work for seven weeks and diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.”

Poor thing. Bless. Not as significant as the effect on the cyclist, though.

Quote:

Yes, the cyclist was there to be seen but he had positioned himself in a way that was problematic.

Damn cyclists, positioning themselves in live traffic lanes as though they themselves are traffic.

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brooksby [2505 posts] 6 months ago
5 likes

I would have thought a compulsory eye test and possibly even a re-take of his driving test might have been appropriate, too.

For his own peace of mind, if nothing else (since IMO it seems a little ambiguous from this story what actually happened (the bit about the bus in the centre lane, the cyclist moving left, then getting creamed by the defendant)).

What isn't at all ambiguous is that the defendant admitted not seeing a 50 year old bloke in hi-viz on a bike until he was coming through his windscreen at him.

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Yorkshire wallet [1344 posts] 6 months ago
6 likes

Well at least we are moving in the right direction. This guy got fined £85 instead of the usual £80.

My mate had something similar, that left him in a coma for 2 weeks. The driver who's windscreen he bounced off recalled seeing nothing until she'd run him over. Likewise the cars behind seemed to see nothing either. Another case of the invisible cyclist.

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chrismayoh [40 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes

I see that the photos on the Gazette page show the traffic queues after the collision and the writer mentions the lengthy delays on the A174.

There seem to have been a lot of car drivers inconvenienced by this . . . . .

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danthomascyclist [339 posts] 6 months ago
7 likes
Quote:

There is no suggestion by anyone that your driving was dangerous.

Quote:

The cyclist was taken to James Cook University Hospital with serious abdominal injuries.

Nothing dangerous about that 

 

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kevinmorice [145 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

What isn't at all ambiguous is that the defendant admitted not seeing a 50 year old bloke in hi-viz on a bike until he was coming through his windscreen at him.

 

On December 1st at 6:30am,  so pre-dawn, and you will note that there is no mention of lights on said cyclist or his bike.

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brooksby [2505 posts] 6 months ago
6 likes
kevinmorice wrote:
brooksby wrote:

What isn't at all ambiguous is that the defendant admitted not seeing a 50 year old bloke in hi-viz on a bike until he was coming through his windscreen at him.

 

On December 1st at 6:30am,  so pre-dawn, and you will note that there is no mention of lights on said cyclist or his bike.

Usually, if it's in doubt or there definitely weren't any, it's flagged up in twenty foot letters by the defence (and usually the prosecution too, for that matter)

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brooksby [2505 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Duplicate post; sorry.

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HarrogateSpa [480 posts] 6 months ago
6 likes

It was this driver's fault, but nobody is suggesting his driving was dangerous? This sounds like crap to me. How can his driving not have been dangerous, given that he caused a danger which materialised? It makes me angry.

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Grahamd [597 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes
HarrogateSpa wrote:

It was this driver's fault, but nobody is suggesting his driving was dangerous? This sounds like crap to me. How can his driving not have been dangerous, given that he caused a danger which materialised? It makes me angry.

As Sherlock said "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" so obviously his labrador failed to guide hm on this ocassion.

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KevM [43 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

According to the Gazette article, "it would appear that at some point the cyclist veered off to the left hand side and hit him."
Yeah, the car was hit by the cyclist....are they sure it wasn't the other way round?
It just reads to me like yet another article that's trying to pin blame on the cyclist despite evidence to the contrary.

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ChrisB200SX [496 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

What I'm reading all seems a bit ambiguous, in that it seems plausible (among many other possibilities) that the cyclist could have suddenly changed lanes and been in the driver's blind spot at the time... But then the judge said it was definitely the driver's fault? I can't understand/reconcile how the driver hasn't been banned.

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SingleSpeed [334 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes

If you think it is plausible that there is a blindspot anywhere on the windscreen of the car I kindly suggest you may wish to surrender your licence.

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Tommytrucker [61 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

There is a bit of a blind spot behind the a - pillar which the cyclist may have been in. But, regardless, the cyclist would have been visible through the windscreen before the car got too close. If the driver was looking.

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burtthebike [1036 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

If you think it is plausible that there is a blindspot anywhere on the windscreen of the car I kindly suggest you may wish to surrender your licence.

There are significant blind spots on modern vehicles, ever since the pillars were made much thicker to make them safer for the car occupants when the driver rolled it.  A rather more than usual example of unintended consequences.

