Warning for bikers from father of fatal crash victim
A FATHER who lost his son in a motorbike accident – and survived a horrific crash himself – is using his experiences to raise awareness of road safety and improve driving standards. Len Baker, 48, suffered life-threatening injuries after his Aprilla Tuor
A FATHER who lost his son in a motorbike accident - and survived a horrific crash himself - is using his experiences to raise awareness of road safety and improve driving standards.
Len Baker, 48, suffered life-threatening injuries after his Aprilla Tuoro hit a verge on the B660 in Great Gidding on May 6 of this year.
The biker from Warboys said his survival was a 'really lucky' escape - paramedics feared he would die.
His son Martin was not so fortunate. The 20-year-old died following a motorbike crash in June last year.
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The father and son had travelled to the Isle of Man to watch the TT races.
Martin was riding his bike around the island when he was involved in a collision with another motorcyclist. His injuries were fatal.
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Len Baker, who has been riding motorbikes for more than 30 years, faces six months of recovery after his accident.
His injuries include a broken knee, fractured ankle, broken hip and a broken back.
"It's proven to me just a slight lapse in concentration, which is exactly what happened to me, can put you into so much trouble," he said. "I just totally misread the corner."
He added: "It's not just the pain of pride at coming off the bike, it's the pain of your injuries, the pain of recovery and also the financial burden."
Mr Baker finds it too difficult to talk about his son's death but knows that he is lucky to be alive following his own accident in May.
"I've been told it's going to be a full recovery which is good but the main thing is I'm still here. I'm really lucky, really lucky."
Mr Baker hopes that by speaking about his accident, he can help Cambridgeshire police highlight the importance of motorbike safety.
According to officers, 17 motorcyclists died on the county's roads in 2007 and 99 were left seriously injured.
Pc Tony Barrios, casualty reduction officer, said: "Motorcyclists make up less than one per cent of traffic in the county yet account for 23 per cent of those killed or seriously injured.
"Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other motorists, which is why it is so important they stay alert and aware at all times.
"The majority of riders are riding safely. However, one small mistake could prove fatal.
"It's vital that other motorists remain focused and aware of motorcyclists, through using their mirrors regularly and ensuring they do not make any sudden movements. Concentration and anticipation are the qualities of a good driver, and good driving is no accident."
INFORMATION: Bikers can get further riding experience by attending a Bikesafe course. The initiative is run by police forces to lower the number of motorcycle casualties. In Cambridgeshire the scheme is run in conjunction with Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council. To find out more, visit www.bikesafe.co.uk