An unprecedented wave of condemnation has swept through the cycling world following the lenient sentencing of the driver who killed Rob Jefferies last year.

Lee Cahill was given a near-minimum sentence for causing death by careless driving with a 12-month community order, an 18-month driving ban and £85 costs. The 18 year old will also need to re-take his driving test.

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake is calling for a review of sentencing and better education for drivers. “It does not appear to BC that the sentencing in this case sends the right signal to drivers, particularly young drivers, whose actions can have such tragic consequences for cyclists.”

Cahill’s defence was that he had been dazzled by the sun but the car in front of him had no such problems. Its driver said that he “made an exaggerated overtake to give the cyclists room,” but Cahill’s car seemed to be in line with the cyclists. “I was expecting the car to pull out to overtake them, but it did not,” he said.

Here on Kevin Blackburn encapsulates our disbelief. “So the killing of Rob Jefferies has had no impact on the sentence at all. What justice, and what message does this send? This is not a deterrent to other drivers.”

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

Related links

Driver who killed Jefferies given community order

  • Gerry Gray

    As I’ve observed before, Cahill’s ‘excuse’ was absolutely ludicrous – the sun was back over his right shoulder so where was he looking!!!! Clearly not where he was going or the car in front would have given him adequate warning anyway. This must be one of the worst cases of hopeless injustice yet as there was absolutely NO excuse – as anyone who knows the road layout and conditions at that spot and has heard the evidence of his riding partner that evening knows. The judge in the case should be thoroughly ashamed … and the CPS for their lack of adequate attention to the proper vigorous prosecution of the culprit!!!

  • anthony bowles

    once again I ask what happened to the fighting fund set up by CTC for just such injustices?

  • Patrick Weston

    I think that I would like to see the BC take out a private prosecution on behalf of the family of someone that has been killed in this way. I find it so hard to understand why we have differing offences when a car is involved, if it’s accidental then it’s manslaughter and if it’s not, then it’s murder. The sentence in this case makes a mockery of us all.

    I have signed the petition but would really like to see BC pressurised by its’ membership to take a far more radical stance than it apparently does at the moment. Anyone any ideas how to do this?

  • Steve

    Where do you sign?
    Also I would add that educating drivers is essential. Prevention is better than punishment, obviously. I was given a lift in a car by a mate of mine who has recently started road cycling. He overtook a cyclist by swooping out late and hardly giving enough room. When I commented on it he didn’t really understand what I was talking about! I think he will get it when he’s been cycling longer and been buzzed a few times.

  • geegee

    Where do I sign?? Agree it’s another Rhyl; cyclists treated as though the are “vermin” on the road not human beings

  • Roy Howard

    Come on! let’s get a Jefferies Law. Only 426 sigitures so far. This is the time to say NO MORE! We are not cannon fodder for motorists any more. It takes 30 seconds to sign the petition, this would be the best tribute to Robert & all the other innocent victims. Time for action.
    All the best to Mrs Jefferies, family & friends.

  • Manni

    We definitely need more protection in law. So, please sign the petition and pass it on, folks! Very low numbers at the mo’. In the meantime – be careful out there!

  • Jane Colquhoun (Mrs Jefferies)

    Robert was well known in the cycling world so everybody who knew him and friends of friends and fellow cyclists I will be grateful for your support in trying to get a change in the law. Robert’s brother Will intends to get going on this and has been in contact with British Cycling to get their help.

  • Ian Greenstreet

    How can taking a life by such a direct act , mean so little in the eyes of the law in the in the UK in 2012?

  • Joseph Veal

    Please everyone who feels the same way as Martyn Wilson sign this

  • Martyn Wilson

    Maybe we ought to start a campaign to get the issue of protection of cyclists from bad drivers discussed in the House of Commons via an E-petition. The cycling lobby is increasingly powerful and with the backing of all cycling bodies and the support of major figures in the cycling world we could well got the required 100,000 signatures. It worked for Anne Williams regarding the death of her son at Hillsborough.

  • Frank

    Rhyl all over again. Nothing has changed. 99% of those administering our law still don’t have a vestige of a clue. Would it perhaps be because they themselves are champions of the might-is-right, car lobby?