Coordinated by BrakeDevittFord  Support think

Why 'Bike Smart' matters

Road crashes tear apart thousands of lives every year. Cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable. More than a third of people killed or seriously injured on the roads are travelling by bike. For survivors of road crashes or families who have lost loved ones, the pain of what happened never goes away.

Here, we pay tribute to people who received life-changing injuries or whose lives were tragically cut short in road crashes. Click on each of the profile pictures below to read their story.

  • Aled Wilson
  • Calum McMorrin
  • David Thomson
  • Donal McNally
  • Elaine Corner
  • Gary Martin
  • Graeme Myles
  • Hope Fennell
  • Jeff Meehan
  • Jordan Peck
  • Lewis Clark
  • Louise Frank
  • Michael Linfield
  • Neil Wilson
  • Robbie Schofield
  • Sandy Watson
  • Warren Hayward
  • Aled Wilson

    Aled Wilson

    Name: Aled Wilson

    Age: 31

    From: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

    Aled was riding his motorbike when he was hit by a driver with cataracts who had failed to see him. He was killed instantly.

    “I can honestly say I would give my life if I could change things, but I can’t so I feel I’ve got to do the very best I can to honour his memory” - Jasmine Wilson, Aled's mother

    Aled’s story

    Aled Wilson, 31, had served as a driver in the army for almost 10 years when he left to be closer to his partner and two young children. He retrained as a motorcycle instructor. In 2003, he was riding his motorbike in Milton Keynes when he was hit by a 69-year-old driver.

    The driver had cataracts and was not wearing glasses as he had been advised to do, and had not seen Aled when he decided to turn right. Although Aled was wearing all the right safety equipment at the time and driving responsibly he was killed in the crash. Aled’s mother Jasmine says the loss of her son left her feeling like she was standing over a black hole that she would never emerge from. The grief sapped her energy and made day-to-day tasks a challenge. Fifteen years later, the pain of losing her son is ever present and affects the whole family, and finds many people don’t understand how grief can persist over a long period of time.

    Since 2003 Jasmine has become a prominent road safety campaigner and regularly talks about the issue in the media. She has also raised money for Brake and worked with police forces to improve their awareness of the impact road deaths cause.

    This Road Safety Week, she is asking motorists to show each other mutual respect, slow down a little and to get their eyes tested regularly.

    Jasmine says: “The pain of losing my son Aled in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place, they’re all avoidable. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Aled’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Calum McMorrin

    Calum McMorrin

    Name: Calum McMorrin

    Age: 24

    From: Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire

    Calum was riding his motorbike when he was hit and killed by a driver attempting a U-turn on a blind summit.

    “The ripple effect on the wider family is immense. It goes on far and wide, and it’s not just for the first year” - Catherine McMorrin, Calum's mother

    Calum’s story

    The night before Calum McMorrin died, he told his mother Catherine that he was planning to marry his partner Clare.

    On 7 August 2016, Calum was riding his motorbike in Dumfries when he was hit by a driver performing a U-turn on a blind summit. Because the road was narrow, he had nowhere to swerve to avoid her and was killed instantly.

    In the aftermath of the crash, Catherine received support from family, friends and charities, which she found invaluable. However, the loss of her son left an enormous gap in her life, and the impact on her family was immense. Her daughter struggled to adapt to life without a brother, her husband changed completely. She describes the feeling as like having a part of her life close down, and knowing nothing could bring it back.

    The driver later admitted careless driving and received a community payback order alongside a temporary driving ban, which Catherine believes was next to nothing in exchange for a life. This Road Safety Week, she is asking all drivers to be totally aware of other traffic and to double-check their mirrors before making any manoeuvre. She is also calling for greater understanding of the ripple effect that a bereavement can have on a family.

    Catherine says: “The pain of losing my son Calum in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Calum’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • David Thomson

    David Thomson

    Name: David Thomson

    Age: 27

    From: Aberdeenshire

    David was knocked from his motorbike and killed when a driver turned right without seeing him.

