Beyond The Kerb)
8 January 2018
Ipley Cross is a largely unremarkable place, an open plain where two roads cross: Beaulieu Road running north-to-south and Dibden Bottom running roughly east-to-west.
Yet it is a place of notoriety. For good reason.
Two deaths and a lucky escape
In August 2011 a 15 year old boy was cycling along Beaulieu Road when he was struck from his left by a driver who failed to see him and failed to give way at the junction. The boy was sent flying, but somehow escaped with only a broken collarbone.
In May 2012 a second, almost identical incident occurred. Mark Brummell was cycling along Beaulieu Road when he was struck from his left by Stephen Chard, who failed to see Brummell and failed to give way at the junction. Brummell was killed.
In December 2016 a third, almost identical incident occurred. Kieran Dix was cycling along Beaulieu Road when he was struck from his left by Viral Parekh, who failed to see Dix and failed to give way at the junction. Dix, too, was fatally injured.
Chard was charged with causing death by careless driving and pleaded guilty; Parekh was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, but was found not guilty of the more serious offence by a jury despite having driven through the junction’s “give way” line at 37mph without slowing.
Two questions present themselves.
Firstly, why it that the same collision keeps occurring at this junction? And secondly, why is such a standard of driving considered only to be “careless” rather than “dangerous”?
As we shall see, the answers to both are closely related.
By understanding one of the most likely causes for “failure to see” collisions at this junction, not only can we answer those questions but we can offer surprisingly straightforward solutions.