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Scotland’s “unluckiest cyclist” wins compensation – after being knocked off his bike for third time (+ videos)

Rider’s solicitor says “he literally couldn’t have made himself any more visible if he tried” after driver crashed into him at junction

A bike rider described by his lawyer as Scotland’s “unluckiest cyclist” has won compensation from a driver who pulled out on him at a junction in what was the third time he has been knocked off his bike.

As with the previous two occasions, the cyclist, named as Derek from Fraserburgh, was represented by Aberdeen-based solicitor Roz Boynton of Cycle Law Scotland, who said in a post on the firm’s website that “It’s always sad for us to have repeat customers.”

Derek, who recorded all three incidents on the action camera mounted on his Giant TCR Advanced Pro bike, was the victim of hit-and-run crashes in both 2021 and in February this year, with Cycle Law Scotland successfully pursuing claims against the drivers responsible as a result of the footage he had captured.

The latest incident happened in June at the Cortes Junction in north-east Aberdeenshire, where the A90 meets the A952.

The cyclist, who had just ridden onto the main carriageway, was struck side-on by a driver who pulled out from a junction, ignoring the road markings, and was thrown onto the bonnet of the vehicle before landing on the ground. The driver stopped at the scene to check on Derek’s condition.

“Similar to his previous incidents, this one happened in broad daylight with good sight lines,” Ms Boynton said.

“Derek had been wearing a yellow fluorescent yellow high viz vest and a high viz backpack. He had lights operating on his bicycle. He literally couldn’t have made himself any more visible if he tried.”

The solicitor said that her client “suffered soft tissue injuries to his right side but his trusty bike, which had survived the previous two incidents needing only some minor repairs, had a cracked frame and was written off.

“We were able to secure an early acceptance of liability for Derek and an interim payment for a replacement frame and all his damaged kit (including the action camera as the screen broke in the collision but still managed to record the incident).

“Shortly, thereafter, we received a full settlement in respect of his injuries.  Derek is now shopping for a new bike.

“We very much hope that this is the last time that Derek needs our help and that his new bike brings many happy, safe and uneventful miles,” Ms Boynton added.

The first incident in which she represented Derek came after he was forced off the road by an oncoming driver overtaking another vehicle near Raytheon, Aberdeenshire, in July 2021.

Derek fell onto a grassy embankment and sustained chest, neck and leg injuries, and his bike and kit were also damaged.

The driver, who failed to stop, was subsequently convicted of careless driving due to the footage Derek captured, with insurers immediately admitting their policyholder’s liability when they were shown it.

The circumstances surrounding the second incident in which Derek needed to call upon the assistance of Cycle Law Scotland, in February this year, were almost identical, with the overtaking driver who forced him off the road claiming afterwards that the sun had been in his eyes.

“We would suggest that if you can’t see whilst driving, you certainly shouldn’t be overtaking,” the law firm said.

Again, Derek sustained soft tissue injuries, for which he needed to undergo hospital treatment and physiotherapy, and his bike was damaged, with insurers once again admitting liability after seeing the footage.

 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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19 comments

Avatar
cyclisto | 9 months ago
2 likes

This bike frame deserves a Victoria Cross. Rest in pieces buddy.

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andystow | 9 months ago
4 likes

Maybe he's a football player?

 

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Hirsute | 9 months ago
3 likes

I'm confused - this is supposed to be an echo chamber where cyclists do no wrong and are never criticised.

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mctrials23 | 9 months ago
16 likes

Anyone else feel like every time someone gives a bollocks excuse, the punishment should double. 

There is almost never an excuse for dangerous driving and saying things like "I couldn't see because the sun was in my eyes" while overtaking should probably be an automatic ban as you clearly haven't got the base level of intelligence to realise that if you can't see whats ahead of you clearly you shouldn't be overtaking on the wrong side of the road. 

I would wager that the sun was not in his eyes and it was just a weak attempt to get off without punishment but the sooner we crack down on this crap the better. 

 

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ts437 | 9 months ago
7 likes

Probably putting myself out there with this one, but...

while all the driving is terrible and deserved to pay out compensation, the riding is just weird.

the first video is weird riding. why would you cross a fast lane only to cross back over it. I would just go across the road you intend to be on, which has a central reservation making it pretty easy

Second video, you definitely didnt need to dive onto the verge.

