Hard-hitting footage of a fatal collision in Norfolk has been released by police in a bid to get motorcyclists and drivers to think seriously about road safety.

The dramatic film, captured on a headcam fitted to the rider’s helmet, shows the moment a car crosses into the path of Norwich motorcyclist David Holmes who was killed on the A47 at Honingham in June last year.

David’s story, a video featuring clips including the collision as well as an interview with his mother Brenda, has been produced by police with the full support of all his family, who hope the campaign will prevent further deaths.

The 38-year-old had been travelling at about 97mph at the time of the collision.

WARNING: Video contains footage some viewers may find distressing.

Mother allows release of hard-hitting footage of her son’s motorcyle death on A47 (Dereham Times)

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76 thoughts on “Hard-hitting

  1. scundered

    97mph on a vehicle with no cage around you for protection… poor guy, but no surprises, you must ride defensively.

      1. munkifisht

        Eh…. no. Cyclists, motor and pedal, are at a far greater risk on the roads than car drivers. The reason is you are cocooned in metal and safety equipment, safety equipment that has almost always focused on protecting those inside the car and ignoring those outside it. Car drivers actually think that due to this they can partake in more dangerous driving. It’s called risk compensation and in a sense, it’s true. In fact, you are safer driving home drunk from the pub than walking. The problem comes when other people become involved on the road. In short, if this was a collision between two cars, there’s a better chance both drivers would have walked away (of course it’s all speculative).

          1. Jack Aranda

            Here we go. Motorbikes, and those riding them, are bad. Any evidence to back up your sweeping generalization?

          2. Jack Ascinine

            I just watched a film of a guy on a bike hauling @ss and killing himself by not driving defensively. That’s pretty good evidence to me. I see it every day on the roads here.

          3. The Old Boy

            I’m not quite sure how you divined that out of what I said. Most motorcyclists ride perfectly sensibly. However, there is a minority of absolute loons who skite around cars at 100 miles per hour and seem to think they’re death-proof. From personal experience, I have been overtaken by motorbikes doing around 100 on N roads on many occasions. I can only think of once or twice when a car has passed at that speed.

          4. smoothlikemurphys

            Motorbikes are capable of reaching speeds in the 160kph region over much less distance than cars, hence the reason you often see bikers tearing it along. A car will take a significant length of road to hit 160kph, meaning they can realistically only do this on long stretches of N roads, or motorways.

            The bike in the video can hit 100kph in 3.7 seconds. Three point seven.

          5. The Old Boy

            I have nothing against motorbikes, but some of them are loons. Just like car drivers. They’re in a much more vulnerable position and as has been said, when they open up they can get to stupid speeds more easily. At no point did I say that bikes or bikers were bad as a bunch- I used to be one in the dim and distant, albeit on a BSA Bantam that topped out at 60 mph. Nothing I have said is remotely controversial, nor can it be seriously disputed.

          6. Jack Aranda

            I was overly prickly in my responses. Apologies. (Nearly getting flattened last week by a dope coming out of a side road may have contributed to the prickliness)

        1. Mark

          Well obviously there’s less of a chance someone will get killed in a crash between two cars compared to a motorcyclist. I wasn’t saying that there’s no difference between a car and a bike going at that speed but if one car driving nearly 100mph hits a car which is driving the opposite direction, even if it is almost stationary, there’s a fairly high chance someone will be killed. The point I was trying to make was no one should be driving at that speed.

          1. munkifisht

            I actually know something about this (unlike most of the balls I spew out on this site). It’s very hard to say as it really depends on the cars involved. It’s not simply a case of the speed of the cars, but actually relative momentum is the bigger issue. Then there’s the issue of safety equipment, further to that the size of the car will dictate the amount of rigid and non rigid protection the driver has. Finally, there’s the fact that most collision are not in fact head on collisions (obvious when you think cars tend to drive on opposite sides of the road), and in fact much of the kinetic energy is taken out of the collision due to this, a large amount is absorbed by the body work (in the crumple zones), some in heat and sound and the rest being converted into angular momentum of the cars causing them to spin.