    “It was a fleeting second and he was gone” - Maria Buchan, David's sister


    David's story

    David Thomson always loved motorbikes and cars and enjoyed the sense of freedom that riding his bike gave him. He went to work in a garage straight after leaving school for a few years and then on to work at Rolls Wood group in Dyce, but in 2002 aged 26, he finally decided to go back to college to get the necessary qualifications to join the RAF. He also decided a year later to sell his bike and start a new chapter in his life, but unfortunately it was cut short by a fatal crash.

    On 17 October 2003, David decided to take his bike out for one last hurrah before he sold it. As he travelled to Aberdeen along a rural road, he went to overtake, but the driver chose that moment to turn right. They failed to see David and collided with him, killing him instantly.

    David’s sister, Maria, was on holiday in Portugal when she heard about the crash. She and her family returned home immediately, and the closer they got, the more the realisation hit Maria that she would never see or hear from her brother again. It wasn’t until she arrived home that the full effect of what had happened sunk in.

    The driver who hit David was not responsible for the collision, and Maria accepts this, believing that all road users have a duty to look after each other. This Road Safety Week she is asking for people to put more effort into teaching pedestrians and drivers the rules of the road, and for everyone to obey these to minimise the danger posed to vulnerable road users.

    Maria says: “The pain of losing my brother David in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to David’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Donal McNally

    Donal McNally

    Name: Donal McNally

    Age: 53

    From: Nottinghamshire

    Donal was cycling home from work when he was hit by a driver from behind. He was thrown over the windscreen and landed on his head, suffering serious spinal injuries.

    “Cars are designed to be aerodynamic so things go over the top — and if you hit a cyclist that’s exactly what happens” - Donal

    Donal's story

    On 21 May 2010, Donal McNally was cycling home along the A60 from his job as a professor of bioengineering at the University of Nottingham when he was struck by a vehicle. Donal — an expert in spinal injuries — was rushed to hospital where he was treated for four fractured vertebrae in his neck and lower back as well as a head injury.

    No-one is quite sure what exactly happened in the crash. Based on his professional expertise, Donal thinks he was hit from behind and thrown over the car’s windscreen before landing on his head, cracking his cycle helmet in several places. Engineering analysis of the collision demonstrated that wearing a helmet that day saved his life.

    Eight years later, Donal has regained a nearly normal range of movement. However, it took him until summer this year to start commuting by bike again on a new route away from traffic. Because of the dangers that face cyclists using roads, he often chooses to drive instead of cycling.

    Donal believes international car design requirements have done a lot to improve safety for vulnerable road users — but there is room for improvement. Cars are now designed to minimise the risk to pedestrians and smaller cyclists who are hit from behind. However, an adult cyclist has a higher centre of mass, meaning they are more likely to be thrown over the windscreen. Anyone who lands on their head will face a significant risk of death or major injury.

    Donal would also like to see safer roads in the UK, designed to separate drivers and cyclists to reduce the risk of collision in the first place. He is calling on both drivers and cyclists to gain experience of the challenges each other face on the roads.

    Donal says: “The measures in place to protect cyclists are really quite pitiful compared with some other countries. Cyclists on our roads are vulnerable and I paid the price for this lack of protection — this situation must change. Drivers need to be more aware of bikes and our roads must help keep riders safe from harm with slower speeds and safe design. We all need to help protect the most vulnerable, that is why I am supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Elaine Corner

    Elaine Corner

    Name: Elaine Corner

    From: Amesbury, Wiltshire

    While riding her motorbike Elaine was hit by a driver using a hands-free phone. She suffered several serious fractures and had to have her leg amputated.


    “Regardless of the law, any phone use at the wheel is taking your concentration from the road” - Elaine


    Elaine’s story

    Using a mobile phone at the wheel is rightfully recognised as one of the most dangerous things drivers can do. But talking on hands-free phones remains legal — even though this can be just as distracting as using a handset.

    Elaine Corner is just one person who has suffered as a result of phone-using drivers. In March 2011, Elaine was riding her motorbike near Amesbury in Wiltshire when she was hit by a van, knocking her 30 yards down the road. The driver failed to look properly and pulled out of a junction without seeing her. The driver was talking on a hands-free phone at the time.

