Driver handed a fine of £220 after admitting to driving without due care and attention after seriously injuring cyclist in collision

A driver who pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention after seriously injuring a cyclist has said that he thinks the cyclists is ‘as guilty as I am’, saying that her bright clothing and lights were inadequate.

Joshua Knapton collided with cyclist Yasmin Bell in Warminster, Wiltshire, at 7.10am on January 29. The court was told that Knapton had failed to give way at a junction.

Bell was knocked unconscious as a result of the incident, suffered bleeding on the brain and fractures to her right eye socket and cheek, reports the Wiltshire Times.

Bell says that she remembers Knapton’s vehicle passing her closely, but then only remembers waking up in an ambulance after that. Bell was wearing a brightly-coloured gilet, but Knapton says that he did not see her and questioned her attire.

>>> Prosecuting drivers is most effective way to improve cyclists’ safety, say West Midlands Police

“I feel she is as guilty as I am,” Knapton said in North West Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court. “I feel it is a 50/50. I do not agree with what she was wearing.

“I stopped at the junction, checked both ways. It was very dark. She had a tabard on but she had a rucksack over it and the front bit was not done up.

“The front light was the size of a 20p. I do not feel she took the correct safety measures to be on the road.”

Bell described her injuries as ‘life changing’. Knapton was fined £220, ordered to pay court costs and given five penalty points on his driving licence.

  • Pete

    You give a soldier a gun and tell him he could go to prison if he kills the enemy in the wrong circumstances. You give a person a driving licence and dangerous weapon (vehicle) and just shrug your shoulders if he kills a cyclist in cold blood.

  • tony

    I think at least a year cycling before having a full licence would be good, it makes you a far more defensive driver as well as being aware of more vulnerable road users. But even as a cyclist I have almost made the mistake of not ‘seeing’ someone at an intersection when driving a car. When you make that mistake though, you should be punished as its due to lack of care, and own up to it for gods sake!

  • Neil

    “Prosecuting drivers is most effective way to improve cyclists’ safety, say West Midlands Police” What with a £220 fine !!!
    Admittedly its the judge and not the police, but the only way to change the attitude of drivers is to give them tougher penalties

  • ummm…

    He describes what she wore in detail, but didn’t see her……………ugh. This person is a thick as they come.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    Arrogant attitude from the motorist – sounds like nothing that the court could impose would change that. Sadly all too common nowadays. A period of cycling on the roads should be somehow made mandatory as part of the driving test – that would give them awareness of the vulnerability of a cyclist.

  • AG

    I use this road all the time it is narrow, HGV’s turning in & out of Lyons Seafood and it is a nightmare with drivers belting around the place. At the other end of the road is the Police Station yet nothing is ever done by Wiltshire Police. I have had numerous near misses by idiot drivers both on my bike and in the car around there. The latest was by a woman pulling out on me in daylight, when I had Hope R4 light on the handlebars on flash mode, that could have no more than 5m’s from her face. The authorities in Wiltshire don’t give a sh!t about road safety.

  • When will we get beyond the nonsense that cyclists & pedestrians are considered partially responsible for accidents if they wear dark clothes, while motorists are never criticized for driving a dark vehicle?

  • Loss

    A ten year ban from driving and a short custodial sentence would have been more like it I am glad I do not live the UK especially if that is the of justice.

  • Alex

    So he drove into the cyclist because he didn’t approve of what she was wearing? What a c**t!

  • Alastair

    I can’t believe that the driver is attempting to mitigate his responsibility. It takes 10 seconds to look properly. That is not going to make you late, too many times I have had a driver take a 0.10 second look and pull out in front of me. Take your time look out for each other and arrive alive.