Blyth: Mother calls for change in law after son’s death in bike crash

Karl Micklethwaite died when he collided with car whilst riding his motorbike
Karl Micklethwaite died when he collided with car whilst riding his motorbike
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A grieving mother has called for a change in the law regarding elderly drivers after her son was killed when a pensioner drove across the path of his motorbike.

Karl Micklethwaite, 26, died in June 2012 when he smashed into the side of a car on Bawtry Road outside Blyth.

Assistant coroner for Nottinghamshire, Maria Mulrennan, who gave a narrative verdict, agreed that the driver of the car, 70-year-old Valerie Smith, had failed to adequately judge the speed of the approaching motorbike.

However, she said Mr Micklethwaite had been going too fast at the time.

“I am satisfied that Karl was riding at high speed of at least 100mph, the witnesses’ statements on that fact are credible,” she said.

But Mr Micklethwaite’s mother Diane, who runs the Norfolk Arms in Worksop, felt Mrs Smith was more to blame.

“I appreciate Karl was driving too fast,” she said.

“But he was on a straight road and was anexperienced motorcyclist so I do not think it was as significant a cause as other factors in the collision.”

“Mrs Smith made a number of critical errors of judgment and I think she should have been banned from driving.”

“To me, the existing legislation governing older drivers is grossly inadequate,.

“Drivers who over 70 should have to prove they are cognitively able to drive and then regularly monitored.”

Linda Yen Fox, personal injury lawyer for Slater & Gordon, representing Mrs Micklewaite, said: “This tragic case highlights the importance for car drivers to watch out for motorcyclists on the road.”