Cyclist killed by car while riding on A34

First published in News

A “NATURAL roamer” who travelled the country on his bicycle was hit by a car and killed on the A34.

Motorists were shocked to see Alistair Bettis pedalling along the southbound carriageway near Pear Tree in the dark, an inquest heard yesterday.

Witnesses said they struggled to make out the 59-year-old as he cycled on the edge of the slow lane in the dark, although one driver said he may have been carrying a red LED bike light.

Nicola Gibson, who was travelling south on the dual carriageway having left work in Summertown, told Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner she had no time to react after the cyclist veered into the inside lane.

The motorist, who was travelling well below the speed limit, struck Mr Bettis as he was 1.7 metres inside the carriageway, crash investigator Andrew Evans said.

Ms Gibson, who was exonerated by Mr Gardiner, said: “About a second before the impact I could see him. (It was) not until my dipped headlights saw the back of his tyre, and I just put the emergency brakes on.

“He seemed like he was right in front of the passenger side.”

The incident took place at about 7.15pm on November 30. The cyclist, of no fixed address, died of multiple injuries.

Mr Bettis’ brother George said: “He was a natural roamer.”

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Comments (13)

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11:25am Thu 14 Jul 11

Quentin Walker says...

I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight.

It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.
I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight. It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Thu 14 Jul 11

iklhik says...

Part of the blame should go to whichever idiotic official decided to paint a cycle lane on the slip road onto the A34 at Peartree. It's outrageous that anyone should be given tacit encouragement to cycle on such a busy road.
Part of the blame should go to whichever idiotic official decided to paint a cycle lane on the slip road onto the A34 at Peartree. It's outrageous that anyone should be given tacit encouragement to cycle on such a busy road. iklhik
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Thu 14 Jul 11

Wanchai says...

Quentin Walker wrote:
I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight.

It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.
Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.
[quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight. It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.[/p][/quote]Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom. Wanchai
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Thu 14 Jul 11

Quentin Walker says...

Wanchai wrote:
Quentin Walker wrote:
I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight.

It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.
Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.
Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected. Some cyclists have an attitude problem.

Feel free to commit suicide, but spare a thought for the driver who despatches you.
[quote][p][bold]Wanchai[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight. It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.[/p][/quote]Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.[/p][/quote]Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected. Some cyclists have an attitude problem. Feel free to commit suicide, but spare a thought for the driver who despatches you. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 0

5:07pm Thu 14 Jul 11

old lady says...

I think cyclists think they own the roads although they pay nothing! They blatantly ignore the law. So there is no point, sadly, in trying to help ensure their safety. They are generally arrogant and selfish. One group have recently started to have a family ride-out on the day the long established Wallingford Charity fund-raising Car Rally takes place. But, hey, don't spoil their fun by suggesting they choose another day, or perhaps even time. They are invincible and teach ther kids to believe it too. Oh and don't start me on "bikes on pavements" as I need to walk with a stick they are more of a danger to me than crossing a busy road of cars and HGVs.
I think cyclists think they own the roads although they pay nothing! They blatantly ignore the law. So there is no point, sadly, in trying to help ensure their safety. They are generally arrogant and selfish. One group have recently started to have a family ride-out on the day the long established Wallingford Charity fund-raising Car Rally takes place. But, hey, don't spoil their fun by suggesting they choose another day, or perhaps even time. They are invincible and teach ther kids to believe it too. Oh and don't start me on "bikes on pavements" as I need to walk with a stick they are more of a danger to me than crossing a busy road of cars and HGVs. old lady
  • Score: 0

5:12pm Thu 14 Jul 11

Wanchai says...

Quentin Walker wrote:
Wanchai wrote:
Quentin Walker wrote:
I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight.

It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.
Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.
Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected. Some cyclists have an attitude problem.

Feel free to commit suicide, but spare a thought for the driver who despatches you.
As I think you know I was challenging your comment about mandatory hi-viz clothing. There are many things you could do to improve the safety of driving, cycling, etc. it doesn't mean you should do them.
[quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wanchai[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight. It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.[/p][/quote]Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.[/p][/quote]Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected. Some cyclists have an attitude problem. Feel free to commit suicide, but spare a thought for the driver who despatches you.[/p][/quote]As I think you know I was challenging your comment about mandatory hi-viz clothing. There are many things you could do to improve the safety of driving, cycling, etc. it doesn't mean you should do them. Wanchai
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Thu 14 Jul 11

King Joke says...

Old Lady, how does a family going on a bike ride prevent the rally taking place? I don't understand. If the rally is taking place at legal speeds on a public road, then it will be entirely compatible with a family riding legally on a public road. Please explain.
Old Lady, how does a family going on a bike ride prevent the rally taking place? I don't understand. If the rally is taking place at legal speeds on a public road, then it will be entirely compatible with a family riding legally on a public road. Please explain. King Joke
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Thu 14 Jul 11

Lord Peter Macvay says...