    Elaine was taken to hospital by air ambulance, where she had her left foot amputated. She was also treated for tendon damage to her right ankle, fractured ribs, two fractured vertebrae and a fractured sacrum. Her injuries meant she was medically discharged from the army, and she can’t work full-time in her new role as a volunteer manager. Elaine had to move to a bungalow and she still suffers from pain that makes everyday tasks like hoovering a challenge.

    The driver of the van received six points on his licence and a £165 fine for careless driving. While hands-held phone use at the wheel is still not against the law, this Road Safety Week Elaine is asking all motorists to think carefully about the consequences of their actions before answering a call.

    Elaine says: “The injuries I suffered in my bike crash changed my life forever. Motorcyclists on our roads are vulnerable and I paid the price for this lack of protection — this situation must change. Drivers need to be more aware of bikes and our roads must help keep riders safe from harm with slower speeds and safe design. We all need to help protect the most vulnerable, that is why I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

    Elaine CornerElaine Corner
  • Gary Martin

    Gary Martin

    Name: Gary Martin

    Age: 52

    From: Gosport, Hampshire

    Gary was riding his moped along a main road when he was hit and killed by a driver who had turned right without seeing him.

    “Things don’t seem like you can be fully happy ever again. He died on his own and I can never get that out of my head” - Michelle Ralph, Gary's niece

    Gary’s story

    Gary Martin, 52, was riding his moped to work in Portsmouth on 26 October 2016 when he was hit by a driver who failed to see him. Gary died instantly.

    The driver was found guilty of causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for two years.

    Gary’s niece, Michelle Ralph, believes the driver should have served a custodial sentence. She says that even two years after the crash, she still sometimes feels guilty about being happy, especially when she remembers that her uncle was alone when he died.

    Michelle and her family had never been through a trial before Gary’s case went to court, and they did not fully understand the legal process. Brake’s helpline for road crash victims provided the family with advice on what would happen in court, as well as more general support. Michelle now campaigns with Brake and has abseiled from buildings including Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower to raise money. This Road Safety Week, she is calling for road users to take responsibility for looking out for cyclists and motorcyclists and to be more courteous to other people.

    Michelle says: “The pain of losing my uncle Gary in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Gary’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Graeme Myles

    Graeme Myles

    Name: Graeme Myles

    Age: 40

    From: Maddiston, Stirlingshire

    Graeme was attempting to overtake a truck that turned right without indicating. He was knocked off his motorbike and was seriously injured.

    “I got home and that was just the start of the battle” - Graeme

    Graeme’s story

    After being hit by a truck while riding his motorbike in Stirling in June 2008, Graeme remembers lying on the verge at the roadside, aware that he could at least wiggle his toes. 30 seconds later, the pain hit him all down his left-hand side.

    “I was just howling, screaming,” he says.

    Graeme was riding his motorbike to work when he tried to overtake another vehicle. The driver, who was turning right, failed to see him and collided with him at speed. Graeme was knocked off the road and suffered a broken pelvis, and damaged his shoulder, arm and fingers. He spent the next six weeks in hospital, where his hip was pinned and plated, screws were put in his shoulder and he was given a blood transfusion.

    Ten years later, Graeme’s life has changed immeasurably. Although he remains fairly active — this year he ran a marathon that passed the site of the crash — he still struggles with pain in his left leg and his shoulder injury persists. He has not been back on a motorbike despite having been a confident biker with around 14 years of experience before the crash.

    Graeme believes his experience has made him wiser on the road because he now realises how dangerous roads can be. He is calling on other drivers and bike users not to wait until they have a crash to reach the same conclusion, and to slow down on rural roads.

    Graeme says: “The broken pelvis and shoulder injury I suffered in my bike crash changed my life forever. Motorcyclists on our roads are vulnerable and I paid the price for this lack of protection — this situation must change. Drivers need to be more aware of bikes and our roads must help keep riders safe from harm with slower speeds and safe design. We all need to help protect the most vulnerable, that is why I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”


    Graeme MylesGraeme Myles
  • Hope Fennell

    Hope Fennell

    Name: Hope Fennell

    Age: 13

    From: Birmingham, West Midlands

    Hope was pushing her bicycle across the road outside her school when she was hit by a lorry driver who had been texting seconds before. She was trapped under the vehicle and could not be saved.

