Olly Moreton
Biker Olly Memorial Trust

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Published: 22nd Nov 2008
Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.
Registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005 number CC39142

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:
Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.
Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.

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.

Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.
Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.
Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.
Display image in the Pictures of Olly gallery.

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.

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