Court verdicts highlight need for much greater protection for cyclists under the law

The London Cycling Campaign is calling for the law to provide much greater protection for cyclists, after two court verdicts today left victim’s families and friends dismayed.

In the first case, at the Old Bailey a motorist who opened his car door without looking in front of cyclist Sam Harding, causing him to be crushed by a bus, was found not guilty of manslaughter, even though the windows of his car had been coated with a dark plastic film reducing visibility to 17%.

In the second case at Snaresbrook Crown Court, lorry driver Petre Beiu was cleared of dangerous driving but found guilty of the lesser charge of careless driving.

Beiu said in evidence, “Maybe I didn’t look properly enough. This is what I will regret for the rest of my life.”

He was fined £2,700 and disqualified for eight months.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “These two cases today show that the law isn't providing adequate protection for vulnerable people on our streets, particularly cyclists.

“In both cases, there’s strong evidence the tragedy took place because a motorist didn’t look properly, which is the number one cause of crashes involving cyclists.

“We’re calling for much greater deterrents to irresponsible behaviour to protect the lives of the increasing number of men, women and children who choose to cycle.”