Red light jumping cyclist convicted of careless cycling causing brain damage to pedestrian
Victim says he is only 40% of the man he used to be after red light jumper hit him
A cyclist has been convicted of running down and severely injuring a pedestrian after jumping a red light.
Andrej Schipka, whose trial we covered earlier this week, ran into Clive Hyer at around 26 mph at a junction in central London and sent him flying into the road.
Mr Hyer suffered brain damage and has been told he is unlikely to be able to fully resume his career in law.
City of London Magistrates’ Court was shown CCTV footage of the incident on July 5 last year, in which Schipka hit Mr Hyer in Holborn Viaduct. The crash resulted in Mr Hyer suffering a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.
In a witness impact statement he said that he was only 40 per cent of the person that he had been before the incident, The Times reported.
Mr Hyer said: “A statement of this kind can only scratch the surface of the problems and difficulties created by one cyclist’s carelessness and recklessness. There is barely a moment of any given day that does not result in my feeling the impact of the damage.”
Schipka was found guilty of careless cycling and was made to pay a fine of £850 plus £930 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Mr Hyer's wife, Susan, told the paper after the conviction: “I want the whole world to know that cyclists have a duty of care to behave like human beings.
“It’s about time people stopped worrying about cyclists being killed by lorries if they do not conduct themselves in the right manner. He nearly killed my husband.”
Schipka, 44, has cycled in London for more than 10 years. He was on his way to work as an IT manager with Commerzbank at the time.
Witnesses said he shouted "Oi, move" when Mt Hyer stepped into the six-lane junction, which has no pedestrian lights.
German citizen Schipka said that he did not jump the red light, and disputed that he had not given due consideration to the pedestrians waiting to cross at the junction. Gaye Cheyne, chairwoman of the bench, said that as well as not showing care and consideration to the pedestrians waiting to cross, he had been riding at an 'unsafe speed'.
A number of mainstream media outlet featured the story, with commentators saying that cyclists should be licenced and tested to use the roads, much like car drivers.
Stephen Glover wrote in the Daily Mail that the case made his 'blood boil'.
He said: "The maximum penalty for careless cycling is a £1,000 fine. For dangerous cycling it is £2,500. By contrast, someone convicted of careless driving faces a maximum fine of £2,500 and possible disqualification, whereas a person found guilty of dangerous driving is automatically disqualified and can be sent to prison for up to two years.
"Causing death by dangerous driving can carry a long jail sentence."
He went on to say: "Rather as the internet can turn usually polite people into howling monsters, posting vile or threatening comments or blogs, so bicycles can have a similarly transformative effect on the mild-mannered and law-abiding. It’s bizarre.
"As most of us know, Lycra-clad young men and women on racing bikes tend to be the most prone to outbursts of aggression and to strings of expletives. Woe betide if you get in the way of one of these tartars after they have jumped a red light!"
But cyclists hit back in the comments below the article. One said: "When I was a British Cycling member we had something like £10 million liability insurance. It came free as part of the membership. I asked BC "why so cheap" and their reply was that the insurer looked at all the statistics and data and determined that there was an 'insignificant risk posed.'"