The widow of a motorcyclist who died when a careless driver hit his bike has backed a safety campaign designed to prevent similar tragedies.
Father-of-two Neil Hamilton was riding his 600cc BMW bike in April 2013 when he was struck by a Mitsubishi L200 four-wheel-drive on a country road between Tow Law and Cornsay Colliery, in County Durham.
The 60-year-old supply teacher was confirmed dead at the scene, at Low West House.
Neil, of Offerton Close, South Hylton, Sunderland, was a former chief technician at Newcastle University’s Medical School, and was an advanced rider who held a national diploma gained as a member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), in Cleveland.
In April this year the driver who killed him, 51-year-old Anthony Shelton of Castle View, Esh Winning, was jailed for 16 months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.
On Thursday Neil’s wife Christine visited the road on which the accident happened, accompanied by an officer from the Durham Police motorcycle team.
She saw at first hand some of the signs put in place over the last few weeks by Durham County Council, urging drivers to be more aware of those on two wheels.
The council has provided for twelve ‘Think Bike!’ signs to be permanently deployed at various locations across County Durham, many of which are on favoured motorcycle routes.
Two of these will be at different points along the stretch of road where Neil lost his life.
“Neil was passionate about passing on his skills to others to reduce casualties on our roads. But he died instantly, with no time to say thank you for the years we spent together and no time to say goodbye,” said Christine.
“I asked for these signs to be erected to remind drivers and riders that we need to look out for each other. Follow the rules of the road and pay special attention to those who are less likely to survive a collision.
“Every day 30 bikers are killed or seriously injured in collisions at road junctions every day in the UK.
“And last year another 330 motorcyclists joined my husband in dying on our roads, with a further 4,800 seriously injured.
“I hope this initiative will remind people to take extra care and prevent a tragedy like this happening to another family.”
Ron HOGG, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner said; “Improving road safety is one of my policing priorities which I have tasked the Chief Constable to deliver. I welcome the introduction of these ‘Think Bike!’ signs which will help to promote safer driving and ultimately reduce the number of casualties on our roads.”