A cyclist who had to have her leg amputated after being hit by a Tesco lorry in London has slammed the courts as treating riders as “second-class citizens on the roads” after the driver was fined £625 and given five points on his driving licence.
Julie Dinsdale was riding with her husband Keith Bontrager – the owner of the eponymous cycling brand – on the Old Street roundabout in central London last year when the Tesco lorry ran over her legs and wheel.
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Medics had to amputate her leg at the roadside and she then spent five weeks in hospital recovering.
Florin Oprea, the driver, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Blackfriars crown court. The day of the incident was the first time he had worked alone for Tesco, having just started the job a few days prior.
“I am hugely disappointed by the decision of the court which finds that despite the evidence that I was visible to the driver, he should not be handed a more substantial sentence given the impact his actions have had on my life,” Dinsdale, who was also a marathon runner before the accident, told the Guardian.
“Despite cycling now being one of the country’s most loved sports, especially following the success of the British cycling team at successive Olympics, and the growing popularity of cycling as a means of transport in London, cyclists remain second-class citizens on the roads in the UK. This is reflected by the behaviour of drivers and the courts.”
Sally Moore, Dinsdale’s lawyer, echoed her client’s disapproval of the court’s judgement. “It remains a problem at the core of British society that serious collisions involving cyclists are still regarded as par for the course and appear to be treated as such by the courts,” she said.