Monday, 27 July 2009

A weekend of violent death

It happens every weekend of course. Dangerous driving involving reckless risk taking, excessive speeding or inattention resulting from the driver's concentration on something other than driving is very often the cause. But the human factor is always sanitised by the term ‘accident’, implying that there is nothing anyone can do. It’s like a rainy day, just one of those things.

These violent deaths are never connected. They are compartmentalised, and many of them never make it beyond the local paper. The connection with cars designed to flout the speed limit twice over, or the massive drop in road traffic policing, or the way the judicial system treats the right to drive as a basic human right, are never discussed. It’s always been this way.

Six people died violent deaths on Scotland’s roads in a 12-hour period.

In Kent two pedestrians were run down, one has died.

In East London the driver of a BMW drove into a house, two dead.

Three people died in Lancashire.

That’s probably far from being the complete total.

If terrorists or youths with knives had killed this many people in a single weekend, this would be a massive news story. Instead, it's business as usual.

Update 10.45 a.m.

Add four dead cyclists to that total:


A cyclist has died after a road accident in Gloucester. Police are appealing for witnesses following the collision which took place at around 11pm in Trier Way on Saturday. A silver Vauxhall Vectra Estate, driven by a man from Gloucester, collided with a bicycle, being ridden by a man in his mid-thirties from Gloucester.


A 15-year-old cyclist has died after he was involved in a traffic accident. Darryl John Manchett, of Manor Close, Witchford, died at Addenbrooke’s Hosptal yesterday after he was injured in a collision with a black Hyundai Getz on Church Road, Wentworth, near Ely, on Saturday night. The car’s driver and passenger were uninjured in the crash, which took place at about 9pm.


Police are appealing for information following a fatal road traffic collision in Frome on Saturday 25th July 2009. A black Suzuki motorcycle and a black Trek pedal cycle collided just prior to the roundabout at the junction. The cyclist, a 57 year old man, was taken to the Royal United Hospital where he was pronounced dead.


A CYCLIST has died in a collision with a pedestrian near Boscombe Pier. Mr Watts was cycling down the steep Sea Road when the collision occurred at the roundabout where Sea Road meets the prom at around 9.30am on Saturday. He was taken to Royal Bournemouth Hospital with serious injuries and died at 8.40pm.

Update 5 pm

Make that 17 dead, not 16. The second pedestrian in the second crash listed above has now also died:

Two women killed as they crossed a road on Sunday lunchtime were a mother and daughter.