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Mass Cycling Accident at Tour De France Caused by Spector with Sign

Posted in: Bicycle Accidents Road Traffic Accidents Sporting Injuries 

A spectator holding a large cardboard sign during Stage 1 of 2021 Tour De France on Saturday is responsible for a crash involving a significant number of cyclists. The yet unidentified cycling fan was showing the sign over the edge of the road trying to show a message to her Grandparents by appearing on TV. The cycling accident led to multiple personal injuries for many of the riders, one rider has been forced to abandon the competition as a result.

The spectator fled the scene after the crash.

Police and Legal Action against fan causing injury

The French police force is hunting for the spectator who collied Tony Martin from Jumbo-Visma, causing the chain reaction pile up. In a statement, the authorities are planning to charge the fan with:

“Unintentional short-term injury through a manifestly deliberate breach of a duty of safety or care”

The force is using appeals via Facebook to try and encourage the public to identify the woman.

Video footage captured just as cyclist hits the sign

Tour De France itself is also planning to sue the spectator for causing the cyclists harm. Deputy Director Pierre-Yves Thouault issued a statement:

“We are suing this woman who behaved so badly… We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.”

People being hunted after media is shared online is nothing new, the internet community can be very quick to identify them. However, like this unidentified jogger who pushed a woman into the path of a bus that narrowly avoided injury in 2017, the possession of video footage does not always guarantee that the suspect will be caught.  

According to French newspaper L’Equipe, the fan could be looking at fines of £12,800 and 1 year in prison.

Is the spectator 100% at fault for causing the cycling accident?

After the video was shared to the popular Subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating, several Reddit users are wondering just how liable the spectator is.

Whilst it is clear that the fan caused the cycling accident, it is wondered if the lack of a barrier or fencing is at least partially responsible for allowing the spectator to get close enough to be a problem for the cyclists. There are many, many fans pictured lining the road dangerously close to the riders.

However, as many users have pointed out, the course spans 200km, making it extremely difficult to place security measures along the whole length of track. Doing so would be a massive upheaval in terms of costs and logistics. The commentators still wonder if something more could have been done, and a few are pointing out that this is not the first time a large road pile-up has happened at a Tour De France.

In UK personal injury claims, a percentage blame can be applied to cases where the claimant is at least a partial responsible for the incident but is not the root cause of it. This will be reflected in the compensation award for the successful claim.

Sport Operator Hopes People Hold Themselves Responsible for Safety

An official Tour statement has asked audience members to be careful:

“We’re glad to have the public on the side of the road on the #TDF2021. But for the Tour to be a success, respect the safety of the riders! Don’t risk everything for a photo or to get on television!”

The organisation is hoping that people will behave more thoughtfully during these events and prevent injuries from occurring at a personal level, using this incident as an example of how spectators should not behave.

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