            I would think, in a collision between two Merc s5s, the drivers would walk away safe. The major danger would actually be internal organ damage due to rapid deceleration.

            For a cyclist (any cyclist) the danger is far higher at almost any speed as they don’t have any of that safety equipment that the car user has.

    1. figleaf

      I think there should be signs everywhere which simply read ‘Slow the fk down’.
      In the absence of these signs, think it in your head and obey.
      Poor family.

  2. ceo

    Oh God… I am very shaken by that. Had a bigger effect on me than any of those road safety ads ever had. Definitely sends a strong message. Brave of the family to release it.

    1. Disasta


      Very hard.

      Used to drive like that myself back in the day.
      Got clipped myself once myself once.
      At 20kmph we were both roughtly doing.
      Slow though, still needed to go to hospital and get my foot stitched up.
      3000 damage to the bike.

  3. Tom Stewart

    I was cycling very slowly up a steep hill last night. I had lights and hi-viz, but the battery in my rear light was very weak if I’m honest. I heard in the distance behind me what was clearly a motorcyclist travelling at insane speed (through a built-up area) and my heart sank. If this lunatic didn’t see me in time, he would have blasted me off the road. He came round the corner and didn’t crash into me (I don’t know if he saw me, or if he just wasn’t on my part of the road).

  4. DazzaMazza

    Full of sympathy for the guy but he was doing 97mph. This video is meant to be about motorists lack of attention to bikers but in this case he was riding at almost 100mph on a road that probably had a much lower speed limit. There is every chance that the driver or passenger could have been seriously injured or killed by his actions.
    Part of the reason the driver did not see him was his speed. Sympathies but good fortune prevented others from being killed.

    1. ReproBertie

      Yes, in this fatal incident the motorcyclist was going too fast. I commute by motorbike every day. I do not speed and yet this has not prevented me having countless near misses through general lack of awareness from other road users of all types. The point of releasing this video was, as the mother said, to try and encourage motorists (and that includes motorcyclists) to slow down and think more about what other road users might do.

      As my father told me during my first driving lesson, every other road user is an idiot so be ready for them to do something stupid.

      1. ceo

        “As my father told me during my first driving lesson, every other road user is an idiot so be ready for them to do something stupid.”

        Spot on. Exactly the way I think when I drive. You always have to be ready to compensate for whenever, however infrequent, somebody else f*cks up.

        1. Small Wonder

          Putting distance between yourself and the vehicle in front gives you time to react to the unexpected. Plenty of accidents could be avoided if people would back off a bit.

        2. Disasta

          Wise words from your father and I lived by them.

          The reason the driver did not see the bike had nothing to do with the fact that the bike was moving fast. The car driver took a chance which, given the bike passed a car on its route, it shouldnt have done.

          A large proportion of car drivers are fairly (hugely) ignorant, smoking, texting, chatting on the phone, eating, drinking, dealing with kids. The list goes on. They think driving is so natural that you dont need to concentrate.


          EVRERY bike rider knows this. Their lives depend on it. If car drivers lives depending on it more they’d pay more attention.

          In saying that the bike rider was still doing 60kmph more than I’d have done on that road, and at that my speed would have been still well over the limit.

          Broke my heart watching it, really did. He knew before he hit there was no way out. Sad beyond belief. People will say well if he loved life why did he drive so fast?
          If you every drove a bike fast or did something that was close to the edge you’d know you’re actually feeling what it is like to live. The way life is for most living things…right on the edge.

          1. smoothlikemurphys

            “The reason the driver did not see the bike had nothing to do with the fact that the bike was moving fast.”

            That’s wholesale incorrect. If you’re sitting on a piece of metal that’s just over 2 feet wide, you’re hard to see from a distance.

