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Oncoming vehicle had been towing wide trailer down single track road

A Tayside cyclist who was involved in a collision with a 4x4 while taking part in a 10-mile team trial has been awarded £55,000, reports the Evening Telegraph. Graeme Daly had been seeking £110,000 in a personal injury court, but was deemed to have been 50 per cent to blame for the incident.

The collision took place on an unnamed road near Mawhill, Perth and Kinross, on August 23 2015, during a 10-mile time trial organised by Kinross Cycling Club.

It was filmed on the dash cam of a minibus that had been following the team involved.

The roads were open for the event, but there were marshals on the course and signs warning other road users that a cycling event was taking place.

The competitors did not have priority over motorists, but the course was, as is generally the case, a series of left-hand turns to avoid their having to turn across the carriageway.

As Daly and his two team-mates, David Barclay and Gordon Dick, approached the first left-hander – the junction of the A91 with an unclassified road – they were doing around 25mph.

Barclay and Dick made the turn, but Daly missed it and had to turn back along the A91 and turn right to rejoin them.

After he caught up, the team again accelerated.

Heading in the opposite direction was David Heeps, driving a Ford Explorer towing a Toyota Marine Sport boat on a trailer.

Heeps had already passed two groups of cyclists taking part in the time trial and there were ‘single track’ and ‘road narrows’ signs in both directions.

Barclay, leading, saw the vehicle when he was about 200 yards away, moved to the left and shouted to warn his team-mates.

Dick, following, took Barclay’s movement to mean he should take the lead, but upon hearing the warning and seeing the vehicle, he too moved to the left.

Daly also heard the warning and saw the vehicle and moved to the left. He was approximately 200 yards from it when he did this.

Heeps saw the cyclists, but did not alter his road position. He said he was unable to drive closer to the verge without the wheels of his trailer bouncing through potholes.

He was doing over 20mph and there was insufficient space for the cyclists to pass.

Barclay and Dick missed the trailer by inches. Daly, who had not looked up since first seeing the vehicle, assumed he was safe after passing the 4x4 and fell following a collision with the trailer.

Sheriff Peter Braid ruled that Heeps had driven at excessive speed given the nature of the road and the fact that he knew a cycle event was in process.

However, he also stated that Daly had cycled at excessive speed given the likelihood of meeting oncoming vehicles.

Having “materially contributed to the accident through his own negligence,” the damages payable were reduced by 50 per cent.

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.

50 comments

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Grahamd [872 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Appreciable award on the face of it, but doesn’t detail the extent of the cyclists injuries.

 

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peted76 [894 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

"He said he was unable to drive closer to the verge without the wheels of his trailer bouncing through potholes."

 

Ankles.

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brooksby [2927 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Quote:

However, he also stated that Daly had cycled at excessive speed given the likelihood of meeting oncoming vehicles.

How does a time trial work?  Isn't "riding at speed" sort of the whole point?

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Yrcm [17 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes
brooksby wrote:

How does a time trial work?  Isn't "riding at speed" sort of the whole point?

It is, but if you're not on a closed road then the usual rules apply.

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PRSboy [143 posts] 1 month ago
11 likes

God forbid the wheels of one's trailer might bounce in potholes and mean you have to slow down.

Far better to hold your speed, move into the middle of a narrow road and run into an oncoming cyclist.

 

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Simmo72 [678 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

Not overlooking anyone's behaviour, decision or road sense, but it is odd to have  a timetrial use a singletrack road, never experienced that myself.

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Yorkshire wallet [1710 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Daly, who had not looked up since first seeing the vehicle

Sorry but that's why he's partly to blame. Literally not looking where he was riding. What a fuckwit.

We cry about drivers not seeing up but literally cannot be bothered to look once in 'head down, I'm racing on a public road' mode.

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alansmurphy [1673 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

I'd say the driver is a little more complicit though; the rider was careless in not looking up but the driver dangerous in favouring his wheels/boat over the life of another human...

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zanf [970 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

Theres several questions to be asked here:

Quote:

Heeps saw the cyclists, but did not alter his road position. He said he was unable to drive closer to the verge without the wheels of his trailer bouncing through potholes.

He was doing over 20mph and there was insufficient space for the cyclists to pass.

He drove a large vehicle down narrow country lanes, at speed and refused to adjust his position or at least stop to allow safe passing and he is only 50% to blame?

It seems to infer that he was aware that there was an event taking place but the big question is why did the marshals not stop the guy from proceeding along that section of road if it was narrow and they knew competitors were coming towards it?

If they had no powers to stop traffic and/or the guy ignored any warnings they might have given, why did they not radio to the prior marshal points and forewarn them, even neutralising the section?

Races I marshall we advise race radio of any vehicles or possible points of conflict as such (we've neutralised a few races because of horse riders) and try to talk to all road users if they are heading towards the race, especially on narrow lane sections to pre-warn them.