That said, the judge said it was the driver's fault, but the problem is that we don't have enough information to work out what happened.

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Housecathst [600 posts] 6 months ago
6 likes

It's amazing that 'I didn't see' is a defence when your crashing around in a 2 ton metal box rather than an admission of guilt. 

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Rich_cb [354 posts] 6 months ago
5 likes

I agree with brooksby, if there was any suggestion that the cyclist wasn't using lights then the defence would have been all over it, probably wouldn't have even gone to trial.

If that assumption is correct it means the driver was either driving too fast for the conditions or not paying sufficient attention to the road ahead.

For the judge to suggest his driving wasn't dangerous is a bit ridiculous, if his driving wasn't dangerous how did a cyclist end up in his windscreen?

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the nutcracker [17 posts] 6 months ago
7 likes

its a shame we cant get more detailed info on these cases other than media snippets such as "the weather was not brilliant when the complainant was riding his bike"...(said the prosecutor).....was it 30m forward visibility in snow?...was it just a bit dark?.....what is brilliant weather in december?........why dash cams arent legally mandatory is beyond me. This would sort out 95% of  cases before they went to court and ensure snake ass drivers were given the justice they sometimes deserve. "Oh i didnt see him til he was in the windscreen" doesnt quite work so well when there is cast iron evidence that you were not looking". All for the sake of £100 or so on the cost of a £15000 new car. No doubt the incredibly powerful car lobby have many spurious reasons not to adopt the policy....... "oh no, sorry, we cant possibly, we are tway too busy making up mpg figures to deal with this"

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tarquin_foxglove [156 posts] 6 months ago
5 likes

This is total bullshit.

I know the road, I know the route to the defendant's destination High Street, Great Ayton and he should stay on the A174.

So it is likely that the cyclist was in the middle lane as he was going straight on.

Stephen Blackmore, on his way home from his night shift, is driving without due care and attention and realises he is in the inside lane & going to leave the A174 and so pulls into the middle lane and hits the cyclist.

Still because the cyclist was in an 'unusual position' let's say he went into the car and slap the driver on wrist & move on.

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Malaconotus [104 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:
SingleSpeed wrote:

If you think it is plausible that there is a blindspot anywhere on the windscreen of the car I kindly suggest you may wish to surrender your licence.

There are significant blind spots on modern vehicles, ever since the pillars were made much thicker to make them safer for the car occupants when the driver rolled it.  A rather more than usual example of unintended consequences.

That said, the judge said it was the driver's fault, but the problem is that we don't have enough information to work out what happened.

AIUI, that was the original reason they got a bit bigger, but they are much, much bigger than they need to be for structural reasons now. Wide pillars make a car look stronger, and makes buyers think they are safer, which helps sell them. The large blind spots are, effectively, created deliberately to sell cars.  

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ChrisB200SX [496 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

If you think it is plausible that there is a blindspot anywhere on the windscreen of the car I kindly suggest you may wish to surrender your licence.

It's well known there are blind spots at the edges of the windscreen, namely the A-pillar. If the cyclist was in the lane to the right of the car then the cyclist would have been in that blind spot at some point. If the car was undertaking, and maybe the bus was tailgating the cyclist, the cyclist may have transferred from being hidden by the bus to being in the blind spot... And if he was changing lanes while that happened he may have been headed toward the blind spot.

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brooksby [2505 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Malaconotus wrote:
burtthebike wrote:
SingleSpeed wrote:

If you think it is plausible that there is a blindspot anywhere on the windscreen of the car I kindly suggest you may wish to surrender your licence.

There are significant blind spots on modern vehicles, ever since the pillars were made much thicker to make them safer for the car occupants when the driver rolled it.  A rather more than usual example of unintended consequences.

That said, the judge said it was the driver's fault, but the problem is that we don't have enough information to work out what happened.

AIUI, that was the original reason they got a bit bigger, but they are much, much bigger than they need to be for structural reasons now. Wide pillars make a car look stronger, and makes buyers think they are safer, which helps sell them. The large blind spots are, effectively, created deliberately to sell cars.  

I remember that my wife had to borrow a new model Fiat Panda a few years ago, and afterward she said she didn't know how someone could drive it: the pillars were all over six inches wide, the rear side windows were tiny and rakishly angled and you couldn't see out of them from the driver's seat,  and the deep dashboard and angle of the the bonnet were such that you couldn't see the front of the car from inside. She said it was an awful, scary driving experience.

