Cyclist awarded £55,000 after collision with Ford Explorer during local bike race

Ford Explorer (stock image)

A man was awarded £55,000 after being hit by a 4×4 towing a trailer while he was taking part in a Tayside bike race.

Graeme Daly was injured while competing in a 10-mile race organised by Kinross Cycling Club, which holds events across the region, including Fife and Perth.

He was struck by a Ford Explorer — which was towing a Toyota Marine Sport boat — driven by David Heeps.

Mr Daly had been participating in the event, which took the format of a team time trial, along with team-mates David Barclay and Gordon Dick, when the collision happened.

The incident — which took place on an unnamed road near Mawhill, Perth and Kinross, on August 23 2015 and was filmed on a dashcam in another vehicle — led Mr Daly to raise an action in the personal injury court, seeking £110,000.

The court found Mr Heeps breached his duty of reasonable care because he did not keep to the left and drove at excessive speed.

However, it also attributed 50% of the blame for the collision to Mr Daly.

Mr Heeps was a joint defender in the case, along with his insurance company Markerstudy Limited.

The court also heard there were marshals on the course and signs warning other road users that a cycling event was taking place.

In his judgment, Sheriff Peter Braid said Mr Daly was also to blame for the collision. He said: “A striking feature of this case is that substantially the same criticisms can be levelled against each party.

“Just as the defender was not concentrating on the road but on the verge, so too was the pursuer’s concentration elsewhere.

“He was not looking at the road but at the rear wheel of the bike in front.

“Just as the defender maintained his speed, because he was unable to stop, so too did the pursuer, because he was participating in what was, in effect, a race. Neither party was as close to his nearside verge as he might have been had he been travelling at a lower speed, because of the need to avoid potholes.

“The accident occurred because the parties approached each other at approximately the same speed, neither hard up against his verge, leaving a very small gap to be negotiated by each of them at a closing speed of 50mph.”