    “No child should die on their way to school. Our nation must pay attention and protect vulnerable road users” - Nazan Fennell, Hope's mother

    Hope’s story

    In November 2011, 13-year-old Hope Fennell was pushing her bicycle across the road on her way home from school when she was hit by an 18-tonne truck and trapped underneath. By the time specialist equipment had been found to lift the vehicle 20 minutes later, it was too late. Hope was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The truck driver was jailed for six months after admitting dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice. Seconds before the crash he had been texting on his mobile phone, but he deleted the messages and denied using a phone in several police interviews.

    Hope’s family was devastated by the crash, but her mother, Nazan, has decided to do as much as she can to prevent other families going through similar losses. Nazan has become a vocal campaigner for road safety change. She spoke to a crowd of thousands at a protest outside the offices of Transport for London, and has successfully reduced the speed limit outside Hope’s school from 30mph to 20mph. She also campaigned for children’s school zones to be made safe areas from aggressive parking and speeding, which has raised awareness of this problem nationwide.

    A coroner ruled that the crash was partially caused by blind spots in the vehicle, which prevented the driver from seeing Hope as he pulled away at the crossing. This prompted Nazan to contact members of the European Parliament asking for safer vehicle design that would improve driver visibility and hopefully prevent further deaths on the roads. These changes were accepted and Nazan is currently advising on their implementation in the UK.

    This Road Safety Week, as the mother of a child victim, Nazan is asking the nation to pay attention to the huge road safety problem on its hands.

    Nazan says: “The pain of losing my daughter Hope in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from her death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of cyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Hope’s memory to protect cyclists and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Jeff Meehan

    Jeff Meehan

    Name: Jeff Meehan

    Age: 72

    From: Runcorn, Cheshshire

    Jeff was riding his motorcycle to marshal a road safety event when a driver pulled out without seeing him and hit him, killing him instantly.

    “If this could happen to our dad, it could happen to anyone” - Jayne Carter and Joanne Meehan, Jeff's daughters

    Jeff’s story

    It would be hard to find someone more passionate about motorbike safety than Jeff Meehan. The 72-year old was interested in bikes all his life and even restored vintage motorcycles as one of his hobbies. Safety was important to him. On the day he died he was on his way to marshal at a safety awareness event.

    Jeff was travelling along a main road when a driver at a junction pulled out and crashed into him. The driver said that she had scanned the road for approaching traffic — she simply hadn’t expected to see a bike.

    After the crash, Jeff’s daughters, Joanne Meehan and Jayne Carter, found themselves having to create a new sense of normality for their family. Both sisters ran together in the Manchester Half Marathon, along with a number of other family members and friends to fundraise for North West Air Ambulance. Donations from his funeral went to support the National Association for Bikers with A Disability, a support group for motorcyclists who suffer disabilities as a result of collisions or illness.

    Jayne believes the most poignant thing about the crash was that the driver was a ‘normal person’. She hadn’t set off with the intention of killing somebody, she wasn’t using her phone, she hadn’t been drinking or taking drugs. She was on a short, familiar journey to church.

    Jeff had taken every precaution to be safe, but the circumstances of the crash were out of his control. Jo and Jayne want to highlight the impact that fatal road accidents can have, not only to the family and friends who lose loved ones, but also to the life of the person who caused the accident. The toll of a taking a life is overwhelming and, for most people, is something they never recover from.

    Jo and Jayne say: “The pain of losing our dad in a bike crash will never go away but we want people to learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to dad’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so we’re fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Jordan Peck

    Jordan Peck

    Name: Jordan Peck

    Age: 17

    From: Keswick, Cumbria

    Jordan was driving a motorbike along a rural road in Cumbria when he was hit and killed by a speeding driver who had veered into the wrong lane.