            Now put that piece of metal travelling at 97mph and it’s going 43 metres every single second. A full length of a football pitch every 2.5 seconds. There’s no way that you can say that speed wasn’t a factor in the driver seeing the bike. It was simply going too fast.

            “If you every drove a bike fast or did something that was close to the edge you’d know you’re actually feeling what it is like to live. The way life is for most living things…right on the edge.”

            What is this? Point Break, Top Gun, or Fast and the Furious?
            Statements like this are what encourages people to do things like drive motorbikes at 97mph. You can’t talk about wringing your hands for the poor bikers but at the same time talking about how its such a thrill to speed.

          2. Louis

            How did the other drivers manage to see him coming then? The driver caused the accident by not properly checking for oncoming traffic (found guilty of reckless driving) unfortunately the speed increased the consequences of this lack of attention.

          3. Disasta

            “The reason the driver did not see the bike had nothing to do with the fact that the bike was moving fast.”

            Read my words. If that driver was paying attention on that road he would have seen the bike either way. Far away or near. He stated he did not see the bike. THE DRIVER STATED THIS, it is not arguable.

            Yes speed is thrilling, I went through a period of it and then grew up.
            Life is about doing what you love. I do track days. And in this case it should be on a race track and not on a road full of oul ones, mobile phones and general idiots.

            You didnt really address anything I said and just ranted. Good job.

        3. will-billy

          that is great advice alright :) never get tired of giving out to er indoors about maintaining a conservative stopping distance etc. ( something in fairness i see few drivers do)

      2. chris

        “I do not speed and yet this has not prevented me having countless near misses”
        But if you HAD been speeding, would they have still been near-misses, or would they have been collisions?

        1. ReproBertie

          What difference does that make chris? My speed was an irrelevance in the actions and lack of awareness of other road users. Suggesting that near misses might have been more serious if I was going a little faster smacks of victim blaming. If a pedestrian steps out with out looking, or a cyclist/car/van/bus/truck/motorbike changes lanes without looking resulting in me being involved in a collision am I more responsible for that collision because I am doing 51Kph instead of 50kph?

          1. Gers

            Are you serious? Its all to do with speed. More precisely with time and sound travel too (for pedestrian). You cannot tell me that speed is not a factor in how motorists react to bikers coming down the road, its ludicrous. A motorist might not be given a chance to properly evaluate the situation (see the video… ) and thats totally down to speed.

          2. ReproBertie

            No Gers, it’s not all to do with speed. I could be doing 30kph and have a car decide to change lanes without looking or a pedestrian step out without checking and I’m in a crash. Hell, I could be stopped at the lights and have someone pull into the lane on top of me (which has happened more than once and only my awareness prevented an accident).

            Yes, there are times when speed is the biggest contributing factor to road collisions but there are equally times when it has no relevance.

          3. Disasta

            Ger the majority of bike accidents have nothing to do with speed and all to do with someone doing something careless.

            Yes, in this case speed played an important role, but was not the only factor. Dont simplify things that are not simple.

          4. chris

            It makes all the difference in the world.
            It makes the difference between you being alive and you being dead.
            Of course, there are idiot car-drivers who do stupid things, but because you have the good sense not to drive your bike at 97mph there’s a bigger gap between you and the muppet in the car.
            Your own positive behaviour has helped you to avaoid getting hurt.
            And that’s not victim-blaming – that’s positive reinforement of good behaviour.

          5. Disasta

            Chris I very nearly lost my foot in a 20kmph crash cause a young driver not paying attention t-boned me.

            Now what speed do you recommend I should have been going in all your wisdom?

          6. chris

            Don’t take my comments out of context Disasta.
            You were doing 20k when you nearlyy lsot your foot.
            What might have happened to you if you had been doing 160k when you got T-boned?

