Tracey Marsh holding photo of late husband Jon Marsh

The widow of a motorcyclist tragically killed on Scotland’s roads is pleading with motorists to learn the lessons of her husband’s death.

Tracey Marsh’s husband Jon was killed instantly when a car pulled out in front of him at a junction on the B961 near Monikie. Both the criminal case and civil proceedings found that Jon, an experienced motorcyclist, died solely because the driver of the motor vehicle failed to look properly when emerging from a junction.

After pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving, today the driver was sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court to a 1-year driving ban and 140 hrs Community payback order.

Following the conclusion of the criminal trial, Tracey Marsh, said:

“My husband was the kindest and most considerate man I ever met. He loved everyone with his whole heart. But for all the wonderful times we had together, the knock at the door on the day he died that brought me to my knees, and the sight of him lying in the morgue, are the memories that haunt me.

Jon was an experienced and dedicated motorcyclist. I rode pillion with him for 15 years. He was a member of a motorcycling club, who took his riding seriously. But none of this mattered because a driver failed to look properly at a junction.

How can that be? Each time someone sits behind the wheel, they assume control of a machine capable of causing harm to others. Yet, despite this, we seem to repeatedly overlook the lessons from avoidable and senseless deaths like that of my husband. Incidents of motorcyclists killed or injured on Scotland’s roads are all too frequent.

Today the Sheriff handed down a sentence for causing death by careless driving. Carelessness is forgetting where you placed your house keys or letting a pan boil over.  It is not the act of taking someone’s life and shattering the world of those close to them.

I question how a 1-year ban and 140 hrs of community payback can act as a deterrent to others or send any sort of message about our collective responsibility for vulnerable road users? Poor driving has consequences and those on four wheels need to be reminded to ‘take another look’ for those on two. If Jon’s death is to mean anything, we must do more.

I am immensely grateful to the motorcycle community and especially my Solicitors, Brenda Mitchell and Roz Boynton at Motorcycle Law Scotland for their unwavering support. Thanks to their efforts, I am now able to begin rebuilding my life.”

A total of 467 motorcyclists were killed or injured in road collisions in 2022, according to Scottish Government figures*, representing 8% of all casualties and a 2% rise compared to 2021. Motorcyclists represent only 1% of all road users. Of the 467 casualties, 280 motorcyclists were seriously injured and 25 died.

Analysis of the 84 cases handled by Personal Injury Solicitors, Motorcycle Law Scotland, over the past 12 months show that more than 67% of collisions occur when a motor vehicle pulls out in front of, or across the path of a motorcyclist at a junction.

Brenda Mitchell, Founder and Managing Partner at Motorcycle Law Scotland added:

“Any death on Scotland’s roads is one too many. Whilst Judges and Sheriffs do have the power to hand out stiffer sentences to those who kill vulnerable road users, more must be done by way of prevention. The bereaved serve lifelong sentences of their own and no amount of punishment or custodial sentencing will ever make up for the loss of a loved one.

Very little impression has been made on the Scottish Government’s ambitious targets to reduce motorcyclist injuries and deaths by 30% before 2030; focusing efforts on re-educating car drivers of their responsibilities and the danger they pose to vulnerable road users will help achieve this target, more than sentencing provisions ever will.”

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