Published: May 20, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea widow backs launch of motorbike safety campaign

A Burnham-On-Sea widow who lost her husband in a motorbike accident is backing a new police campaign to reduce serious motorcycle collisions on Somerset's roads.

Heather Bartlett, 36, knows first hand how important it is to reduce the number of motorcycle collisions on our roads each year.

Her husband, Daryll, 39, was killed in a motorcycle collision in October 2004 less than half a mile from their home.

He was riding to work and took a corner too quickly. At the same time a van was pulling out of a drive and didn't see Daryll coming. He was killed on impact.

Heather said: "The day Daryll died he left the house and shouted 'See ya later babe.' This was the last thing he ever said to me."

"It's been a real struggle to come to terms with his death. Our son Jordan has had to grow up without a dad and I have lost my best friend. I struggle socialising, as I feel guilty for having a good time and my health has suffered. I don't sleep and have only recently stopped taking antidepressants."

"To say that Daryll loved motorbikes was an understatement. We met when I was 18 and even then he was always tinkering with a bike and when he wasn't he was reading a motorcycle magazine or watching it on TV."

"He was a good rider, confident and aware of the hazards, but motorcyclists are vulnerable on the roads and it goes to show that it could happen to anyone."

"I would definitely encourage anyone who rides to take the further training courses available and to be cautious when out on the roads. And if you are a car driver, please take the time to look for bikes, as they just aren't as visible as other vehicles. It could save someone's life and stop another family from going through what we have had to over the last five years."

Their son Jordan, 14, (pictured here with Heather) added: "My last memory of Dad was when he came into my room to wish me good luck for the football tournament I was playing in that day. He kissed me goodbye and told me that he loved me."

"The rest of the day and following weeks are quite a blur, so I try and remember the good times. I was always a 'Daddy's boy' and we had a lad's night every Wednesday with popcorn and a DVD. He would let me stay up late and not tell mum!"

"I really miss my Dad and although I am interested in motorbikes like he was, I don't want this to have to happen to anyone else, so I hope that our story will encourage car drivers and motorcyclists to take more care."

Heather and Jordan's lives will never be the same again, but they are now beginning to put their lives back together.

Heather said: "Jordan and I have become a lot closer in recent years, and I do have a great support network of friends and family who take me shopping or out for a drink."

"And Jordan has an eye on a girl at school, is really enjoying his new Jiu-jitsu hobby and has aspirations to become a games designer."

Although motorcyclists make up a just fraction of Somerset's road users, they are involved in approximately a quarter of all fatal and serious traffic collisions – something that local police officers are keen to address.

Acting Chief Inspector Mike Parr said: "This week's operation was a great success. We were really well received by the motorists we spoke to who all agreed that raising awareness of motorcycling and it's hazards is incredibly important."

"These days of action are just part of our ongoing commitment to reducing motorcycle collisions. We are continuously patrolling the 'hot spot' areas to educate motorists and when necessary enforce the law."

Over the summer, Operation Take Care will also involve a number of initiatives including further training courses and a new education package.


Search|Add to your Bookmarks|Send a mail from|Print this page|Back to previous page|Discuss this article|

Burnham-On-Sea Shops
Burnham-On-Sea Shopping Guide

Buy in Burnham!
Support local traders by shopping in town - see our A-Z index of businesses. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Photos
Burnham-On-Sea Photos

Latest photos
Hundreds of photos from events across the Burnham-On-Sea area. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Webcam
Burnham-On-Sea Seafront Webcam

24-hour live pictures
See live images of the seafront and beach with Burnham's Webcam. Click here

What's On In Burnham-On-Sea
What's On In Burnham-On-Sea

Things to see and do
Check the constantly updated Burnham-On-Sea calendar for what's happening. Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Video
Burnham-On-Sea Video

Burnham video news
Watch video highlights of events across Burnham with these video clips. Click here