The fiancee of one of two cyclists killed by a drunk driver in Reading last year has renewed her appeal for drivers found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving to serve consecutive sentences for each death.
Tracey Fidler, the partner of Kris Jarvis, one of the cyclists killed, says a petition to examine a change in the law "needs 100,000 signatures to get to the Houses of Parliament and stand a hope of getting the law changed to make the road safer for everyone". The petition closes on March 30 and currently has almost 59,000 signatures.
Kris Jarvis, 39, and John Morland, 30, were killed by Alexander Walter, 31, on February 13, 2014. Walter was driving at 70mph in a 30mph zone, had over twice the blood alcohol limit, had used cocaine within the last 24 hours, was already banned from driving and uninsured, and had taken his partner's black BMW convertible without permission.
Walter entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 10 years and 3 months in jail. He appealed against the length of the sentence but was turned down by Appeal Court judge Mr Justice Globe who observed that the prosecution had made an “overwhelming” case, and described the effect of Walter's actions as “devastating.”
Kris Jarvis had five children and was planning to wed Tracey Fidler in 2015. John Morland had two children and had set a date for his marriage to Hayley Lindsay in May 2016.
Kris Jarvis’s fiancée, Tracey Fidler and John Morland's fiancée, Hayley Lindsay launched a petition calling on the Government to change the law so that sentences for causing death by dangerous driving can be served consecutively rather than concurrently.
Renewing her appeal for signatories to the petition, Tracey Fidler said: "The aim is to get the law changed so dangerous drivers who kill, will get up to the 14 year maximum sentence per person killed, so when a multiple fatality [occurs], each victim is treated as individuals, and the 2 sentences will run consecutively, not concurrently, as they do now.
"We need 100,000 signatures to get to the Houses of Parliament and stand a hope of getting the law changed, to make the road safer for everyone. Please take the time to sign and share our petition to everyone you know. Kris and John would be really grateful, and myself and Hayley and the rest of our families are too."
The petition is supported by Alok Sharma, the Conservative MP for Reading West. In a House of Commons debate on sentencing last year he said: “If Walter had been given 14 years for each death, he would now be facing 28 years behind bars rather than being out in what will probably be a lot less than 10 years.”
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.