    “One of the hardest things was he showed no remorse” - Marie Davison, Jordan's mother

    Jordan’s story

    In February 2011, 17-year-old Jordan Peck came home to Keswick in Cumbria to celebrate his sister’s birthday. The young chef was riding his motorbike along a rural road when a speeding driver came down the wrong side and collided with him. Jordan was thrown into a field and died at the scene.

    The driver initially denied speeding in the 50mph zone but a judge found he was doing at least 63mph. He eventually pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was jailed for three months.

    After the crash, Jordan’s mother Marie Davison found she couldn’t leave her house for weeks at a time. She was offered counselling but struggled with it as she was told she was not following a traditional cycle of grief. After returning to work and finishing her degree she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and complex grief disorder, and following two years of treatment she has recently started a new job with Save the Children.

    Marie and her family have since held two events called ‘Reminisce, Rock and Raise’ to remember Jordan, enjoy local musicians and raise money for Brake. Marie has also sponsored trophies that Jordan won for several local sports teams and plans to do more in the future.

    Marie says: “The pain of losing my son Jordan in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Jordan’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Lewis Clark

    Lewis Clark

    Name: Lewis Clark

    Age: 22

    From: Pontefract, West Yorkshire

    Lewis was riding along a rural road when he was hit head-on by another motorcyclist. Both died instantly.

    “The day that rider crashed into Lewis, he didn’t just take my son. He took part of us with him” - Beverley Clark, Lewis' mother

    Lewis' story

    Lewis Clark, 22, was well-known at the campsite at the 2015 Manx Grand Prix for his caring nature and sense of humour. He travelled to the Isle of Man for a holiday to indulge his love of biking and quickly made friends with other attendees. It came as a shock to these friends when days later they learned of his death.

    While riding along a mountain road on 30 August 2015, Lewis was hit head-on by another biker who had strayed onto the wrong side of the road. The petrol tanks ignited and both riders died at the scene. A coroner later ruled the deaths were accidental. Because Lewis was wearing full protective gear at the time of the crash, his body was protected from the flames, meaning his mother Beverley was able to view his body and say goodbye. Since then, she has found every day has been a battle to survive.

    In 2016, Beverley released a video of the crash filmed by other bikers that has since been viewed more than a million times. The year after it was published, the Isle of Man Constabulary reported an 11% drop in road traffic collisions.

    Beverley has also taken part in a family skydive in memory of Lewis and has raised money for Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes – Lewis always wanted to join the organisation – prompting the group to name a bike after him. This Road Safety Week Beverley is encouraging all motorcyclists to wear protective clothing and be as safe as possible.

    Beverley says: “The pain of losing my son Lewis in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Lewis’ memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Louise Frank

    Louise Clark

    Name: Louise Frank

    Age: 54

    From: Thirsk, North Yorkshire

    Louise suffered a serious head injury after being hit by a driver who failed to see her while cycling on a rural road. She was put into an induced coma but could not be revived.

    “She had so much to live for. A few moments’ inattention from a driver took all that away, from her and her family” - Jo Jones, Louise's sister, and Ben Frank, Louise's husband

    Louise’s story

    Ben and Louise Frank knew each other at school, but after leaving they both went their separate ways. In 2004, when Louise was 44, they re-met and began a relationship. In 2015 they were married. The pair moved to Thirsk and following Ben’s retirement in 2016 they took up cycling as a shared hobby.

    On 3 October 2017, on a beautiful autumn morning, Ben and Louise decided to go for a short ride before setting off to visit family in Oxford. After turning a corner, Ben was waiting for Louise to catch up when he heard an impact and turned back. Despite wearing high-visibility clothing and a helmet, Louise had been hit from behind while she waited to turn right on a country road. Paramedics placed her into an induced coma at the roadside and she was airlifted to hospital.

    Louise was put on life support but Ben and her family, including her sister Johanna Jones, were told her injuries were so severe that she would not recover. Forty-eight hours later after organ donation had been arranged, Ben, with medical staff on hand, turned off her life-support.

    Even though the crash was more than a year ago, for Johanna and Ben it still feels like it was yesterday. This Road Safety Week, to help prevent similar crashes in the future, they are asking all road users to remember that if they are not giving the road their full concentration, they are putting people’s life in danger. Ben is also reminding drivers how letting their attention slip and making a fatal mistake on the road can leave them devastated and change their lives forever as well.

