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.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.