A mechanic has avoided a driving ban after cutting a corner and hitting a cyclist “head on”, in what his lawyer has described as a “minor and momentary error of judgement”.
Clive Anstey, who owns a garage in Chippenham, Wiltshire, was driving to work on the morning of 28 February 2021 when he cut a corner while making a right turn. As we can see in the below video, the 49-year-old crossed into the other lane while turning and drove straight into a cyclist, who had positioned himself on the right-hand side of his lane at the junction, waiting to turn.
Anstey’s advocate claimed that the mechanic “just very narrowly clipped the corner of the T-junction” and didn’t see the cyclist – who was wearing hi-vis clothing and had lights attached to his bike – “because of the low sun”.
According to the Swindon Advertiser, the cyclist, who suffered rib and leg injuries in the collision, was taken to a hospital in Bath for treatment and was left “distressed” and “very shaken” following the incident.
Speaking at Swindon Magistrates’ Court last week, prosecutor Asha Seenauth argued that the incident should be placed in the 'greater harm' sentencing category, which meant Anstey would have faced five points on his licence. As the mechanic had already received seven points for two previous speeding offences, this would have resulted in a disqualification from driving.
Defending the motorist, Oliver Small claimed that Anstey had made “a minor and momentary error of judgement”.
He continued: “The defendant intended to turn right onto Cricketts Lane, and just cut the corner, and didn’t see the victim because of the low sun.”
Small noted that “Mr Anstey accepts that he made an error in judgement for a second or two,” and claimed that he “showed immediate concern for the cyclist and offered to call an ambulance”, which was declined.
The defending counsel argued that the mechanic’s garage would lose contracts if he lost his licence, as he was the only staff member with the correct licence to drive some of the larger vehicles, such as private ambulances, currently under contract.
After pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention, Anstey’s case was placed in the ‘lower harm’ category. He received four points, which allows him to continue driving.
He was instead fined £186 by the court and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation, as well as almost £300 in costs.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.