Sunday, 18 January 2009

Doctor with previous speeding conviction who killed cyclist while speeding free to continue driving

Dr Bankart

ploughed into an elderly cyclist at a mini-roundabout and caused him fatal injuries.

The prosecution at Luton Crown Court dropped a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and accepted Dr Bankart's plea to driving carelessly on January 25 2008. Prosecutor Simon Stirling told the jury of seven men and five women that having considered the evidence "there was no realistic prospect of a conviction" against Dr Bankart of Colchester Way, Bedford for causing death by dangerous driving.

Oh yeah?

Dr Bankart said: "I was proceeding at a sensible speed. I was doing about 30mph. I was relaxed."

Dr Bankart told police he modified his speed at the mini-roundabout and did not see any vehicles.

The court had heard that Mr Fussell was not wearing reflective clothing. Although he had a dynamo light on his bike it was on the offside and would have been furthest away from the doctor's car. The lighting in the area of the accident was also poor.

Classic blaming the victim.

Dr Bankart’s self-serving account was contradicted by the driver of the car behind the doctor:

Mr James said: "The red car seemed to carry on going at the same speed. There was a cyclist coming down Putnoe Lane. I saw it in the headlights from the vehicle in front of me. He was travelling at a fairly normal speed for a cyclist. I thought the car in front was going to give way because the cyclist was coming from the right. I assumed it was his right of way. I saw the car in front collide with the cyclist. It pulled sharply to the right. I didn't see the brake lights come on as it approached the roundabout. It hadn't slowed down, it had not speeded up. It stayed at the same speed."

It was estimated the doctor was travelling at around 35mph in a 30mph zone.

The doctor had three points on his licence for a speeding offence in 2006. In addition to the fine Judge Richard Foster endorsed his licence with 8 more penalty points.

I think it’s time those ineffectual organisations the CTC and LCC got together and organised a NO CYCLING DAY. On one day of the year all cyclists would be encouraged NOT TO CYCLE to protest about killer drivers getting the kid glove treatment, the absence of effective road traffic law enforcement, the lack of cycling facilities, and the poor maintenance of those facilities which do exist.

Just an idea. Because I don’t know how much longer I want to continue cycling, given the existing state of things.