BMW driver who blamed cyclist for crash after hitting rider, 2 pedestrians, and a bus fined £300 and disqualified for six months

Man who claimed "there are too many bicycle people on the road" caused carnage outside Kingston railway station

by Sarah Barth   January 11, 2014  

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A BMW driver who hit a cyclist and two pedestrians, then lodged his car into a double decker bus, while astride a low wall, has been disqualified from driving for six months.

The driver, Shibob Li, 49, originally blamed the cyclist for causing him to panic and lost control of his vehicle outside Kingston railway station, as we reported last year.

But Li pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court last month.

Li, the manager of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Fife Road, drove his BMW out of Fife Road Kingston and attempted to drive the wrong way  into Clarence Street, according to the Kingston Guardian.

Paramedics treated two women - one of whom the cyclist - and a man at the scene. One of the women was airlifted to hospital with severe leg injuries. One of the injured was a refugee from war in Syria.

A traffic officer said the driver had hit a cyclist at the pedestrian crossing outside Cappadocia restaurant.

He went on to hit the two pedestrians as his car careered down the street.

Magistrates fined Li £300 on top of his driving ban.

Li said at the time of the incident: “Of course I regret. But it is not just my fault.

“[The cyclist] started shouting and caused my panic. I was panicked and lost control of the car.

“I think people cycling, they need to pay due attention. There are too many bicycle people on the road.

“They do not really watch the other people. Sometimes they just come quickly.”

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The injuries caused were very serious - the driver didn't regret what he did - it would appear that he routinely drove the wrong way as a shortcut to his shop - so it wasn't a one off case of careless driving - it was a premeditated act that had potential for serious harm to others - I'm sure it wouldn't have taken too much effort to have found a couple of witnesses to his regular disregard for others safety - 6month ban - should be walking for life - arrogant beyond belief and incapable of controlling his "ultimate driving machine" when push comes to shove

posted by antigee [143 posts]
11th January 2014 - 22:57

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antigee wrote:
The injuries caused were very serious - the driver didn't regret what he did - it would appear that he routinely drove the wrong way as a shortcut to his shop - so it wasn't a one off case of careless driving - it was a premeditated act that had potential for serious harm to others - I'm sure it wouldn't have taken too much effort to have found a couple of witnesses to his regular disregard for others safety - 6month ban - should be walking for life - arrogant beyond belief and incapable of controlling his "ultimate driving machine" when push comes to shove

But, but, but... I'm sure the courts saw that he'd done this lots of times before, so it must have been safe going down the wrong way there, right? Mitigating circumstances, wasn't it?

I'd say the magistrates in question should be lobotomised, but apparently that already happened. The London CPS was useless as always.

posted by jacknorell [242 posts]
12th January 2014 - 0:46

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"BMW driver" did you say? I haven't read the story or consulted the facts (obviously) but he was undoubtedly guilty and should be in prison for a *very* long time.

When exactly did the Daily Mail takeover road.cc?

posted by Joeinpoole [164 posts]
12th January 2014 - 4:21

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It appears to me that this driving the wrong way down the road was habitual. It appears he did it outside his practice, so there's no way he can claim ignorance. So it appears this Mr Li has no regard fof the law. And with a £300 fine and short suspension, I'm not surprised.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [141 posts]
12th January 2014 - 9:19

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"I cycle every day. I also own a BMW.

Who knew that the two things weren't mutually exclusive, eh?"

Ah! But do you ride like you drive? Wink

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

jmaccelari's picture

posted by jmaccelari [141 posts]
12th January 2014 - 9:25

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Yet more despair at our legal system which accepts crap from drivers such as Li, why? They are all in it together, corrupt like many of our elites. Care not a fig for lesser mortals.

posted by pgwsheffield [5 posts]
12th January 2014 - 9:46

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Fuck me this is a ridiculously light sentence handed down by yet another incompetent idiot judge. One year in jail plus a 5 year driving ban would have been more appropriate and the incompetent useless CPS should have pursued a dangerous driving prosecution NOT careless driving. Shocking.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [182 posts]
12th January 2014 - 12:03

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A bmw, someone please think of tbe children!

posted by lookmanohands [94 posts]
12th January 2014 - 13:45

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Going slightly off-topic, but as this driver caused serious injuries, would the National Health Service be able to reclaim from him the cost of his victim's treatment?
I have posed this question in our club magazine in the past under similar circumstances, and even though our membership includes at least two qualified solicitors, there have been no responses.
Surely publicizing the fact that MANY thousands of pounds can/could be recovered would eventually trickle down to potential injury causers? Or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?

K Stand Ken

posted by K Stand Ken [39 posts]
12th January 2014 - 15:20

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jmaccelari wrote:
"I cycle every day. I also own a BMW.

Who knew that the two things weren't mutually exclusive, eh?"

