A lorry driver who killed a Margate cyclist who was riding to start his shift as a postal worker has received a ten-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Judge Adele Williams, sentencing 45-year-old Steven Hole from Swanley at Canterbury Crown Court, said that she viewed the case as coming close to dangerous driving, according to a report on the website Kent Online.
The fatal collision happened at 3.45am on May 14 on Marine Terrace as the victim, 61-year-old Mick Garner, was riding to Margate sorting office. Hole apparently failed to see Mr Garner until the last moment, and although he swerved to avoid him, his lorry struck the cyclist, who subsequently died of head injuries.
John Bishop, representing Hole, said that the road narrowed at the point the collision took place due to a pedestrian crossing.
He added: "There is no suggestion he [Hole] had been drinking or was using his phone and was two hours into his shift, he regularly worked nights. He was looking to the right at the roundabout watching for any boy racers who may come round to speed off down the seafront and noticed a police car coming the other way."
As well as his prison sentence, Hole has also been banned from driving for three years and told to sit an extended driven test should he want to regain a license once that expires.
Last month, the victim’s son, John Garner, gave his backing to Road Safety Week, saying that “If it can save even one family going through what mine are right now then Road Safety Week is a great thing.”
In an emotional plea on the website This Is Kent, Mr Garner said: “My father was a competent bicycle user and had cycled the same route to work for 33 years until that tragic morning in May.
“He knew the route, he had his lights on, he was cycling as a cyclist should in the well-lit area of Margate seafront. Yet still he was not seen by the lorry driver, who has since taken full responsibility for the accident.”
Mr Garner urged that “Road Safety Week should be taken seriously by everyone regardless of how they use our roads. From the pedestrian to the lorry driver, we all have a duty to take care and be aware when using the modern crowded highways.”
He concluded by saying: “My dad left his house on the morning of May 14th and never came home. Let's embrace Road Safety Week to make sure other people's loved ones do return home.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.