Registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005 number
On 25th November 2007 Olly (Oliver Moreton) died at the scene of an
accident while riding his motorcycle along a suburban street in Palmerston
North, New Zealand. He was 22 years of age. This website is dedicated to
his memory and the message of road safety to all motorcyclists.
The Coroner's inquest on 4 December 2009 found that Olly was not speeding
and was "there to be seen". This ruling is against the court decision
below, and enables us to understand what we knew all along - that the car
driver's vision was obscured by the parked transit van and therefore her
u-turn was a dangerous manouevre. Further detailed evidence of the crash
scene provided by the Serious Crash Unit to the Coroner helped explain the
facts. If this material had been available at the criminal proceedings,
then the verdict may have been different.
The Coroner said the accident was a "sobering reminder of how implicitly
dangerous driving is, and how vigilant drivers must be at all times". This
is a message we need to get across to all road users.
On 13th March 2009, the Judge presiding in the prosecution of the car
driver doing the U-turn found the defendant NOT guilty of the two charges
of Careless Driving causing death and Careless Driving causing injury. To
quote from the reserved judgement:
"..., I consider that it is more probable than not the defendant was
careless and that the manner of her driving was a real cause of the injury
to Ms Stewart and the death of Mr Moreton. However, that is not enough to
secure a conviction. ..."
"I conclude that the prosecution have not established beyond reasonable
doubt that the defendant was careless. There is, in my view, a reasonable
possibility in this case that the Suzuki motorbike was travelling at
excessive speed and that its presence on the roadway could not reasonably
have been foreseen by the defendant."
Excerpt from text read at Olly’s funeral:
There are many types and sizes of road users, from large B-train trucks to
cyclists and walkers. There are also many skills required to operate
anything faster than walking pace - the speed for which the human body was
designed. Fortunately we were given ears, eyes, a brain and motor skills to
help us operate machinery. Sharing roads with different masses of moving
objects requires all operators to respect each other. This is especially
true of those which are bigger than others. We have rules to help with this
and these must be complied with to keep each other safe. Especially
vulnerable are motorcyclists who have little protection apart from their
clothing, their riding skills and a built in sense of self-preservation.
Unfortunately for some, there are times when none of this has a chance to
come into play, and tragedy results.
We need to educate drivers, educate riders, and educate young people to
ensure our roads are safe for all. For us to make some sense out of Olly's
loss, the family have decided to set up a charitable trust to work with
similarly motivated organisations to make a difference. This will be known
as the Biker Olly Memorial Trust, and will be put into reality once they
have regained their energy and can go through the necessary steps.
The Biker Olly Memorial Trust is a charitable trust registered under the Charities Act 2005 (CC39142)
with five trustees whose aim is the promotion of road safety for
motorcyclists. The trustees are members of Olly’s family and motorcycle
riding colleagues of his father. The funding of the trust is from
donations, initially received at Olly’s funeral and from colleagues and
work mates of his parents.
Trust activity will commence soon. A proposal is to produce a calendar to
raise funds and put forward safety messages. Use of the raised funds is
still to be determined by the trustees, but education at schools in
conjunction with other providers is one option being considered.