 

 

 

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Yorkshire wallet [1710 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

What seems to be blatantly not wanting to be addressed is the fact that NEITHER party appears to have wanted to stop to resolve the situation. Yeah it's shit but sometimes your Strava section is going to take a hit but you're going to have to possibly stop to squeeze past stuff on single lane roads, a tractor comes down it, it's stop, move onto the verge and away again.

If you want to do time trials on open roads you don't own them.

£55k in the bank though. More than you get for being beaten senseless on a Friday night outside Wetherspoons.

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wingmanrob [44 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

I'd say the driver is a little more complicit though; the rider was careless in not looking up but the driver dangerous in favouring his wheels/boat over the life of another human...

 

Seriously?

 

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

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fenix [947 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Sounds about right.

Not a great day for Daly. Missing the turn that teh others did and then not noticing the trailer.

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Bluebug [311 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
wingmanrob wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

I'd say the driver is a little more complicit though; the rider was careless in not looking up but the driver dangerous in favouring his wheels/boat over the life of another human...

 

Seriously?

 

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

You can tell who also drives on this forum can't you?

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burtthebike [1386 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

To be honest, I'm not sure that isn't an unfair judgement, but if I was judging it, I might have given a little more consideration to the driver not wanting his trailer wheels to go into potholes.  Possibly the most senseless, selfish reason for someone's death ever.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1980 posts] 1 month ago
9 likes

Seems dumb to have a race on an open, public road, and dumber still to just keep your head down and keep going at speed when you know things are coming the other way.

 

But the driver drove a large , heavy, vehicle at excessive speed down a narrow lane and refused to slow down or move across even after seeing a vehicle coming the other way (I mean, what would he have done had the vehicle coming the other way been another 20mph+ car towing a boat?).  The cyclist was also travelling at excessive speed and failed to look...but wasn't driving such a high-momentum, oversized, vehicle.   The cyclist only bought a smaller part of the KE to the party (and the lesser obstruction).

 

Ergo, it seems to me the driver did more wrong things than did the cyclist.    So, if it were up to me, I'd reduce damages by 1/3 or something, not a half.

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Zjtm231 [100 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
wingmanrob wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

I'd say the driver is a little more complicit though; the rider was careless in not looking up but the driver dangerous in favouring his wheels/boat over the life of another human...

 

Seriously?

 

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

Yes

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Plasterer's Radio [363 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the driver has an attitude problem and/or is a shit driver.

1. not slowing and travelling at excessive speed.

2. not altering his road position.

The cunt knew exactly what he was doing.

 

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ChrisB200SX [626 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

For me, given what sounds like a very small margin for error, the driver should have stopped, so he is totally to blame. The fact that he kept going and missed the other two by mere inches speaks volumes.

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Paul_C [533 posts] 1 month ago
11 likes
wingmanrob wrote:

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

 

erm.. perhaps stop?

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Duncann [1214 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

While the dispute is largely between the colliding parties, I wonder what the legal position of the organisers would be here?

 

While participants may sign forms accepting responsibility for the risk and rules of the road, that doesn't absolve the organisers of responsibility to plan an adequately safe route.

This section of road doesn't sound very suitable for this kind of event and problems seem foreseeable. If other routes were even less suitable, perhaps they should have neutralised this section.

Anyone have experience of designing on-road courses? How is this dealt with?

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SteppenHerring [369 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
Duncann wrote:

While the dispute is largely between the colliding parties, I wonder what the legal position of the organisers would be here?

<snip>

Anyone have experience of designing on-road courses? How is this dealt with?

If the event was on a course sanctioned by their district CTT committee and run as a type B club event, then that kind of punts the responsibility upstream. Having riders going both ways on a single-carriageway road would generally be a no-no - especially if it's busy. You get cars overtaking one set of riders moving into the path of oncoming riders.

 

However, that doesn't seem to be the case here. The guy was just driving further out because of his precious boat trailer.

 

However 2, under CTT rules and regs, it's the responsibility of the rider to look where the hell they are going. There have been fatalities in the past with riders going hell for leather head down riding into stationary vehicles/obstacles.

 

I think it's a bit harsh to say the blame was 50/50 here - although I don't know the road or all of the details. The driver admitted to driving in the middle of the road.

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fenix [947 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Seems dumb to have a race on an open, public road, and dumber still to just keep your head down and keep going at speed when you know things are coming the other way.

 

But the driver drove a large , heavy, vehicle at excessive speed down a narrow lane and refused to slow down or move across even after seeing a vehicle coming the other way (I mean, what would he have done had the vehicle coming the other way been another 20mph+ car towing a boat?).  The cyclist was also travelling at excessive speed and failed to look...but wasn't driving such a high-momentum, oversized, vehicle.   The cyclist only bought a smaller part of the KE to the party (and the lesser obstruction).

