Wetherby News reports that a man has been sentenced to a community order of 120 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of causing the death of a cyclist by dangerous driving. 64-year-old Brian Colling has also been disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £3,500 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Darren Greaves, 38, of Wetherby, was cycling along the B1224 between Bickerton and Wetherby at about 5.20pm on October 17 2013 when he was hit from behind by Colling. Greaves fell from his bike and was then hit by another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Greaves’ family said: “After several months of waiting for justice for Darren, we have finally received that. We would like to thank North Yorkshire Police who have supported us throughout. Darren lives with us every day.”
Earlier this year, we reported how families could get the right to challenge death by dangerous driving sentences with the attorney general reviewing what offences can be appealed. Currently only a limited number of sentences can be challenged, but a host of other offences tried in magistrates’ courts may be added to the list.
The review is partly a response to pressure from CTC which in 2013 launched its Road Justice Campaign. The organisation believes that some bad drivers are treated leniently due to what it perceives as occasional failings on the part of police, prosecutors and the courts. It therefore aims to get the justice system to take a more rigorous approach to investigating, prosecuting, and sentencing incidents of bad driving on Britain's roads.
Traffic Sergeant John Lumbard, of North Yorkshire Police, said that Colling’s sentence represented ‘a clear message to drivers’ regarding their responsibilities towards cyclists.
“The Highway Code gives strong guidance within the rules for drivers: overtake only when it is safe to do so, give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would a car when overtaking, and take into account any wobbles or swerving by cyclists who may be trying to avoid potholes or defects in the road.
“When approaching cyclists, drivers need to be prepared to slow down and if necessary follow the cyclist until there is a safe opportunity to overtake. If there is oncoming traffic then drivers should show patience and not try to squeeze through the gap. Neither should drivers attempt to overtake cyclists on bends where the view ahead is obscured.
“Following the guidance given in the Highway Code will only add a few seconds to a journey, but the consequences of attempting to pass a cyclist at the wrong time could be very serious. We need to make the roads as safe as we can, and following the Highway Code will go a long way to achieving this.”