A Spanish court handed an 85-year-old motorist who struck a cyclist’s hand in a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre a six-month jail sentence and banned him from driving for two years and two months.
Given that the rider was only slightly injured and didn’t file a complaint with police himself, it’s a startling sentence when considered from a UK perspective – we’ve covered numerous stories over the years in which motorists found guilty of causing the death of a cyclist have walked free from court.
The sentence in this case was handed down last July, with a report in El Pais highlighted in a forum post on road.cc by site user don simon fbpe, prompting us to take a closer look - and we thought it was worth highlighting to a wider audience.
According to the report, the driver was sentenced for reckless overtaking and endangering the life of the cyclist in the incident which took place last May near Lleida, midway between Barcelona and Zaragoza.
The cyclist, Albert Masano, filmed the incident with a GoPro. He sustained a minor wound to his hand but managed to stay on his bike, while the driver failed to stop at the scene.
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According to the newspaper, the accused pleaded guilty and accepted the penalty that had been requested by the public prosecutor’s office.
Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, were able to identify the driver after a friend of Masano’s who had posted the video to social media filed a complaint with them.
Offiicers were able to identify the motorist thanks to the vehicle’s registration number.
According to El Pais, the convicted person was not due to actually serve any time in prison because he has no previous convictions or outstanding fines.
It adds that no compensation will be payable to Masano because he did not file a claim.
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.