Ah! But do you ride like you drive? Wink

Out of the Wilier, the Colnago and the BMW, I'll let you guess which one has the child seat.

posted by Nick T [735 posts]
12th January 2014 - 16:17

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K Stand Ken wrote:
Going slightly off-topic, but as this driver caused serious injuries, would the National Health Service be able to reclaim from him the cost of his victim's treatment?
I have posed this question in our club magazine in the past under similar circumstances, and even though our membership includes at least two qualified solicitors, there have been no responses.
Surely publicizing the fact that MANY thousands of pounds can/could be recovered would eventually trickle down to potential injury causers? Or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?
Years ago, I went over the bonnet of a car that pulled out of a side road. I was on a motorbike. I received a bill from the hospital, which I had to pay, and then this expense formed part of my claim against the driver. Does anyone know whether this is still still how the NHS covers their costs?

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
12th January 2014 - 16:49

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This case does highlight the very real risk of a secondary accident if the driver feels threatened by the cyclist and, just as importantly, the possibility of a driver receiving a lighter sentence if their immediate post accident actions might be interpreted as a result of intimidation by the cyclist.

I have no idea what happened in this case, because I wasn't there, but if it is true that the cyclist "shouted" at the driver, allegedly causing him to "panic", any defence team worth their salt would inevitably use this as a means to lessen any sentence.

Shouting a warning, prior to an accident, is fine, but showing (albeit understandable) aggression immediately following an accident merely reduces the chance of a seriously punitive sentence.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
12th January 2014 - 17:08

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I think they called him a BMW driver because they didn't want to call him a chinese driver. Either way, he's an idiot.

posted by bobcdc [18 posts]
12th January 2014 - 17:39

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A driver threatened by a cyclist? really? really?, you must be able to do better than that.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
12th January 2014 - 18:37

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Any major failure of driving ability should require a re-test even harder than the normal test.

posted by MrGear [84 posts]
12th January 2014 - 19:08

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**** NEWSFLASH ****
This will blow your mind.

BMW make cars.

AND

bikes?

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/bmw-to-sell-m-series-bicycle-25481/

I like it 'cos its a bike. But I hate it cos its a BMW!

posted by paulmcmillan [78 posts]
12th January 2014 - 20:37

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I live in Seattle and drive a BMW. Here, BMW drivers have a similar reputation to their kin in the UK (though I try to avoid the stereotype and will only nerf hipsters on their way back from the café).

BMW have a really strong brand and has a distinct target audience. While the mention of the vehicle brand is a little incidental to the story of an idiot driving the wrong way and blaming the people he hit for being there in the first place, it's interesting that BMW drivers have a similar reputation on two continents, and it's worth spending a moment wondering what it is about BMW that causes that perception.

posted by Gordy748 [66 posts]
12th January 2014 - 21:11

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I'm one of the "bicycle people" who cycle past this persons shop every day. I'll have to put the date he returns to the road in my diary and keep an eye out for him. I think it's very disappointing that there was no requirement for re-training or re-testing.
The junction where the accident happened is a mess. Fife road is a side road which joins Clarence Street, a three lane urban "motorway". Just "upstream" of the Fife/Clarence junction is very large and well used pedestrian/bicycle people crossing. There is another pedestrian/bicycle person crossing over the front of Fife road. This is linked to the main crossing so if you want to head West on foot or Bicycle you have to wait twice. The main crossing is on a 2 minute wait and Fife road is very quiet so it is very tempting to cross Clarence street at a diagonal across the top of Fife road and avoid waiting twice. I imagine the driver was trying to pull away when he got a green light as the main crossing also got a green man and encountered a cyclist "doing a diagonal" and pulled his wheel to the right driving through the mass of pedestrians and effectively going the wrong way up Clarance street.
This junction could do with a serious re-work to reflect how people really use it. - It would make drivers, pedestrians and bicycle people's lives much easier.

posted by gmac101 [22 posts]
13th January 2014 - 8:12

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Audi are the new BMW in my opinion.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1059 posts]
13th January 2014 - 9:29

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@Neil753

I suspect the cyclist shouted and waved their arm to alert the driver that the cyclist was there. Ringing a bell would not surfice. How would you alert the driver of your presence?

And when a driver beeps the horn how many cyclists can say they are not spooked? But no one suggests drivers should not beep the horn. We all have alert people of our presence.

Liscences valid for 5 years then a retest.

posted by earth [62 posts]
13th January 2014 - 13:26

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Speaking as a cyclist and a BMW driver, can I say

a) I drive very carefully - mostly because I am a cyclist!
b) there are lots of people in lots of brands of car who are appalling. Yes we can all come up with a list in which Audi and Ford Transit drivers are bottom of the pops, but it isn't very helpful.
c) this bloke shouldn't be allowed back on the road
d) the magistrate was attrocious
e) the driver's insurance is going to be sky high. What a shame.

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [156 posts]
13th January 2014 - 13:42

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Neil753 wrote:
K Stand Ken wrote:
Going slightly off-topic, but as this driver caused serious injuries, would the National Health Service be able to reclaim from him the cost of his victim's treatment?
I have posed this question in our club magazine in the past under similar circumstances, and even though our membership includes at least two qualified solicitors, there have been no responses.
Surely publicizing the fact that MANY thousands of pounds can/could be recovered would eventually trickle down to potential injury causers? Or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?
Years ago, I went over the bonnet of a car that pulled out of a side road. I was on a motorbike. I received a bill from the hospital, which I had to pay, and then this expense formed part of my claim against the driver. Does anyone know whether this is still still how the NHS covers their costs?

