Group Captain Tomas Barrett death: Driver given 12-month ban

Group Captain Tomas Barrett

Group Captain Tomas Barrett

First published in Beaconsfield by

A DELIVERY man whose careless driving cost the life of a Beaconsfield cyclist was today banned from getting behind the wheel.

Van driver Paul Luker, 51, crashed into the back of RAF man Tomas Barrett, 44, on a three-lane section of the A40 last year.

Luker was sentenced to a 12-month driving ban and a 12-month community order involving 100 hours of unpaid work.

Harrow Crown Court heard the accident had been ‘devastating’ for Group Captain Barrett’s family.

In a statement read to the court, his wife Sophie said: “Not having Tomas anymore has been a complete loss to me. I feel as if my life has been turned upside down and I don’t have any direction.”

She said his death had also left a “massive gap” for their two daughters, aged 11 and ten.

Swedish-born Group Captain Barrett, of Amersham Road, Beaconsfield, was the station commander at RAF Northolt and was awarded an OBE in 2008 for his operational work.

He had fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and also served as aide-de-camp to the Queen, chaperoning her on tours.

His dad Anthony said he had been the “driving force” of the family, adding: “A very special light has gone out in all our lives and it can never be rekindled.”

Group Captain Barrett had been cycling home on March 10 last year when the accident happened, on a ‘motorway type’ section of the A40 Western Avenue.

Luker, who was found guilty of causing death by careless driving last month, told jurors he was not expecting to see a cyclist on the road, which is subject to the national speed limit.

Though there is a cycle lane next to that stretch of road, separated by a grass verge, the court heard Group Captain Barrett was "perfectly entitled" to be cycling on the main carriageway.

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Luker, of Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Royal, said he had been dazzled by a low sun just before the accident, but could not explain why he failed to see the cyclist.

He told police interviewers: "I lay in bed thinking night after night is there anything I did see or didn’t see. I weren’t even looking for a cyclist...I thought there’s no way there would be a cyclist on the road when there’s a cycle lane."

Judge John Anderson told Luker: “The consequences of your driving were terrible as the heart-rending impact statements show.”

But he was “quite satisfied that this offence arose out of your momentary inattention without any aggravating factors and falls into the lowest category”.

He said Luker was a man of good character and added: “I’m satisfied that the deep remorse that you obviously feel, has had, and continues to have, a profound effect on your mental well-being.”

Luker told reporters afterwards: “I agree with the sentence and I’m going to do it.”

See related links for our previous stories on the case.

Comments (25)

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5:01pm Mon 26 Mar 12

demoness the second says...

Very sad story all around.The A40 Western Avenue practically is a motorway. The driver appears truly sorry for his actions and this is clearly something that is going to affect him for the rest of his life.
And of course it is so very sad for the cyclist's family too.
Very sad story all around.The A40 Western Avenue practically is a motorway. The driver appears truly sorry for his actions and this is clearly something that is going to affect him for the rest of his life. And of course it is so very sad for the cyclist's family too. demoness the second
  • Score: 1

7:58pm Mon 26 Mar 12

tomcat says...

I totally agree with demoness the second. Acording to a prevoius report the cyclist was about 3 feet from the curb. For his own safty he should have been on the cycle path. It seems the driver was just driving normally, could have happened to anyone. Someone last their life, that's very sad, but in my eyes just a tragic accident.
I totally agree with demoness the second. Acording to a prevoius report the cyclist was about 3 feet from the curb. For his own safty he should have been on the cycle path. It seems the driver was just driving normally, could have happened to anyone. Someone last their life, that's very sad, but in my eyes just a tragic accident. tomcat
  • Score: -1

9:33pm Mon 26 Mar 12

tomcat says...

Opps... that should have said "lost their life"
Opps... that should have said "lost their life" tomcat
  • Score: 0

10:56pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Malc London says...

I was travelling on this road almost a year after the accident and was thinking about it just as I came across another cyclist on the inside lane when the purpose built cycle lane is 5 feet away. What on earth are they thinking? It could quite easily been anyone who hit a cyclist, even though I was only doing 50mph in a 70mph zone as the van driver was.