      3. Paolo

        All motorists, in general, need to drive more slowly and more conscientiously. Stop to let other road users pull out from junctions, leave appropriate distance to the vehicle in front keep checking your mirrors.

        Motorcycles, however, are death traps. SOME motorcyclists accelerate too rapidly, drive far too fast, weave in and out of traffic and overtake dangerously or even undertake. Since motorcyclists are in such a vulnerable position, you would think that they would be much more careful than they are (not all but a large minority). Just take a trip out to Laragh (Wicklow) on any Sunday morning and see the sort of speeds that these guys do on minor roads.

        1. H

          .. Stop to let other road users pull out from junctions… thus impeding the flow of traffic, a road traffic offence.

  5. Selfie Sensation

    I don’t want to play the blame game but at that speed on a bike even the slightest mistake will likely be fatal. Lord rest him its a terrible tragedy.

        1. Selfie Sensation

          Precisely my point, at that speed he left himself no chance in the event of something going wrong.

          The whole thing has just made me very sad, I see motor cyclists speeding like this so often, do they have no idea of the consequences for themselves and others?

  6. the good helen

    very sad, and sad for his family to have watched and tough for them to have shared. I understand he was going at 97mph, but his family still lost their son. I do hope and pray the person in the other car has been able to get through this also. It must be extremely difficult for them also knowing they were also in the wrong and due to both errors a young man lost his life. Heart broken for both familys

    1. Mick

      I don´t think the driver was in the wrong. The guy on the bike was going way too fast and the driver of the car may not have seen him travelling 43 metres per second. That´s almost 100 metres in two seconds.

      1. Jack Aranda

        You don’t think the car driver shoulders any of the blame? That type of attitude explains in part why 50% of motorcycle fatalities are caused by car drivers failing to look properly.

      2. Delacaravanio

        I seriously hope Mick “I don’t think the driver was in the wrong” doesn’t have a driver’s licence as if he believes pulling out in front of oncoming traffic and killing a guy is acceptable driving then God only knows what he would define as dangerous.

        1. Paolo

          The driver shares some blame but the cyclist just overtook a car (leaving about 2 feet of room) at 97 MPH while approaching a junction. The driver may not even realise that there are two vehicles coming at him/her until it is too late. The manoeuvres that David pulled endangered him and EVERYONE else on that road.

  7. Gers

    Have absolutely no time for speed nutters on Bikes OR cars who not only but themselves in danger, but others too. The car did not see him because he was going much too fast, wake up mammy. Will this video stop the speed nutters? Maybe for a time. There are Tracks for those who want to risk their lives for a bit of adrenaline – public road are not tracks.

    1. Jack Aranda

      Agreed – he was going WAY too fast. However, dozy motorists pulling out in front of me (while I’m traveling well within the speed limit) is far from a rare event.

    2. the good helen

      Gers – let me carry those stones for you.. they must be awful heavy!!!! Cos you must be completely innocent of any doing if your going to start stone throwing! Yes he did wrong, the driver also did wrong, they were BOTH at fault at the end of the day, and one lost their life. Maybe when you have kids yourself you’ll understand that gut renching feeling that woman must have every day to wake up and know her son is gone before her.

  8. Haroo von Haroo

    Watched the video and the mother says her son loved speed and appeals for motorists to keep looking.

  9. Leo

    Watching that video will definitely affect how I drive home on my motorbike tonight. Well done to the lads mother for getting this out there. I’ve no doubt that it’ll save lives!

    He was taking huge risk and paid the ultimate price for it. The car driver’s error was much less in comparison to his. That kind of speed on roads like that results in far too much danger. He was behaving as they say like a squid, I’m sure if he had survived he would have reassessed how he drove in the future.

