- Aug 12, 2001
Cycle Touring and Campaigning (CTC) has condemned the 'paltry' sentence handed out to a driver after her actions caused a cyclist's death. The woman was not banned from driving and was fined just £135 with six penalty points when she pleaded guilty to careless driving after her car hit cyclist Jason Salter causing him fatal head injuries in a crash in Norfolk, UK last August.
The driver attempted to overtake 17-year-old Jason as traffic approached but gave him too little room and did not even cross the central white line. The woman said Jason wobbled as she passed him and lost control of his bike but admitted in court that she should have waited before overtaking. He died of his injuries the day after the crash.
Rule 139 of the Highway Code states that drivers should "give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would a car when overtaking."
CTC recently backed plans by the Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith to encourage prosecutors to bring tougher charges when custody is justified.
"The court in this case has sent out a frightening message: it is fine to drive in a way that you know will endanger others," said Roger Geffen, Campaigns and Policy Manager. "The driver has been largely absolved of responsibility for Jason's death despite admitting in court that her action was wrong. The least that the court should have done was ban this woman from driving. The message for government is clear: motorists must be forced to take more responsibility for road safety."
For more information on CTC's efforts, see www.ctc.org.uk