    Ben and Johanna say: “The pain of losing Louise in a bike crash is terrible. We don’t want anyone else to lose their life or their family to suffer the terrible pain we have. The safety of cyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Louise’s memory to protect cyclists and so we are fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Michael Linfield

    Aled Wilson

    Name: Michael Linfield

    Age: 18

    From: Bungay, Suffolk

    Michael came off the road and hit a tree while riding a motorbike he'd bought only a few months ago. He died at the scene.

    “Happy occasions are tinged with sadness because Michael should be here to share them with us” - Annemarie Green, Michael's sister

    Michael’s story

    Michael Linfield bought a new motorbike for his 18th birthday. He was riding it back from his landscape gardening apprenticeship at HMP Blundeston in September 2006 when he came off the road and collided with a tree. He died shortly afterwards. A woman from a nearby house came outside, and was with him as he died.

    No other vehicles were involved, and an inquest deemed that the crash may have happened because the motorbike was more powerful than any Michael had owned before.

    Michael’s sister, Annemarie Green, feels the crash turned her family’s life upside down. In the aftermath, she had to learn to readjust but received a great deal of support from family, friends, neighbours and the community who rallied around to help.

    To remember Michael, Annemarie has risen money for Brake, including take part in a sponsored skydive, and every year she posts a video on Facebook on his birthday celebrating his life. This Road Safety Week she is asking all motorcyclists to be careful on the roads, and make sure they have as much training as possible.

    Annemarie says: “The pain of losing my brother Michael in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Michael’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Neil Wilson

    Neil Wilson

    Name: Neil Wilson

    Age: 48

    From: Peebles, Scottish Borders

    Neil was hit by a car head-on as he cycled home from work, suffering a broken pelvis, collapsed lungs and a serious head injury.

    “I’ve always made the best of a bad situation — not that many have been as bad as these last few years” - Neil

    Neil’s story

    In many ways Neil Wilson considers himself quite fortunate. Three years after being seriously injured in a road crash, he now works as a self-employed cycling coach in the Scottish borders, a job that he has always wanted to do. However, the cognitive fatigue he experiences as a result of injuries suffered in the crash means he won’t be able to work full-time for the rest of his working life.

    Neil was cycling home from work in Wooler, Northumberland, in September 2015 when he was hit by a driver who failed to see him. The next thing he remembers, he was being treated in hospital for a broken pelvis, collapsed lungs and a very serious head injury. A doctor told him later that he only survived because of his physical fitness.

    The driver pleaded not guilty to careless driving but was issued nine penalty points. He was allowed to keep his licence because he lived in a rural area and had a new baby at the time. Meanwhile, Neil’s injuries left him unable to drive and his licence was taken away for eight months.

    Neil remains a keen cyclist and believes he is still as good on his bike as he used to be, if not even better. However, he now suffers from intense cognitive fatigue that affects his ability to deal with stressful situations. While he takes pride in being able to teach cycling safety through his new career, he is calling for people to stop arguing about who is to blame for collisions and instead focus on looking out for each other on the roads.

    Neil says: “The serious head injury I suffered in my bike crash changed my life forever. Cyclists on our roads are vulnerable and I paid the price for this lack of protection — this situation must change. Drivers need to be more aware of bikes and our roads must help keep riders safe from harm with slower speeds and safe design. We all need to help protect the most vulnerable, that is why I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Robbie Schofield

    Robbie Schofield

    Name: Robbie Schofield

    Age: 26

    From: Reading, Berkshire

    Robbie was riding his motorcycle to work when he was hit and killed by a driver who was not wearing prescription glasses.

    “We have to remember that cars aren’t toys. You take someone else’s life into your hands whenever you get behind the wheel — take that extra second to look for bikes” - Jack Schofield, Robbie's brother

    Robbie’s story

    Jack Schofield always looked up to his brother Robbie. Robbie was a teacher who had previously volunteered with disadvantaged children, and taught at a Catholic girls’ school in Farnborough, Hampshire. One morning in June 2014, as he rode his motorbike to work, Robbie was hit by a driver who was not wearing required prescription glasses and had veered onto the wrong side of the road, killing him instantly. He was ten weeks away from getting married.