King Joke wrote:
Old Lady, how does a family going on a bike ride prevent the rally taking place? I don't understand. If the rally is taking place at legal speeds on a public road, then it will be entirely compatible with a family riding legally on a public road. Please explain.
Maybe it is because they deliberately ride slowly, and two abreast to kill the momemtum of the fundraisers because they are driving a motor vehicle, such is the mentality of some. But I am sure the nice Old Lady will tell us. But one thing she is correct about is the danger posed to her by different forms of road (or path) user.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Old Lady, how does a family going on a bike ride prevent the rally taking place? I don't understand. If the rally is taking place at legal speeds on a public road, then it will be entirely compatible with a family riding legally on a public road. Please explain.[/p][/quote]Maybe it is because they deliberately ride slowly, and two abreast to kill the momemtum of the fundraisers because they are driving a motor vehicle, such is the mentality of some. But I am sure the nice Old Lady will tell us. But one thing she is correct about is the danger posed to her by different forms of road (or path) user. Lord Peter Macvay
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Thu 14 Jul 11

Quentin Walker says...

Wanchai wrote:
Quentin Walker wrote:
Wanchai wrote:
Quentin Walker wrote:
I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight.

It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.
Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.
Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected. Some cyclists have an attitude problem.

Feel free to commit suicide, but spare a thought for the driver who despatches you.
As I think you know I was challenging your comment about mandatory hi-viz clothing. There are many things you could do to improve the safety of driving, cycling, etc. it doesn't mean you should do them.
I do hope you are winding me up...
[quote][p][bold]Wanchai[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wanchai[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quentin Walker[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised not more cyclists are killed on our roads. Many of them do not have the self-preservation instinct and ride in dark clothing, which can be difficult to see even in daylight. It is time it became mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing.[/p][/quote]Well in that case I think it is time it became mandatory for all cars to be restricted to 50 mph and have matresses for bumpers - just to be on the safe side you know. After all it wouldn't be right for people to have any freedom.[/p][/quote]Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected. Some cyclists have an attitude problem. Feel free to commit suicide, but spare a thought for the driver who despatches you.[/p][/quote]As I think you know I was challenging your comment about mandatory hi-viz clothing. There are many things you could do to improve the safety of driving, cycling, etc. it doesn't mean you should do them.[/p][/quote]I do hope you are winding me up... Quentin Walker
  • Score: 0

12:08am Sat 16 Jul 11

opendemeyes says...

King Joke.....never a truer statement........
King Joke.....never a truer statement........ opendemeyes
  • Score: 0

4:08am Sat 16 Jul 11

Lord Peter Macvay says...

opendemeyes wrote:
King Joke.....never a truer statement........
hope you meant his moniker.
[quote][p][bold]opendemeyes[/bold] wrote: King Joke.....never a truer statement........[/p][/quote]hope you meant his moniker. Lord Peter Macvay
  • Score: 0

10:24pm Sun 17 Jul 11

ox85 says...

I had to feel sorry for the both parties in this instance. I remember sitting on the A34 about 50 yards away from this accident. I remember thinking in those couple of hours of going nowhere that 20 seconds later and that would probably have been the same result with me behind the wheel. I was amazed that someone was cycling along the A34 on that evening. Just not what I was expecting on a freezing winter night like that.

Sympathies for the victim, but one of the victims has to deal with that for the rest of their lives. Cycling should be banned down the A34, or at least sections that do not contain a walkway. In my eyes it is on a par with cycling down a motorway.
I had to feel sorry for the both parties in this instance. I remember sitting on the A34 about 50 yards away from this accident. I remember thinking in those couple of hours of going nowhere that 20 seconds later and that would probably have been the same result with me behind the wheel. I was amazed that someone was cycling along the A34 on that evening. Just not what I was expecting on a freezing winter night like that. Sympathies for the victim, but one of the victims has to deal with that for the rest of their lives. Cycling should be banned down the A34, or at least sections that do not contain a walkway. In my eyes it is on a par with cycling down a motorway. ox85
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Thu 4 Aug 11

FNS-man says...

Old lady, cyclists pay for the roads as much as motorists. Roads are paid for out of general taxation and council tax, so cyclists pay as much as motorists, despite the roads being designed with little or no thought for keeping cyclists safe (see story above); and causing virtually no wear and tear on the road surface. Vehicle excise duty is based on carbon emissions, and so things like electric cars are exempt. (Road tax was abolished by Winston Churchill, who loathed the thought that its existence could lead people to claim ownership of roads - see comments above). With your logic the taxes that I pay on a pint of beer should go towards sprucing up my local pub.
Old lady, cyclists pay for the roads as much as motorists. Roads are paid for out of general taxation and council tax, so cyclists pay as much as motorists, despite the roads being designed with little or no thought for keeping cyclists safe (see story above); and causing virtually no wear and tear on the road surface. Vehicle excise duty is based on carbon emissions, and so things like electric cars are exempt. (Road tax was abolished by Winston Churchill, who loathed the thought that its existence could lead people to claim ownership of roads - see comments above). With your logic the taxes that I pay on a pint of beer should go towards sprucing up my local pub. FNS-man
  • Score: 0

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