6.2 June 13 Bleat

Post date: Jun 12, 2016 9:23:4 PM

Hello Vets,

In this week's Bleat;

  • Blick v Franklin

  • Alain Arbaut update

  • Racing this Week

Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc

Ian Morton

Blick v Franklin

Members may recall the ACT Supreme Court decision in October 2014 involving Michael Franklin and David Blick. The two men had been riding home together in June 2009 in the cycle lane around State Circle adjacent to the merging with traffic from Canberra Avenue. Mr Blick’s bicycle struck a wooden tree stake (approx. 2 metres long by 38 millimetres square) lying in the cycle lane. He lost control of his bike and fell off, knocking Mr Franklin into the path of a car travelling in the left-hand traffic lane just behind them. Mr Franklin sustained very serious injuries. The judge found that Mr Blick had a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing injury to other road users (including Mr Franklin, especially given their close proximity to the road), and that Mr Blick had breached that duty by not keeping a proper lookout for obstacles on the cycle lane (especially so, given the size of the piece of wood and the lighting in the area), and that Mr Franklin’s injuries flowed directly from that negligent failure to keep a proper lookout. The judge considered whether Mr Franklin had contributed to his own injuries by also not keeping a proper lookout. Given the relative positions of the two riders, the judge decided that the evidence did not allow him to find that Mr Franklin should have seen the piece of wood had he been keeping a proper lookout. Mr Blick was therefore found to be entirely responsible for Mr Franklin’s injuries and the judge awarded damages amounting to $1.66m (plus Mr Franklin’s legal costs). (For those interested, you can read the original decision on the Supreme Court’s webpage at Franklin v Blick [2014] ACTSC 273.)

Last year, Mr Blick appealed that decision in the ACT Supreme Court (Court of Appeal). That court’s unanimous decision was handed down on 9th June 2016. In summary, Mr Blick’s appeal was dismissed on the basis that the area where the crash occurred was well-lit by road lighting, car lights and the riders’ own headlights, and that Mr Blick did not keep a proper lookout for obstacles in the cycle lane, such as the wooden tree stake. In the words of the court: “the evidence … suggests that if [Mr Blick] had been exercising the kind of care that [his barrister] has conceded was required [to detect minor debris such as glass, gravel and rocks] he would have been able to [see and] avoid the wooden stake without risk to [Mr Franklin].” The question of whether Mr Franklin had contributed to his own injuries did not arise. (For those interested in the complete decision, go to Blick v Franklin [2016] ACTCA 17.)

Fortunately, to say the least, Mr Blick was covered under his home and contents insurance policy.

This result for Mr Blick emphasises the importance to members of assessing their own insurance position, not only in regard to personal injury, but also in regard to injury that a member causes to another person, who may be with you in a group ride, or riding home with you, or he/she may just be another rider whom you are overtaking, or a pedestrian, or a child who has escaped parental supervision, for example.

Unless you have substantive experience and expertise in insurance matters, please do not try to do this on your own - seek specialist advice on your whole insurance position, including the scope of insurance provided to club members through AVCC. The committee is currently working with AVCC and the insurance broker on changes to the current policy that the committee considers are necessary improvements. Members will be updated from time to time as progress is made with the proposed changes.

But, please also treat insurance as a risk management measure of last resort. Taking the above case as an example, it is far better to avoid the injuries in the first place - be vigilant and ride according to the conditions - not just weather and lighting, but the presence (possibly unexpected) of other people and vehicles on the cycle lane/path and road.

Ian Albrey

Vice President.

Alain Arbaut update

Some news on a good mate and vets club member Alain Arbaut.

Alain had the misfortune of crashing heavily yesterday while racing on the Stromlo critérium course during the CCC mini tour race. This was a hard fall on collarbone corner.

Alain didn't read the script though and didn't break his collarbone; instead he broke his pelvis, many ribs and punctured lungs. He was in agony just breathing while waiting for the ambulance and showed how strong he is during that stressful time. He is now recovering in hospital and will stay there until his lungs settles and he is able to walk.

I'm sure you will all join me to wish Alain a good recovery in this difficult time. Hopefully the French soccer team will step up and give Alain something to cheer about in the next 4 weeks.


Christophe Barberet


Saturday, 18th June: Apollo Graded Scratch

Where:Travel to Tharwa, then left onto Naas Rd. (If via Gordon/Right if Via Tidbinbilla Road). Go past Namadgi visitors centre, Tennent hill, Turn Right onto Apollo road. Park on top of hill at disused tracking centre.

When: From 1:30 pm.

Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.

Race Description: The Apollo, Honeysuckle Creek Finish The Apollo--Honeysuckle Summit Finish Start at Apollo Road T junction. All grades turn at straight section opposite the aero model club. Sign on at the summit The Apollo--Classic mountain top finish scratch race. Race starts at Apollo Road T junction. All grades head back towards Tharwa, turn at the straight section opposite the aero model club, return along Naas Rd then climb to the top of Apollo Road.

Race Director: Paul Connor

Contact: Email: paulconnor996@gmail.com Ph 0410411902