City cyclist Jemma Smith was knocked off her bike in Corstorphine at 7 o’clock this morning, only two days after taking part in the cycling safety protest, Pedal on Parliament, at the weekend.

Half a mile into her daily morning commute to the city centre, riding her bike which was only a month old, she was thrown up into the air by a car. As a result she has been to hospital to be treated for concussion and damage to ligaments in both knees. Twenty-five year old Jemma who works as an analyst at Standard Life and commutes into the city centre, was passing the junction where the Scotmid store sits at the end of Drumbrae Avenue when the accident occurred.

Jemma became aware of a silver car ahead of her waiting to join the flow of traffic  on the main road from the street on her left from quite a distance away. “The driver was indicating to go the same way as I was. Nine times out of ten drivers see you in time and stop. But today the weather was pretty horrible, so perhaps she could not see just as well, but she just kept on coming at me and just as I passed the junction she accelerated and hit me with the front driver’s side of the car.”

“I was in a primary position about a metre away from the pavement and wearing high vis gear and using lights so I thought I could be seen.”

“I am not 100% sure what happened then. The next thing I knew the impact of the car had pushed me sideways.   I had anticipated the crash by then, and had stamped on my pedals, so I went up in the air with my bike attached.   I flew through the air for about fifteen metres and then I landed on my head slid down to my shoulder and skidded along the road for a bit. I realised that I was in a very dangerous place in a very busy road.  I saw the sky and my first instinct was to get away out of the traffic.”

Jemma's helmet was split in two

“I was pretty shaken up and another motorist put me in their car to wait for the police. The lady who hit me with her car was pretty upset.  I am a driver too and have had road accidents, and know it is very traumatic hitting something never mind a person, and of course it all could have been a lot worse.”

 This accident will have financial consequences for Jemma who said:- “I commute every day. I just sold my old bike at the weekend too so I have nothing to fall back on until I get my bike fixed! Although I will not be able to use a bike for a little while anyway, and will have to rely on buses until my knees are okay again for cycling. I have damaged my helmet which is actually cleaved in two. There will also be repairs needed to the bike, and my jacket was ruined.”

Jemma concluded:-” I was astounded that according to the police officer who attended the accident, there is at least one incident like this in the city every day. To think that only a day or two ago I was at the start of Pedal on Parliament on my bike trying to highlight the need for increased road safety! It was a very well organised day. We were at the very start and it was an amazing sight to  turn round and see all the cyclists behind us at The Meadows.”

The motorist has not been charged according to Lothian and Borders Police.

Pedal on Parliament took place on Saturday when almost 3,000 cyclists converged on Holyrood to highlight the need for safer streets for our cyclists. The photo of Jemma was of course taken a short time ago when she got her new bike. The cycle is now back at the shop for repairs.

4 COMMENTS

  1. “The motorist has not been charged according to Lothian and Borders Police”

    This is exactly why the thousands of normal law abiding cyclists were out protesting at the weekend.
    Someone who is presumably trained and licenced to control a car, in broad daylight drives forwards into a poor woman who is in the right place in the road, wearing hi-viz clothing to make herself easier to be seen and could do no more to make it easier for the driver of the car. Yet for that piece of unbelievably careless or reckless driving she isn’t even charged with, for example “driving without due are and attention”.
    “The lady who hit me with hercar was pretty upset”, wilst Jemma’s understanding is commendable, “upset” is the least the lady should be, it’s very lucky she didn’t kill or disable Jemma through nothing other than negligent driving.

    Until the dangerous use of cars is taken seriously, and drivers start to view their responsibilities seriously, the roads will remain a dangerous place for children pedestrians and cyclists.
    I am disgusted that no action is to be taken. If the driver had seriously injured someone with th negligent use of any other weapon or tool she would answer in court.

  2. While you are absolutely entitled to your view, the incident was attended by the police on the ground who took a different view. The point of this article was simply to highlight an unfortunate accident. The matter is a very topical one and, even though we are cyclists, it is not The Reporter’s wish to encourage any kind of us and them debate, rather to highlight what is happening in our city no matter what the subject. The point about road safety in general is that it is up to all of us to take care, be aware and take all steps that we can, such as high vis gear if we are cycling, to protect ourselves and others on the roads. This is also the thinking behind the road safety campaign called Streets Ahead backed by the council and other agencies to promote safety by all road users. You can find out more about that here but you will have seen the bus posters we are sure.

  3. Gosh, this is a terrible story. I hope that Jemma is fighting fit again soon and that there is no lasting damage to her confidence to cycle on Edinburgh’s streets.

    I live about two minutes down the road and often pass the very same junction where the accident took place. I have just started to cycle in the last few months and try my absolute best to be visible and use the road in a safe manner.

    I hope that cyclists, drivers and the city council take stories like this very seriously and we all work together to make the roads safer for everyone. The council has recently announced investment in cycling, so I sincerely hope that accidents like these will be reduced.

  4. I have no wish to create any sort of “them and us”, although I condemn unreservedly those whose impatience and / or carelessness causes serious injury and yet who go unpunished.
    I must disagree with your assessment, this was not an”unfortunate accident”, this was an avoidable collision, the poor victim WAS wearing hi-viz, riding in the best, most visible position and yet in broad daylight she was knocked down by a vehicle joining the road. Despite taking every measure to make herself visible.
    It is, by any reasonable standard, inexcusable driving and the decision not to charge the driver still baffles me. Had it been a dead child and not a badly injured cyclist would she have still walked away with an unblemished licence?

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