My point being, some cars do have blind spots, built in, but as a competent driver aren't you supposed to take that into consideration and drive accordingly? (Not sure what could be done about that panda, though: my wife's a better driver than me...).

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Jimmy Ray Will [741 posts] 6 months ago
5 likes

Just another example of the need for significant reform of how traffic incidents are managed by the justice system.

Personally speaking, I think in all situations where careless driving has been proven, the driver should lose their licence. 

That licence should be retrievable by completing a drivers awarenss course and then the driver retaking their theoretical adn practical driving test again. i.e there is not necessarily a 'ban' imposed, just that they have to re-earn their licence.

I'd enable it so that the driver could elect to take the awarenss course on the run up to their court case voluntarily, and book their tests for the day after their trial... so in theory, if the defendant is car dependent, and capable, they should not be off the roads for any period... just recalibrated (hopefully). This should deal with the 'please don't take my licence away, I need it... I have a sex addiction and I won't be able to score girls without access to the Corsa' brigade. 

Naturally, if they fail that test, that's their problem. 

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burtthebike [1036 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Malaconotus wrote:

There are significant blind spots on modern vehicles, ever since the pillars were made much thicker to make them safer for the car occupants when the driver rolled it.  A rather more than usual example of unintended consequences.

AIUI, that was the original reason they got a bit bigger, but they are much, much bigger than they need to be for structural reasons now. Wide pillars make a car look stronger, and makes buyers think they are safer, which helps sell them. The large blind spots are, effectively, created deliberately to sell cars.  

[/quote]

If that is the case, why aren't the road safety authorities doing something about it?  Deliberately introducing a hazard should be a criminal offence.

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KendalRed [84 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

There just isn't enough information in the article to be able to form an opinion on this - and what there is does seem somewhat ambiguous.

I mean what the hell does “Yes, the cyclist was there to be seen but he had positioned himself in a way that was problematic." mean? He was visible? He wasn't visible?

I'm sure in the context of the court room these comments made sense, but taken out of context it's somewhat confusing.

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pockstone [130 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes
tarquin_foxglove wrote:

This is total bullshit. I know the road, I know the route to the defendant's destination High Street, Great Ayton and he should stay on the A174. So it is likely that the cyclist was in the middle lane as he was going straight on. .

Certainly stinks of something. At best hopeless reporting on the part of the Gazette. (Repeated by Road CC). At worst a total failure of the court to establish the facts.

What lane was the bus in?

Did the offender undertake the bus? (Happens every time I drive down the motorway, careless or impatient driver passes on the inside in a left turn only lane, only to swerve out at the last minute into the main carriageway. )

The bus driver saw the cyclist. Did he see the Golf, and if so what was it doing?

Did the bus overtake the cyclist, and if so in which lane? Did the cyclist 'veer to the left' because the bus was up his arse?

Why would the cyclist veer to the left when he had been maintaining a position to go straight ahead in the middle lane previously?  If he had wanted to turn to Acklam, he  would have taken the safer option of staying in the inside lane. After all, that lane continues all the way from the previous roundabout, it's not as if he might have absent-mindedly continued in the wrong lane, forgetting to turn into a left-turn lane that began closer to the Acklam junction.

The lack of knowledge about the cyclist's current condition is telling. Was he not in court? Was no witness statement from him presented? What was odd about his position? (Apart from the opinion of witnesses who may or may not be familiar with the road, or how to drive/ride in traffic.)

Sorry this has been long, but at least some of these questions should have been answered in the report.

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pockstone [130 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Don't know where those stupid emojis arrived from. I've tried to edit them out, but can't

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alansmurphy [746 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Problematic emoji's in hi-viz...

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beezus fufoon [762 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
KendalRed wrote:

There just isn't enough information in the article to be able to form an opinion on this - and what there is does seem somewhat ambiguous.

I mean what the hell does “Yes, the cyclist was there to be seen but he had positioned himself in a way that was problematic." mean? He was visible? He wasn't visible?

I'm sure in the context of the court room these comments made sense, but taken out of context it's somewhat confusing.

if you get the opportunity, try doing dury service - it is genuinely like watching a soap opera, with all the disciplined thinking and philosophical rigour of a group of 10-11 year olds!

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