Remembering Marie Vesco

7 Jun

This week a number of us participated in the memorial ride for Marie Vesco, who died five years ago while cycling on the A23 to Brighton to the Smash EDO demonstration. She was clipped by a car that was intending to turn off the highway, and then ran over by a following car that was following too close behind. Both drivers were not prosecuted.

Besides being a cyclist, Marie was a good friend of many of us as 56a. The lack of justice for cyclists that are involved in traffic accidents in the the UK is thus even more appalling and even more pertinent to campaign for.

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On the 4-5th of June, Marie’s parents cycled from where she died on the A23 at Hickstead and then on to Portsmouth. From there they took the ferry to continue their cycling endeavor to their home in La Rochelle, France. A group of us came along from Hickstead to Portsmouth in support, pay our respects, and remember Marie. By cycling in a group we also brought more attention to ourselves, displaying how the road ought to be shared.

Marie’s mother, Dominique Vesco, has called for strict liability on the road. Surprisingly, this law is not found in the UK though it is commonplace in Holland, France, Germany, India, and the US, to name a few. If strict liability was in place, then the drivers who had been responsible for Marie’s death, and any driver involved in cyclist deaths, would have not gotten by scot-free with what can be plainly construed as manslaughter or murder in any other case.

Other coverage of the ride from this year can be found here:
CTC’s Road Justice Campaign
BBC: Call for ‘at fault’ law change
‘Marie Vesco  5th Anniversary Ride’
The Cycling Lawyer
BBC radio – top story with interviews

Previous years:
CTC forum including the Ghost Bike
More on the inquest/how poor signage led to riding on the A23
Indymedia
Two Wheels and Beyond
Critical Mass for Marie

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