Court that issued £35 fine for collision that killed cyclist decides on £110 fine for hitting parked car

From Road.cc:

A court in Solihull has, in the same week as it  gave a £35 fine to a driver who killed a cyclist, handed down a £110 fine to a woman who hit a parked vehicle and drove off.

Solihull Magistrates Court gave 54 year old Ichhapal Bhamra a £35 fine and three points on his licence for driving without due care and attention.

He hit 20-year-old Tom Ridgway, then carried on driving a further 90 metres, with the cyclist on his Toyota Previa, hitting traffic signs along the way until finally colliding with a tree.

In  comparison, Donna Lloyd, 27, hit a parked car in a multi-storey car park and drove away. She was fined £110, asked to pay £80  costs and £15 victim surcharge, and give seven points on her licence – four more than Bhamra.

The discrepancy in sentencing in the same courtroom was spotted by Bikebiz’s Carlton Reid, in the Solihull News.

While the level of charge brought was a disappointment to Mr Ridgway’s family it is also worth noting that Solihull magistrates did not impose the maximum sentence available to them for the offence. According to the sentencing guidelines those found guilty of careless drive can be given 9 penalty points on their licence and a fine usually amounting to 150 per cent of the defendant’s weekly income.

The magistrates based their sentence on all the evidence presented to them – while our impressions of the case come from the report in The Solihull News, but even so both the charge and the sentence handed down will be seen as troubling by cycle safety campaigners and many in the wider cycling community.

Solihull MP Lorely Burt said she was “shocked and disgusted” by the sentence and pledged to look into the case. Last month representatives of CTC, British Cycling, and RoadPeace met with Justice Minister, Helen Grant to call for a review of sentencing guidelines, in cases where drivers kill or injure more vulnerable road users. At the meeting Department for Transport official agreed to back “a cross-stakeholder meeting with the different agencies involved to discuss a review of the system and how it might be improved.”

As yet no date has been announced for a follow up meeting,

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2 Responses to Court that issued £35 fine for collision that killed cyclist decides on £110 fine for hitting parked car

  1. Frederick Jamerson says:

    A meagre 3 points? 😮

    How about a ban from driving, an extended test after that, a huge fine and community work at the very least!?!

  2. William says:

    The careless driving sentence is clearly daft, in fact the whole sentencing guidelines in this area are nonsense: the thinking needs to change radically. If we are serious about healthy living, we need to bring sentencing guidelines up to date. Health experts encourage walking and cycling, how can one? If there is nowhere safe to walk and cycle the obesity crisis will be here to stay! In Holland, where they are serious about cycling, and where the benefit shows in terms of the health of the population, accidents between cars and cycles within city limits are always considered the car drivers fault, on the basis that drivers should not be driving at speeds where they can’t stop if a cyclist makes a sudden move. (The same holds with accidents between cars and pedestrians.) It sounds drastic, but it works, people adjust their driving accordingly. Let’s do it here! Then you don’t need all those irritating humps! Just one key piece of legislation! Wake up Westminster!

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