Wednesday 2 October 2013

"I can't help it if a cyclist gets in my way"

Today in the Daily Telegraph we not only have a cyclist killer, but one that refuses to acknowledge that any of her actions resulted in the death of a young woman.

Judging by the statements made so far, Dr Helen Measures,

  1. Was driving near Stonor by Henley on Thames on a shopping trip on Monday  15 July,  2012
  2. Was held up by some cyclists on her lane
  3. Overtook them at a blind corner
  4. Was "surprised" to meet some oncoming cyclists
  5. Didn't back off her manoeuvre
  6. Killed one of the oncoming cyclists
  7. Refuses to accept any responsibility

While doing the usual court-sympathy-gambits, "weeping" at the death, saying she herself was "a keen cyclist", she absolutely refuses to accept that her actions were at fault.
  • She was "surprised" to see Mr Pontin and his girlfriend suddenly coming towards her as she rounded the curve in the road, but felt they still had enough room to get past.
  • "I don't know why I didn't see them," 
  • "I felt the safest decision was to continue straight ahead because they were in single file.
  • "If I had been concerned, I would have stopped suddenly."
Rather than admit that you shouldn't be surprised to see anything as you round a curve in the road, she thinks continuing on was acceptable -presumably they were just cyclists- then blames the cyclist for getting in her way while trying to squeeze past them

"I can't help it if a cyclist, with all due respect, falls over as I'm approaching them and comes into my line of travel."You do not make a manoeuvre if you don't think it is safe to do so. Had everyone stayed upright, there would not have been an issue.”

Imagine she'd come round the corner and seen an HGV coming. Would she have braked? Of course she fucking would. Yet just because it was cyclists she felt she could carry on, that it would work out -and instead she killed one of them.

Yet she refuses to accept her guilt.

This woman killed a cyclist who was doing nothing wrong, because she was so impatient to reach her destination she not only chose to overtake blind, she decided that once she'd seen the cyclists, she would continue the overtake. And now she pretends it wasn't her fault.

To add insult to fatal injury, the CPS only has her down from careless driving, so even if this killer is convicted, it'll be a non-custodial sentence (think of the child left on her own), and 3-6 months without the car. If overtaking on a corner and being surprised by oncoming traffic isn't driving dangerously, they may as well repeal a law that is clearly not needed.

LFGSS discuss the death in 2012 -again the surrey commuter problem: drivers expecting speed  round country lanes, and unable to accept the existence of cyclists or the need to overtake them safely.
It ends up with whole stretches of country road that you can race down without dipping below 70mph if you know them well - and you're fine, so long as there isn't a stationary or slow-moving obstruction in the road.
Sounds exactly like what this unrepentant killer was doing.

At the same time,  in coverage of the death and its impact on family and friends, the vice-chairman of Stonor Parish Council wanting a triathlon rerouted, for the safety of the cyclists -rather than attempting to make any attempt to improve safety, such as pushing for a lower speed limit.

The winding country roads of England stopped being a pleasant place to cycle on weekdays some time ago -at least in commuter suburb zones, such as Surrey, the Chilterns and South Gloucs. The rural roads are rural ratruns, and even on a quiet road you fear the sound of a car coming up past, worrying if this will "be the one".

And what do we get: we get the residents of Surrey trying to ban the cyclists.


  1. Acquitted.

    She's on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend, sees oncoming traffic, decides to carry on, kills some poor girl and a jury decides that's careful driving.

    The prosecutor asked "You are relying on other road users avoiding you when you are on their side of the road?"

    Apparently so.

    That doctor is as malign and callous as the cancer she treats. The difference is that when cancer kills people society tries to do something about it.

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  3. Do you know the precise location of the reckless driving? My best guess from the description and location is here:,-0.940275&spn=0.020587,0.077162&sll=52.8382,-2.327815&sspn=9.309494,16.040039&hnear=Stonor,+Oxfordshire,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=14&layer=c&cbll=51.582714,-0.94025&panoid=GnCQVZBG9nURcW_p81361Q&cbp=11,141.39,,0,11.71

  4. Maybe us cyclists should start carrying lances, like ye olde knights of olden times; I bet then, we'd get some space when someone is on *the wrong side of the f-ing road!*

  5. On a more serious note, how can this woman even pretend that this wasn't entirely her fault? If you overtake on a blind bend, where you (demonstrably) cannot see what is coming around the bend at you, then bad things are likely to happen. And, they did. But because she's got an ology, and was driving a car, she can pretty much walk away from it. There are words to describe my feelings on this, but I suspect that blogspot's rude language filters may not like it...

  6. The gutting factor is that the defence barrister had the absolute crasness to say that the deceaseds boyfriend was to blame for letting her go out with him on the bike!