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https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/van-driver-knocked-down-dad-1306659

A van driver has admitted knocking a dad and toddler off a bicycle, then running over the bike while the youngster was strapped onto it as he made his escape.

Robin Tippett shunted into Paul Squires and his son Daniel, aged two-and-a-half, before crushing their mountain bike as he left. The “very angry” father is now considering buying a second car to get around, a court heard.

Tippett, of Eagle Crescent in Pucklechurch, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident and driving without due care in relation to the incident in September of last year.

Jeremy Oliver, prosecuting, said both Mr Squires and his son were wearing cycle helmets and the baby was strapped into a child seat attached to the bike.
 
Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard how, at a junction on Cossham Street, Mangotsfield, the dad and lad were shunted one to two meters forward by 22-year-old Tippett, driving a VW Crafter flatbed van.

Mr Squires’ said in a statement: “We fell to the right.

“The white van was alongside and the driver’s window was open. I saw a male and I made eye contact.

“I shouted: ‘What are you doing, what are you doing? I’ve got my son!’”

With that the van revved, turned right and drove over the cycle, which still had Mr Squires' son on board, snapping the frame and twisting the handlebars.

Mr Squires described how he comforted his crying son and shouted out the van registration number to people nearby.

Police arrived and an ambulance was called. Both father and son had damaged cycle helmets but were not seriously hurt, the court heard on Tuesday, March 6.

Tippett was tracked down later.

Mr Squires said: “The incident left me very angry. Hitting someone off their bike, then driving off.
“It was only good luck the equipment protected (my son), even though that is what it is designed for.

“I cannot forgive that, it is unacceptable. It is a thought I cannot get out of my head. I’m considering purchasing a second car due to his reckless inattention.”

Mike Wynter, defending, said his client had no sight in his left eye, which was caused after a former partner hurled a mobile phone into his face. However, that the cyclist was on his right side.

Mr Wynter told the court: “He knew the cyclist was there and he drove away, knowing he hit the cyclist.”

Apologetic Tippett told a probation officer he had not realised a child was on the bike, and he was worried about being late for work and losing his job.

The court heard Tippett worked for a scaffolding firm in Avonmouth and losing his driving licence would make things difficult work-wise.

District Judge Lynne Matthews handed him a 12-month community order and banned him from driving for nine months.

She told Tippett: “You may lose your job. So be it. You are not safe driving.

“There would be a public outcry if your licence was not taken away from you.

“You were inches away from a death by dangerous driving.

“I sentence you for what happened, but I look at the risk that you pose.”

Tippett was told to perform 300 hours of unpaid work and have up to five days’ rehabilitation, including writing a letter to Mr Squires.

He was fined £500 and told to pay £85 in court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Tippett declined to comment as he left court.

11 comments

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StraelGuy [1302 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

She told Tippett: “You may lose your job. So be it. You are not safe driving. There would be a public outcry if your licence was not taken away from you. You were inches away from a death by dangerous driving."

 

Huzzah, more of this please!

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Jimmy Ray Will [871 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

This is still a ridiculous outcome. leaving the scene of an accident needs to be taken far more seriously by the courts. 

One, it can cause situations exactly like this where parties could be injured not rfom the accident, but form the fleeing. 

Two, it gives drivers the chance to sober up, clear up evidence.

 

 

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Bluebug [346 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

The mitigation is a load of sh*t.  If he hasn't adapted to being able to see with just his right eye then he shouldn't have a driving licence and his optician would have told him this.

Anyway the ban will ensure he loses this job and has difficultly getting another unless he cycles to and from work -  yes it is ironic but there are plenty of tradesmen/labourers near me who cycle to and from work or use public transport.

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hawkinspeter [1580 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

That has to be jail time for leaving a scene of an incident. This is ridiculously lenient.

Also, how can he possibly use poor eyesight as a mitigating factor? Lock him up and lifetime driving ban seems like a more sensible sentence. We don't need drivers like him on the roads.

Avatar
Bluebug [346 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:

That has to be jail time for leaving a scene of an incident. This is ridiculously lenient.

Judges now don't want to lock people up with clean records if they can help it as it can turn them into proper criminals. 

In his case the economic difficulties of losing a job, and it being difficult to find another one  is seen as enough.  Insuring someone under 25 is expensive enough - and the small business owners I know refuse to do it - and then insuring someone who has been banned particularly of that age will be astronomically expensive.

hawkinspeter wrote:

Also, how can he possibly use poor eyesight as a mitigating factor? Lock him up and lifetime driving ban seems like a more sensible sentence. We don't need drivers like him on the roads.