    RIP David

  10. micoworld

    No, no it’s nothing like 50/50. More like 90% bikers fault and 10% drivers. At the end of the day the public roads are exactly that – public, meaning everyone from 17 new drivers to 80 year olds drive on them. And they drive to mundane things like going to the shops for milk, the school run, the hospital for an appointment, to the in-laws. So this nonsense notion that every driver out there is a 35 year old with advanced driving training who puts their driving gloves on in their performance car and is prepared for everything and will drive perfectly is arrant nonsense. If you want to drive for the thrill, go to a race track. If you want to drive on a public road expect to share it with an 80 something year old who is nervous and has slow reaction skills, a young mother with a distracting kid screaming in the back or a learner driver out for their second independent run. Expect them to screw-up and you will stay safe. Think that everyone will drive perfectly? Your funeral. And totally unrealistic to think otherwise. Again, public roads….

  11. Kolmo

    A strong mother, a shocking film – showing us that life can be switched off like a light. Very sad.

    I cycle to work always assuming I’m 100% invisble all the time. No point in all the shouty self-righteousness I see everyday – shut-up and pay full attention.

  12. JunkFace

    As a motorcyclist and a car driver, I can say that learning to drive a motorbike first, and being very nervous and careful, especially at crossroads, made me a better more considerate car driver. Most car drivers haven’t a clue what it feels like to be on a bike, that bikers cannot break suddenly or else they’re thrown off the bike. I’ve had 3 near misses at junctions where there are stop signs, and even though I slow down each time, there’s a 50% chance that some idiot driving a car will attempt to pull out in front of the bike. Just like in this video. That being said, I’ve never gone over 100km/hr on the bike. Its just not safe to do that in Ireland. Car drivers are too dim and risky. Is that bike approaching at speed?? Don’t pull out in front of it to find out! Wait a few seconds for it to pass

  13. The Bird in the Box

    Lessons to be learned here for motorcyclists and drivers.
    Motorcyclist was doing 97 in a 60 mph zone, absolutely ridiculous speed that puts others at risk and affects the ability of the rider to react to hazards.
    Agree that a lot of drivers don’t tend to look for motorcycles on the road. But in this case, if the motorcyclist had been travelling at an appropriate speed, he’d still be alive.
    To paraphrase an earlier poster, drive like everyone else is an imbecile

    1. Fancy Dan

      I think that anyone going for their motorcycle driving license should be made to sit down and watch this before being given their license.

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      Agree. It’s quite possible that the driver DID see the biker but had no inkling that he was doing such a speed and would appear so quickly. If you’re about to overtake and you see a car/bike in the distance your driving brain computes how long it will take to land in your path. So very sad for this family but the mother attributes the accident to the motorist being negligent.

      1. Mick Flavin

        I looked up the case out of curiosity, and the driver of the car admitted not seeing the motorbike approaching, despite other drivers behind him seeing it. Obviously reduced speed would have reduced the risk of what transpired.

        “Speaking at yesterday’s inquest, PC Graham Brooks said both motorists would have been in each other’s available view for seven seconds before impact.
        PC Brooks said: “The average speed of the motorcycle was almost 97 miles an hour, well above the 60 mile per hour limit.”
        He said the footage showed Mr Holmes had made no obvious acknowledgement of his speed and showed a disregard for his own safety.
        He said: “If the Yamaha had been driving at 60 miles per hour the collision could have been avoided.”
        PC Brooks said there was no reason why the driver of the Clio, Benjamin Austin, had failed to see Mr Holmes approaching on his bike.
        He said: “Witnesses behind Mr Austin say they had seen it and were aware of its presence.”
        Austin pleaded guilty in April to causing death by careless driving, admitting he had not seen Mr Holmes.”

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          Ah, ok. Proves that accidents can be a result of more than one factor and both parties guilty. Have to admit that bikers are difficult to spot on a long stretch of road if they don’t have the headlight on. I think this video will make a real difference to road safety.

          1. Mick Flavin

            I agree. That last moment where he knows what’s going to happen, but can’t do anything about it, is just heartbreaking…the stuff of waking-up-in-a-cold-sweat nightmares.

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