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 Grieving fiancée backs biker safety campaign


HARROWING footage of the moment a biker was killed has been released by his grieving fiancée in a bid to prevent similar tragedies.
Radoslaw Drzewiecki, from Chester-le-Street, was on his way to work at the Hownsgill Industrial Estate, in Consett, in March last year when he collided with a Vauxhall Meriva which was pulling out of a junction.
The 29-year-old, who was known as Radek, was planning to marry his fiancée, Magdalena Gawel, when he tragically lost his life.
Now, just over a year on from the accident, she has taken the brave decision to release headcam footage of the collision as part of a campaign to encourage drivers to take extra care when pulling out of junctions. 
“A year down the line from the collision the pain is still there. It is a pain that has changed from shock to the pain of accepting life without Radek in it,” she said.
“I miss him terribly – we did everything together, he had his whole life ahead of him. I have not only lost my future husband but my best friend and my soulmate.
“As a driver, please look twice at junctions. Don’t be in a rush to pull out as rushing costs lives.”
The driver of the car, a 46-year-old woman from Stanley, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service. 
The national campaign, which is being adopted by Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, is encouraging drivers to look out for vulnerable road users when pulling out of junctions.
Sergeant Iain Rodgers, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Every day, 30 bikers are killed or injured at junctions in the UK, with motorcyclists 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than motorists – this is something we want to change.
“We’re encouraging motorists to take care at junctions and look out for vulnerable road users, like motorbikes and cyclists. Look twice, as you never know what you might miss.”
Motorcycle collisions at junctions in Cleveland and Durham have decreased from 144 in 2015 to 92 in 2016. However, bikers are still being urged to take care when out riding socially.
“These are positive figures which show the number of collisions on the region’s roads have decreased, but we cannot be complacent,” said Sgt Rodgers.
“We take the safety of bikers very seriously as we know how vulnerable they are on our roads, so it’s important they ride safely and defensively.
“We know that the temptation is there to release their throttle, especially on the long stretches of open road, but they need to take care - there are people who love them waiting at home for them to return.”