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.
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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 www.cyclingweekly.com 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