Bike deaths Mum shares heart­break to keep oth­ers safe

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - robin.jenk­[email protected]­plc.com Robin JENK­INS

IT is a lit­tle over four years since Lisa Hill lost her only son when he crashed his mo­tor­bike, but there are still times when it feels like it was yes­ter­day.

“It doesn’t go away. It’s al­ways in the back of your head,” she said.

“You can be go­ing down the road and see a mo­tor­bike or see a near-miss and it’s there, back in your mind. Peo­ple say time’s a healer but it’s not”.

As if to prove it, Lisa is able to re­call ev­ery de­tail of Au­gust 23, 2015, the day 26-year-old Nick – Ni­cholas only when he was in trou­ble – collided with a car on the A40 in Chel­tenham and was killed in­stantly.

Why the Bishop’s Cleeve res­i­dent’s in­juries were so cat­a­strophic has been dif­fi­cult for the fam­ily to com­pre­hend as speed was not a fac­tor, and wit­nesses said there was no big im­pact.

Lisa said: “I didn’t even know he had a mo­tor­bike but it turned out he’d had it for three weeks and hadn’t told me.

“Nick had no ex­pe­ri­ence on the roads. He had al­ways caught the bus. He never even in his life rode a bi­cy­cle. I can­not get my head around how or why it’s al­lowed for some­one to take a short com­puter-based test and then be al­lowed to ride a pow­er­ful 125 moped with­out any ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The 50-year-old, who lives in Quedge­ley, Gloucester, is telling her story to help to­day’s launch of a na­tion­wide safe and so­cial driv­ing cam­paign called The Power of 2 Wheels.

She also takes part in What if? road safety road­shows aimed at new and learner drivers at Glouces­ter­shire sec­ondary schools.

Lisa says the pain of los­ing Nick never goes away and adds his son, Mikie, has strug­gled with the loss of his fa­ther.

Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner for Glouces­ter­shire, Mar­tin Surl, who has made safe and so­cial driv­ing one of his pri­or­i­ties, said: “I am not only grate­ful but also full of ad­mi­ra­tion for Lisa. This has been a dev­as­tat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all her fam­ily and yet she is pre­pared to re­live it in the hope oth­ers will be spared.

“Rid­ers on two wheels are es­pe­cially ex­posed. The whole point of safe and so­cial driv­ing is to make our roads safer but also to en­cour­age all road users to be more con­sid­er­ate and cour­te­ous to­wards each other”.

Mo­tor­cy­clists re­main among the most vul­ner­a­ble road users, ac­count­ing for 19 per cent of all road deaths in Great Bri­tain in 2017. A to­tal of 349 mo­tor­cy­clists lost their lives dur­ing 2017, a nine per cent in­crease in 12 months.

Pedal cy­clists also come un­der the vul­ner­a­ble road user group, ac­count­ing for six per cent of all road deaths in Great Bri­tain in 2017 when 101 lost their lives.

The Power of 2 Wheels cam­paign is aimed at im­prov­ing road safety and the be­hav­iour of rid­ers; re­duc­ing the num­ber of fa­tal and se­ri­ous in­jury ac­ci­dents as well as en­forc­ing com­pli­ance of road traf­fic reg­u­la­tions.

Mark As­tle, as­sis­tant chief fire of­fi­cer at Glouces­ter­shire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, said: “All road users have a re­spon­si­bil­ity for the safety of both them­selves and all oth­ers that use our roads so we hope this cam­paign will help re­duce the num­ber of ac­ci­dents and fa­tal­i­ties.

“By en­sur­ing that all mo­torists as well as rid­ers are aware of the im­por­tance of road safety, we hope that col­li­sions that end in tragedy and dev­as­tate fam­i­lies can be avoided.”

Coun­cil­lor Dave Nor­man (C, Grange and Kingsway), Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber with re­spon­si­bil­ity for the fire and res­cue ser­vice, said: “Lisa has shown in­cred­i­ble brav­ery in shar­ing her story and we hope it will make mo­tor­bike and bike rid­ers take great care when they are out on the roads.

“They are one of the most vul­ner­a­ble groups of road users so safety mes­sages can­not be em­pha­sised strongly enough.”

Lisa Hill, from Quedge­ley, can re­call ev­ery de­tail of the day her 26-year-old son Nick, inset, was killed on his mo­tor­bike – she is shar­ing her story to help The Power of 2 Wheels road safety cam­paign

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