I haven't heard anything from the hospital I was taken to last year in similar circs. I assume Police gave the ambo/hospital the driver's details.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [712 posts]
13th January 2014 - 13:56

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Audi are the new BMW in my opinion.

Around my way if you're run close by a car (or see one blazing across a pedestrian crossing or through lights) it's liable to be a Skoda Octavia. With a badge on the back proclaiming their local authority licence number.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [712 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:01

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Gordy748 wrote:
it's worth spending a moment wondering what it is about BMW that causes that perception.

Confirmation bias?

Same thing that leads many people to believe that the majority of cyclists ignore traffic rules, when studies typically find the opposite to be true.

posted by pdw [26 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:08

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earth wrote:
@Neil753

I suspect the cyclist shouted and waved their arm to alert the driver that the cyclist was there. Ringing a bell would not surfice. How would you alert the driver of your presence?

And when a driver beeps the horn how many cyclists can say they are not spooked? But no one suggests drivers should not beep the horn. We all have alert people of our presence.

Liscences valid for 5 years then a retest.

Valid points.

But I was wondering whether the cyclist was shouting after the accident had occured, which is perhaps understandable, as an involuntary action. What we need to do, however, if we have the presence of mind at the time, is to not display any reactive aggression towards the driver.

I don't know, because I wasn't there, but unless this apparently slightly built chap was some martial arts ninja, it's just possible that a fit cyclist, "keen to have a word" with the miscreant driver, might have been sufficient for him to indeed panic, shoot off, and hit all those other people.

Certainly that's exactly what happened in a high profile case last year, in New York, where a courier cyclist banged the roof of a taxi, the driver panicked, mounted the kerb, and severed a poor woman's leg. Whether or not that was the case, the driver, with the help of legal representation from his taxi organisation, has successfully avoided being charged with any offence, because his "flight" was deemed to have been as a result of the allegedly aggressive actions of the cyclist.

If we want to see some high profile prosecutions, with penalties stiff enough to act as a serious deterent, we must try to avoid giving motorists' legal counsel any opportunity to plead mitigation. And we must certainly understand that our aggression may indeed lead to secondary incidents, as the motorist tries to put distance between parties at some speed.

When I was a soldier, we used to mentally train ourselves to engage in a "measured response to situations", which is something the British Army is very good at. And in a similar way, all of us, as cyclists, have the ability to reduce potential conflict by mentally rehearsing our measured response if we were unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident whilst out on our bikes.

Just sayin'.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
13th January 2014 - 15:46

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@Neil753

The guy was driving the wrong way down a one-way street (a street he must have been very familiar with), why make excuses for him?

And the cyclist was treated by paramedics, so presumably was not in a great state to 'threaten' someone who in any case was safely inside a car.

Also the article above says "Paramedics treated two women - one of whom the cyclist", ignoring the weird syntax it seems to imply the cyclist was a woman. Though, I have to admit that elsewhere I've read reports saying that it was a man and also another one saying it was a woman, so who knows?

If someone, breaking the law in the process, whacks you with a weapon and injures you, you may well shout. Its entirely unfair to expect cyclists behave like Gandhian saints (pardon the mixed religions) in order to get justice.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [617 posts]
13th January 2014 - 16:14

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pdw wrote:
Gordy748 wrote:
it's worth spending a moment wondering what it is about BMW that causes that perception.

Confirmation bias?

Same thing that leads many people to believe that the majority of cyclists ignore traffic rules, when studies typically find the opposite to be true.

Its true that I had no idea till very recently that BMWs had a bad reputation, and once I heard it I suddenly found myself noticing whenever a bad driver happened to be in one. I doubt I'd have come up with the theory from my own experience if I'd never heard it from others.

Stereotypes definitely have a self-reinforcing element.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [617 posts]
13th January 2014 - 16:18

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The reason why BMW drivers have a bad rep is because the marketing BMW do "Ultimate Driving Machine" is based on a research report they have used to design an "ethos" to do with driving experience and status into their vehicles. That tends to attract people seeking status via their car and perceived driving ability. (it's worth mentioning that BMWs can be sold to anybody not just really good drivers).

Anyhoo if you design and market a whole marque in order to appeal to people that want a status boost and an exciting drive then you will (among others) attract more than your fair share of aggressive drivers.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [496 posts]
13th January 2014 - 17:43

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Have to say, the attitudes of many contributors to this site are far worse than most BMW drivers I come across.

There are a lot of self-righteous cocks on here.

posted by jamtartman [27 posts]
13th January 2014 - 18:05

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I wonder if the headline read "KIA" driver who blamed cyclist for crash after hitting rider, 2 pedestrians, and a bus fined £300 and disqualified for six months".
Folk might react differently.
Seems the driver deserved the outcome but need some education. Unrepentant and arrogant to the end. Think a bigger fine might make them think a little more.

posted by Guyz2010 [280 posts]
13th January 2014 - 22:46

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