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Another ""Strong Sun"" Excuse for a cycling death

Aberdeen Press & Journal 13/1/2024 reports an accident on 2/12/2022 where a cyclist was hit by a driver and thrown in to a path of another car , with fatal results . Despite the prosecution suggesting to the jury the accused " had failed to make proper observation..." And " low winter sun could not have been a surprise " the jury swallowed the defence nonsense that " the sun was blinding" The charge was simply careless driving in this instance .
You have to ask why the point wasn't made that if the sun was blinding , that means you cannot see. You are required to drive in such a way as you can stop in your seeing distance . If the accused couldn't see , why didn't he stop ? Just when will the sun stop being an excuse for fatal and serious accidents involving all road users . Another avoidable tragedy

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8 comments

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wtjs | 4 months ago
3 likes

It's just 'you're bound to kill the odd one, can't be helped, you just have to press on' back for yet another outing. B******s!

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wtjs | 4 months ago
5 likes

This reminds me of the cyclist death down near Aberystwyth where one motorist didn't see the cyclist 'because of the sun' and knocked him off, and the next motorist promptly killed him. I can't remember the exact verdict, but I think both drivers essentially got off. The message is 'when you can't see because of that wicked, wicked  sun, you have to keep going/ put your foot down to 'get out of trouble'

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Daveyraveygravey | 4 months ago
2 likes

Is this the same case where the sun "might have been bouncing off the high viz vest"???  If so, then surely high viz could be argued as MORE dangerous?

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Hirsute replied to Daveyraveygravey | 4 months ago
1 like

Yes it is.
You need a subscription to read the article but the main points are the same as the road.cc item.

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ktache | 4 months ago
17 likes

Low sun is very predictable, and is the only form of sun at this time of year. Yet I see very little wearing of sunglasses or baseball caps/hats with visors.
And drivers seem remarkably proficient at staying on the road and not driving into the paths of other, larger vehicles...

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john_smith replied to ktache | 4 months ago
0 likes

It's not always predictble at a given instant, because when the sun is low it can be obscured by things and then suddenly be in your face when those things are no longer in the way. Wearing a cap or glasses isn't going to help in cases like that. Obviously you can predict that there is a risk, but that doesn't help in the few seconds it takes your eyes to adjust when you suddenly when you find yourself in shade, or if you are suddenly blinded by the sun.

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HLaB replied to john_smith | 4 months ago
2 likes

That's very predictable when there is bright low sun and you should be anticipating that it'll reappear and be ready for it potentially dazzling you as the Highway Code says, "slow down and if necessary, stop". 

The second part of your paragraph acknowledges that you can predict the risk too.  In which case you should try to reduce it and mitigate it.  Its your duty of care!

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chrisonabike replied to john_smith | 4 months ago
3 likes

Gosh - sounds like driving is just unfair on drivers if it's that unpredictable and you have to react in the space of a couple of seconds *.

I hope there is something in the guidance at least that you won't be prosecuted if you go slower than the minimum speed limits occasionally - say if you can't actually see for a few seconds where it's completely outside your control like you've described?

Snark aside perhaps we should make some dedicated motoring infra (maybe like this?) if we find that humans can't cope with this kind of thing - to help protect drivers from innocently killing people?

* I mean, it's not just that it's frosty in winter or hot in summer, or even bright in the day but dark at night - you're saying in the same minute it could be first light (e.g. motorway tunnel / urban area at night) and then very quickly dark (somewhere outside of the lit area)?

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