 

Ergo, it seems to me the driver did more wrong things than did the cyclist.    So, if it were up to me, I'd reduce damages by 1/3 or something, not a half.

Time Trials are pretty much exclusively ridden on open roads and have been for decades.
I've heard of racers riding head down into parked cars before now and they get a ban for doing so.

You still owe a duty of care even if you're racing.

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grumpyoldcyclist [67 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
wingmanrob wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

I'd say the driver is a little more complicit though; the rider was careless in not looking up but the driver dangerous in favouring his wheels/boat over the life of another human...

 

Seriously?

 

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

Yes. The car is a 4x4 offroader and he's worried about potholes, the mind boggles. Or stop at the very least, that way the wheels would not be bouncing in potholes..

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hirsute [116 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
wingmanrob wrote:

Seriously?

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

No, just stop.

Plenty of times I have been driving where the road is narrow and I have stopped because it was the appropriate thing to do.

Says he was going 20 mph, so hardly difficult. Still might is right.

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mattsccm [363 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Usual uninformed garbage above. Some one know nothing about time trials. You don't/cant stop or neutalise a bit of the course for one vehicle. Not how TTs work Marshals cannot stop traffic and cannot even flaf them down to wrn them.

Rural road. Quite concievable that those pot holes were a foot deep. Some by me are. Droppinga wheel into one has seriuous consequences.

50/50 sounds about right. After all its would have been much easier for the cyclist to give way. On rural roads we all give way for tractors. They are important. Recreational riding isn't.  i see that the rider had his head down, I do that in TTs as well but not where I cannot see a dead ceratin clear road.

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madcarew [524 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
wingmanrob wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

I'd say the driver is a little more complicit though; the rider was careless in not looking up but the driver dangerous in favouring his wheels/boat over the life of another human...

 

Seriously?

 

What would you prefer he did, drive his vehicle completely off the road?

Clearly, yes. What if the equation was reversed and it was a fully laden tractor and trailer coming the other way, and a car driver going toward them? The tractor driver didn't want to damage the verge so carried on regardless and took out the car.Clearly this would be unacceptable. Both sets of road users should have slowed  and moved aside to the point where both could complete the manoeuvre safely. Stating that you chose to endanger another road user because you didn't want to hit potholes is clearly showing minimal regard for the value of someone else's wellbeing. It seems overall, like a fair judgement, though I think the penalty is pretty harsh. I wonder if there's any real deterrent value if he has insurance that covers that sort of thing?

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madcarew [524 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the driver has an attitude problem and/or is a shit driver.

1. not slowing and travelling at excessive speed.

2. not altering his road position.

The cunt knew exactly what he was doing.

 

As did the cyclists

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madcarew [524 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Seems dumb to have a race on an open, public road, and dumber still to just keep your head down and keep going at speed when you know things are coming the other way.

 

But the driver drove a large , heavy, vehicle at excessive speed down a narrow lane and refused to slow down or move across even after seeing a vehicle coming the other way (I mean, what would he have done had the vehicle coming the other way been another 20mph+ car towing a boat?).  The cyclist was also travelling at excessive speed and failed to look...but wasn't driving such a high-momentum, oversized, vehicle.   The cyclist only bought a smaller part of the KE to the party (and the lesser obstruction).

 

Ergo, it seems to me the driver did more wrong things than did the cyclist.    So, if it were up to me, I'd reduce damages by 1/3 or something, not a half.

As the cyclists were doing 25 mph and the car 20 mph, clearly the cyclists were travelling at a 'worse' excessive speed.

So far as holding races on open roads, it's not dumb, it's normal practice, without which we wouldn't have road races. It is dumb to race along open roads without looking where you are going. 

It seems odd that the front riders didn't give really loud warning of the impending situation...

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Jitensha Oni [106 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Didn't the rider have potholes to avoid on their side of the road?

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BehindTheBikesheds [1344 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

Charlie Alliston ....
Judges words were(aling the lines of) , you did not stop when had you had the brakes to do so would have avoided collision (when the other road user was moving in his direction)
So, not only did the driver here have the abity to brake to a stop they chose to keep their foot in AND make no attempt to move over fully despite knowing that by that act they were blocking the highway and presenting a danger to vulnerable road users.

One person on a bike gets the book chucked at him, one person in a motor actually making no attempt whatsoever to avoid collision (unlike Alliston) doesn't even get criminal charges and even in a civil case is only found 50% to blame.
Again, two sets of rules applied by motorcentric bias and discrimatory people who have great influence and bearing on how matters pan out not just on this case but ones in the future.
I just want parity even though a civilised society should demand that those posing the greater harm should be far more responsible/liable in any case.
Yet more fucked up thinking!

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