Careless thinking costs cyclists’ lives

Bike riders in danger thanks to CPS strategy

Pretty much every bike rider in Britain has been upset by the lenient sentencing of the driver who said there was too much traffic to avoid killing a cyclist.

Teesside Crown Court were told how lorry driver Joseph Reed would have seen cyclist Sean Ruff for at least nine seconds before hitting him on the A66 near Stockton last May but he did not swerve or slow down, even after the collision.

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He told the court that there was too much traffic on the dual carriageway to brake or overtake the rider, though witnesses said this was not the case.

Reed received a two-and-a-half-year driving ban and a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to careless driving. It is seen as another attempt by the Crown Prosecution Service to avoid expensive jury trials by accepting guilty pleas for the lesser offence of careless driving. A conviction for dangerous driving carries a sentence of two to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Just count nine seconds. It’s a pretty long time to have had sight of the rider; or in distance, Ruff would have been more than 200 metres away when Reed first saw him.

‘Careless’ doesn’t cut it. Driving a 7.5-tonne vehicle comes with great responsibility and having taken a life, Reed shouldn’t ever be allowed back behind the wheel for all our sakes.