A lorry driver who admitted killing a cyclist taking part in a time trial on the A1 has received a suspended sentence and been banned for driving for two years. The sentence comes as the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group prepares to publish its Get Britain Cycling report, which is expected to recommend tougher penalties in cases where cyclists are killed or injured.
Nigel Drake, aged 43 and from Goole, East Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to causing the death by careless driving on Sunday 18 March last year of cyclist Andrew Ridsdale, also aged 43 and from Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
Drake told Nottingham Crown Court that he had not seen the rider until it was too late and he ran into the back of him a mile south of Blyth Services, near Doncaster, reports the Worksop Guardian.
However, the court was told by prosecuting counsel Dawn Pritchard that the victim “was wearing the correct, distinctive gear and a helmet. He was a competent, experienced cyclist.”
Drake, who said he had tried in vain to avoid hitting the cyclist once he had spotted him, claimed there was no warning that the time trial was taking place although he said he had later learned that there was a sign, 12 inches from the ground, at the point where the event’s course joined the A1.
The court was told that the incident had left Drake traumatised, that his driving record was good, and that he had stayed at the scene.
Judge Sampson, sentencing him to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, a two-year driving ban and ordering him to pay costs of £1,500, said that the rider would have been visible from some distance.
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.