Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Price Of Lives In Real Road Racing - Who Decides?

Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland
If you've never had to call upon a household as the bearer of the news every parent/spouse/partner dreads - you haven't witnessed the pain of those traumatized by the tragic avoidable death of a loved one.

If you've never experienced a middle of the night visit from a police officer bearing the news every parent/spouse/partner dreads - you have yet to experience the pain of those traumatized by the tragic avoidable death of a loved one.

Think of the paramedics at the scene of a fatal road traffic incident, how traumatic the experience is, perhaps a child has been killed, a life snuffed out by the thoughtless irresponsible action of another person. Imagine being one of those paramedics - the parent of a child yourself - having to deal with the broken lifeless body of that young child - or any broken lifeless body of a loved one. Imagine being one of the police officers, a member of an attending fire and rescue crew, the hospital staff - imagine being the person responsible for that fatality - any avoidable fatality.

Imagine now if you will - being the mother, or the father of that child - imagine if it was your husband who'd been killed, your wife, your partner, your soulmate, your ------.

Would you want justice for your child, wife, husband, partner - or would you simply be willing to forget and forgive the drunken driver, the car thief, the 'joyrider'?

What if the fatality was the result of an incident at a motorcycle real road race event? Would you expect all concerned to tell the truth, would you want justice, or for the good of the sport - would you be willing to forget and forgive?

During the recent inquest into the tragic death of the much loved and missed Martin Finnegan, it was revealed that experts had come to an agreed conclusion that if Martin did not suffer a severe 'tank slap' in all probability the cause of the failure was a loose banjo bolt. Whilst allegedly possibly not 100% in agreement, Senior Coroner Mr John Leckey nonetheless also concluded that "in all probability a loose banjo bolt was the cause of the failure of the front brake".

The problem with those foregoing conclusions is that not only do they leave us with unanswered questions - a loose banjo bolt did not end Martin's life - it was in fact the immovable extremely large banking which he was unable to avoid.

It has since been mentioned by several people that all precautions had been taken by the organisers and that no amount of air fencing would have saved Martin's life, but might it be pointed out that had the banking not been there, that would not have been the case. That simple fact alone would surely therefore suggest the organisers did not take all necessary precautions, and the MCUI-UC should therefore not have issued a Track Safety Certificate.

As Mr Michael Maxwell, barrister for the family of John Donnan, rightly said during that inquest: "Far from being a freak accident, this was an accident waiting to happen."

It should also be remembered that during an earlier preliminary hearing ahead of Martin's recent inquest, Senior Coroner John Leckey heard Martin would have had a real chance of surviving his Tandragee 100 crash if the organisers had put a run-off area or slip-road on the dangerous Marlacoo Corner, instead he died of multiple injuries. Not only did this particular dangerous corner not have a run-off area it was also the only corner which allegedly didn’t have air cushioning either, and those omissions were allegedly said to be directly responsible for his death.

Senior Coroner John Leckey at that time also acknowledged motorcycle road races did not have the same safety measures in place as other motor sport venues here in Northern Ireland and allegedly then said - if it cannot be made safe to a requisite standard, then the question has to be asked - should motorcycle racing on public roads take place at all? This is the first issue that must now be addressed by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The second issue to be addressed is that of those who were responsible for allowing the event to proceed without ensuring all necessary safety precautions actually had been taken - those persons should now be held to account.

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2010 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

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