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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.