People Are Mad, Not Cyclists; Extra Information #2

Following on from these two previous posts where I mentioned the laughable penalties for killing someone who happens to be riding a bike and the weasely excuses, I hate to say that it’s another case of

I told you so…

£500 fine and 6 month ban for killing someone…

Family attacks cyclist crash fine

@AmazonThis was the BBC headline covering the fact that van driver Robert McTaggart, 36,managed to persuade the court that he “didn’t see” the cyclist.

This was no ordinary cyclist either.  This was a record holder with a very good chance of winning a medal at the Olympic games starting today…  He was Jason MacIntyre.

  • Now Jason, being a professional cyclist, would have had a lot of experience falling off and being hurt in his highly competitive sport, and also, would be used to avoiding collisions.
  • To do his sport at that level he would have to do a horrendous amount of training, much of it on public roads.

This is what was said in the van driver McTaggart’s defence;

The cyclist collided with the truck as it turned in to a junction across the carriageway, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Craig Wood said McTaggart had considered himself a “competent, prudent and careful driver” and added:

“My client simply did not see Mr MacIntyre coming. As a result, the cycle went into the rear of the vehicle and he was tragically killed.”

Now I’m trying to work that one out and the only conclusion I can reach, as it’s happened to me countless times, is that McTaggart overtook MacIntyre on his bike, slammed the brakes on and tried to do a left turn directly in front of the bike, totally misjudging the bike’s speed..

That’s the only way the bike could hit the rear of a moving vehicle.

Weasely McTaggart (“competent, prudent and careful driver” claimed his solicitor), said he “thought” that MacIntyre was “probably” on the cycle path..  These are not the words of someone who is competent, careful or prudent.  These are the weasel words of someone in a hurry who misjudged everything.

How?

  • A following witness (driver), said the bike was doing about 30mph (MacIntyre was a record holder you know), and another witness said that they’d slowed down as had McTaggart, having seen the cyclist for a full 16 seconds! Even the police said this…
  • So a witness saw McTaggart slow down for the bike and therefore, McTaggart did see the bicycle.
  • Also, I’ve tried to cycle at 30mph on our local cycle paths – it’s worse than dangerous; see my past postings.  I seriously doubt an athlete in training would use cycle paths because of the danger, inconvenience at maintaining a good pace, roughness, glass and obstacles.

So I’m in total agreement with the obviously upset family of MacIntyre who quite naturally, and accurately in my opinion, wanted Robert McTaggart prosecuted on charges of culpable homicide, or causing death by dangerous driving.  Despite being upset, MacIntyre’s dad, David said,

“We are of the view that McTaggart should have been facing charges of culpable homicide or causing death by dangerous driving.”

He claimed that the local procurator-fiscal recommended dangerous driving charges but that the Crown Office downgraded the charge to careless driving, despite an appeal from the family.

“The Crown Office view is that this standard of driving falls below normal standards. We are of the view that this standard of driving falls far below normal standards and is deserving of a more serious charge.”

He refused to accept that to drive along a road unaware of oncoming traffic for 16 seconds, to cross in front of oncoming traffic thereby causing death, amounted only to careless driving. That the Crown Office did, he said, “was a terrifying indictment on our society”. – quoted from The Herald.

500 quid….  And on the same day, is another.

Quoting directly from The Herald again, here,

41-year-old firefighter Garry Trotter, who was “solely to blame” for a crash which killed 51-year-old deaf driver John McIntosh, was allowed to keep his licence by a sheriff.

Trotter, who had been driving a fire tender to an emergency call in Bo’ness, West Lothian, was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving. However, he was convicted of a reduced charge of driving carelessly, over the speed limit, failing to give way and driving through a red light. He was fined £750 and had his licence endorsed with six penalty points.

It was apparently an emergency, but you know, now there’s another.  Suppose the ambulance speeding to help Mr McIntosh knocked someone else over….

….and so it goes on.  Someone must take responsibility for this shit instead of continually looking for get-outs.

Links:

flying-highlander-dies-on-tragic-a82

http://news.scotsman.com

http://www.timesonline.co.uk

http://www.heraldscotland.com/

http://news.stv.tv/

http://www.bikeradar.com/

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/news/display.var.2420753.0.Anger_over_delay_to_new_road_death_law_as_two_avoid_jail.php

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