    Robbie’s death left a gaping hole in his family’s lives that they still feel today. The driver was sentenced to just 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving, and Jack feels he should have been charged more severely. He claims one man’s carelessness means his future children will never get to meet their uncle Robbie.

    To remember Robbie, Jack and his family have raised nearly £30,000 for charity by hosting sponsored dinners and through long-distance cycling including a journey from London to Paris. This Road Safety Week, Jack is asking all drivers to be more careful and take extra time to look out for bike users to potentially save their lives.

    Jack says: “The pain of losing my brother Robbie in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Robbie’s memory to protect motorcyclists and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’."

  • Sandy Watson

    Sandy Watson

    Name: Sandy Watson

    Age: 52

    From: Orkney

    Sandy was attempting to overtake two vans on his motorbike when the second driver failed to check his mirrors and pulled out, hitting Sandy and killing him.

    “If he had been walking it may have been easier to accept. He was always telling us to be safe on the roads” - Lynette and Janine Watson, Sandy's daughters

    Sandy’s story

    Four years after Alexander ‘Sandy’ Watson died in a motorbike crash in Orkney, some of the children he drove to school still say they miss him. Sandy, a 52-year-old award-winning coach driver, had a reputation as a prankster who would do anything to make people smile. To this day, friends and colleagues are sharing funny memories about him on an online memorial page.

    Sandy was riding his motorcycle home from work on 23 April 2014 when he attempted to overtake two slow-moving vans on Churchill Barrier 2. One of the drivers pulled out at the same time and pinned him against the barrier, killing him instantly. The driver was charged with causing death by careless driving but was acquitted.

    Sandy’s daughters, Lynette and Janine Watson, were devastated by the crash. Lynette believes it has changed the way she sees other road users and has made her more wary of the roads. Janine will sometimes still see a story about motorcycling in the newspaper and want to share it with her father, only to realise he is no longer there.

    Janine commemorates her father’s life through raising awareness of the dangers motorcyclists face, and by raising money for charity. She also talks about Sandy whenever she can, sharing memories with other people so he can continue to make them smile. Lynette tries to make positive memories for her family on his birthday and the anniversary of his death, such as taking her children to a safari park she herself visited with Sandy when she was young.

    Lynnette and Janine say: “The pain of losing our dad in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to dad’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so we are fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

  • Warren Hayward

    Warren Hayward

    Name: Warren Hayward

    Age: 24

    From: Stockport, Greater Manchester

    Warren was riding his motorbike home from work when he was hit by a driver who was performing a turn in the road.

    “There’s not an hour that goes by that I’m not missing him” - Sue Bredbury, Warren's mother


    Warren’s story

    Warren Hayward, a 24-year-old trainee manager from Stockport, had bought a car in July 2015 but had not yet passed his test, so was using his motorbike to commute. On his way home from work three days later, a speeding driver lost control of his car on a bend and hit Warren head-on. The driver fled the scene with his car badly damaged.

    The driver was eventually caught and sentenced to two years for causing death while driving without due care. Warren’s mother, Sue Bredbury, believes he should have been charged for a level of recklessness. Since the crash, she feels she is no longer the person she once was, and she has had to learn to rebuild her life without her son. Every year Sue lights a candle on the anniversary of Warren’s death at the approximate time of the collision.

    One year after Warren’s death, his family organised a memorial quiz night with the local community where they released balloons and raised money for Brake. Family members also took part in a fundraising abseil at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. This Road Safety Week, Sue is asking for people to slow down and be more considerate on the roads, and not just focus on getting from A to B as quickly as possible.

    Sue says: “The pain of losing my son Warren in a bike crash will never go away but we must learn from his death to prevent future tragedies taking place. The safety of motorcyclists can be improved by drivers being more aware of bikes and our roads having safer speeds with more bike-friendly design. We owe it to Warren’s memory to protect motorbike riders and so I’m fully supporting this year’s Road Safety Week that is encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.”

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