Third video, looks like you move out into the lane, more primary, as the oncoming overtaker approaches (to tell them off? make them abort?) so when you do take evasive action it's very dramatic. If you're looking ahead you could have just stayed to the left, again not diving onto the verge and getting injured.

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OnYerBike replied to ts437 | 9 months ago
7 likes

The first video - it's slightly odd but not that weird. If I'm on a road bike with road cycling shoes, I wouldn't especially want to either walk or ride across any more grass than was strictly necessary. So I understand rolling onto the nearest bit of tarmac and cycling from there, even if it ends up being a slightly convoluted route. I also can't see that the cyclist's behaviour contributed to the accident in any way. 

Also, did you spot the bike racks on the car's roof no

The other two videos, I do actually agree with you. Yes the driving in both cases is attrocious, but I couldn't understand launching oneself onto the verge in either case. Maybe it's just a different approach to self-preservation - if you really believe there's a chance you are going to be hit head on, I suppose diving onto the verge is the better outcome. 

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ts437 replied to OnYerBike | 9 months ago
3 likes

Fair point on the first video. doing the junction 'twice' makes me nervous but I understand your point.

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quiff replied to ts437 | 9 months ago
1 like

Afraid I don't! I've looked up the junction and just can't understand what's going on. Seems a weird place to be setting off from, and then seems to adjust the camera immediately before capturing a collision.

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brooksby replied to OnYerBike | 9 months ago
1 like

OnYerBike wrote:

The other two videos, I do actually agree with you. Yes the driving in both cases is attrocious, but I couldn't understand launching oneself onto the verge in either case. Maybe it's just a different approach to self-preservation - if you really believe there's a chance you are going to be hit head on, I suppose diving onto the verge is the better outcome. 

Those second two videos: TBH if I'd been shown them out of context I would have thought that they were some sort of internet prankster type thing...  I don't understand why the rider was so far out into the lane...

Actually, I do - I'd wager that they had thought to take primary to discourage exactly the manoeuvres which then took place, but I would have admitted defeat and moved over left when it was clear that nothing was going to stop them.

That first video was some seriously rotten driving, though.  Clearly looking for motor vehicles and nothing smaller.

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bikeman01 replied to ts437 | 9 months ago
2 likes

That second video looks like someone who's got a camera and is litigation savvy.

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Rendel Harris replied to ts437 | 9 months ago
3 likes

I entirely agree that the close pass videos do look a bit odd, indeed as somebody has said below almost like a "crash for cash" scam. However, it should be remembered that most cameras do make gaps seem wider than they are and both the oncoming car and the kerb are probably closer than they appear. If you take the screenshot below, judging by the width of the car and the van it looks as though the lane is approximately 2.5 m wide; the car is approximately 3/4 of its width into the lane, so that's approximately 1.5 m taken up, leaving the cyclist a metre. Cyclists are approximately 50 cm wide and he's going to be at least 20cm out from the kerb, so it's going to look to the rider as if he's going to be passed within about 30 cm. He doesn't have to throw himself on the verge to stay safe, but it's understandable, particularly if he's inexperienced or nervous, that he might feel it's the best option.

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quiff replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
2 likes

I mean, that driving is shocking for all involved - they haven't even given the Transit enough room

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OnYerBike replied to quiff | 9 months ago
4 likes

It's hardly a saving grace, but my interpretation was that the driver had, at that point, spotted the cyclist and decided to squeeze the van rather than hit the cyclist (of course, using the brakes was not an option under consideration)

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jaymack | 9 months ago
4 likes

Other than shooting an Albatros for good luck there doesn't seem to be much Derek could have done to avoid any of these incidents. Pillocks gotta pillock I suppose.

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lolol replied to jaymack | 9 months ago
6 likes

Always...hang on, em no, Never! kill an albatross.
Pretty sure it's the other way around, sorry, couldn't resist my inner pedant, I also hate my inner pedant, he's a dick.

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brooksby replied to jaymack | 9 months ago
1 like

The albatross was the ships good luck until someone went and killed it...

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jaymack replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
0 likes

That's kinda the point...

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Wingguy replied to jaymack | 9 months ago
0 likes

jaymack wrote:

That's kinda the point...

You said shooting an albatross for good luck? If he'd shot an albatross it would have caused the accidents!

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Spangly Shiny replied to Wingguy | 9 months ago
0 likes

Ever hear of sarcasm?

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