Wednesday 13 October 2010

Tipper truck driver who killed Eilidh Cairns fined £200

A Portuguese lorry driver who killed a TV producer as she cycled to work has escaped court with just a fine after admitting his eyesight was not good enough for him to be driving.

Eilidh Cairns, 30, who had just got her 'dream job' as a TV producer, was cycling through London's Notting Hill Gate in rush hour traffic when she was crushed under the wheels of Joao Lopes' tipper truck.

The accident happened on Pembridge Road where the street narrowed to 10ft and as the 8ft-wide lorry pulled off Eilidh was knocked off her bike.

After the hearing Eilidh's sister Kate, 38, said: 'In the eyes of the law and our justice system it is finished, justice has been done. But doesn't that show how defective our justice system is?

'During the inquest it was said she was more than likely in front of the lorry. But we have no further evidence of what happened, no further investigation and because he pleaded guilty we do not have all the facts.

'This shows the inadequacies in our justice system in dealing with the death of a cyclist - a fine and three points on his licence.

'We still don't know what happened and it leaves you with a sense of hopelessness.'

Three points were placed on his licence but he was not made subject to the discretionary driving ban available to the magistrates.

Note the complete silence from Britain’s two main cycling organisations, the London Cycling Campaign and the Cyclists Touring Club. As usual, they have nothing to say. And they certainly wouldn’t want to organise any kind of protest, because that might imperil their funding.

Car-centric BBC London News ignored this story completely, as have all national newspapers apart from one. Cyclists are comprehensively marginalised in every aspect of British life, from transport planning to the media. No politician is outraged by this sentence. The streets remain crowded with criminals very visibly operating dangerous machinery in a menacing and hazardous way, yet traffic policing is minimalist and continues to shrink.

Meanwhile the massacre goes on.