If you ban everyone for life they will just drive illegally. Plenty of banned drivers and teenagers with out licences already drive illegally anyway.  They simply do not care.

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Joebristol [23 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Agree with the above points. Poor eyesight = should not be driving.

The guy must be reckless if he’s willing to drive over someone’s bike after he’s already bumped them off. Regardless of whether the child was strapped to it or not (Surely if he bumped into the guy on the bike he must have seen the child though).

I have to admit I don’t like those child seats on the back of bikes - I’d be too worried to take my little girl on one. I have got a bike trailer, but so far it’s just for cycle tracks. We shouldn’t have to worry about roads so much - but there are too many arrogant / aggressive / careless drivers on the road.

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hawkinspeter [1580 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Bluebug wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

That has to be jail time for leaving a scene of an incident. This is ridiculously lenient.

Judges now don't want to lock people up with clean records if they can help it as it can turn them into proper criminals. 

In his case the economic difficulties of losing a job, and it being difficult to find another one  is seen as enough.  Insuring someone under 25 is expensive enough - and the small business owners I know refuse to do it - and then insuring someone who has been banned particularly of that age will be astronomically expensive.

hawkinspeter wrote:

Also, how can he possibly use poor eyesight as a mitigating factor? Lock him up and lifetime driving ban seems like a more sensible sentence. We don't need drivers like him on the roads.

If you ban everyone for life they will just drive illegally. Plenty of banned drivers and teenagers with out licences already drive illegally anyway.  They simply do not care.

So, you're saying that judges don't want people to face up to the consequences of endangering other people?

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

If someone is driving whilst banned, it's only a matter of time before they get caught doing something else and can then be thrown into jail. If it can be shown that bans are ineffective, then surely jail is the alternative.

This particular moton has demonstrated that his driving is dangerous and by not stopping, he is demonstrating that he is not responsible for his actions. Jail is the only proper response.

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Boatsie [229 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

30 years ago, early in the morning before sunrise, my old lady was dropping me and my sister off at the bus stop. She's a pretty good driver. We told her to watch out as there was a cyclist. She ran over his bike. A bit harsh but she stopped, realized and made the cyclist offers and friendly jesters. His wheels rolled, he pulled his bike from beneath the car and was probably just as shocked. He rode away.
10 years later my school mate was knocked off his bike, buckled beyond roll. the driver also apologized and he was lucky! His crappy bike was replaced with a brand spanking newer more expensive bike within an hour. He was stoked!
Hard to believe why assistance isn't offered.
My bike was buckled by a head on with a car. The dude offered me a lift home!
Thankful most people are decent to offer assistance when involved in an accident.
I hope you keep riding

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BehindTheBikesheds [1602 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

At least charge it correctly for fucks sakes, this is dangerous driving all day long, it's not even close to careless! Only through luck has there not being a serious injury or deathas admitted by the judge so why the hell is the charge not at the correct level.

Yet again the bent system allows another wanker off scott free, the judges and CPS are literally inviting drivers to do whatever the hell they like because there is simply no deterrant to bad/dangerous driving.

 

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Pudsey Pedaller [76 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Just for extra context, the father has said the following in the comments to the Bristol Post article:

Quote:

I was stationary at a T junction, looking to turn right.  I had waited for 10-15 seconds for a vehicle coming from the right to pass, when the van struck me from behind, pushing us forward into the road.  I assume he was not looking forward, or was looking left approaching a junction.  I was not overtaking anybody.  He then turned right at the T junction to escape and his rear right wheel drove over the bike and my son's car seat.  There were 4 independent witnesses, he was stopped 2 minutes after the incident and told to return to the scene of the crime, and didn't.  I also understand he failed to attend his first 6 requests for interview, and didn't turn up to his original hearing last week, after which a warrant for his immediate arrest was issued. 

 

So, not that great a character.

Without this extra information,  I think the sentence given was lenient. With the extra information, I think the sentence was pitiful.

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hirsute [174 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

News item on it now

http://road.cc/content/news/238336-van-driver-who-crushed-bike-toddler-s...

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

At least charge it correctly for fucks sakes, this is dangerous driving all day long, it's not even close to careless!

Judge also said inches from death by dangerous driving. How the hell does that stack up?