The previous accident made me more aware of the possible hazard a cyclist brings to this "motorway" and I was ready for him. I have Paul Luker to thank for that otherwise I could have been in his shoes.

If you are a cyclist on the A40, PLEASE use the safe purpose built cycle lane and not the motorway. It's only a few feet to your left.
I was travelling on this road almost a year after the accident and was thinking about it just as I came across another cyclist on the inside lane when the purpose built cycle lane is 5 feet away. What on earth are they thinking? It could quite easily been anyone who hit a cyclist, even though I was only doing 50mph in a 70mph zone as the van driver was. The previous accident made me more aware of the possible hazard a cyclist brings to this "motorway" and I was ready for him. I have Paul Luker to thank for that otherwise I could have been in his shoes. If you are a cyclist on the A40, PLEASE use the safe purpose built cycle lane and not the motorway. It's only a few feet to your left. Malc London
  • Score: -1

3:29am Tue 27 Mar 12

Firm Bottom says...

The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless.

The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.
The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless. The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse. Firm Bottom
  • Score: 0

7:18am Tue 27 Mar 12

demoness the second says...

Firm Bottom wrote:
The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless.

The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.
Then perhaps it is time for cyclists to lobby for better cycling lanes so that they can be used safely?
[quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless. The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.[/p][/quote]Then perhaps it is time for cyclists to lobby for better cycling lanes so that they can be used safely? demoness the second
  • Score: 0

8:45am Tue 27 Mar 12

usvelt says...

demoness the second wrote:
Firm Bottom wrote:
The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless.

The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.
Then perhaps it is time for cyclists to lobby for better cycling lanes so that they can be used safely?
CTC (britains biggest cycling "lobby") is constantly campaigning for better cycling lanes. Anyone who rides a bike should be part of the CTC Even if it is only for the 3rd party insurance.
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless. The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.[/p][/quote]Then perhaps it is time for cyclists to lobby for better cycling lanes so that they can be used safely?[/p][/quote]CTC (britains biggest cycling "lobby") is constantly campaigning for better cycling lanes. Anyone who rides a bike should be part of the CTC Even if it is only for the 3rd party insurance. usvelt
  • Score: 0

11:26am Tue 27 Mar 12

Green Shadow says...

The attitude that if there is a cycle lane, then the cyclist should be in it, is just shear ignorance! As already pointed out, most of the time these off-road cycle lanes are at best, only suitable of inexperienced cyclists or those riding a mountain bike. They are never swept of debris, so any sort of road bike tyres will get a puncture in seconds, and if you are cycling to get somewhere, then the need to keep stopping for junctions every 50 meters is infuriating at best. To say that you don't expect a cyclist to be on the road is no defence - you should be driving within your sight lines at all times. This sentence is an absolute disgrace and an insult to the cyclist and his poor grieving family.
The attitude that if there is a cycle lane, then the cyclist should be in it, is just shear ignorance! As already pointed out, most of the time these off-road cycle lanes are at best, only suitable of inexperienced cyclists or those riding a mountain bike. They are never swept of debris, so any sort of road bike tyres will get a puncture in seconds, and if you are cycling to get somewhere, then the need to keep stopping for junctions every 50 meters is infuriating at best. To say that you don't expect a cyclist to be on the road is no defence - you should be driving within your sight lines at all times. This sentence is an absolute disgrace and an insult to the cyclist and his poor grieving family. Green Shadow
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Malc London says...

Obviously some of the people posting are not familier with this bicycle lane. It is clean, wide, away from the main road, and separated by a grass verge and runs parellel to the 3 lane A40 which has a speed limit of 70 mph.

Cyclists have every right to be on that road, as they are to go round Hangar Lane and many other busy road, but when there is a SAFE alternative, I don't think it's much to ask for people to use it.

No point campaigning for more cycle lanes if cyclists don't use the exisiting ones.

The sentance is a disgrace, he should have been found not guilty.
Obviously some of the people posting are not familier with this bicycle lane. It is clean, wide, away from the main road, and separated by a grass verge and runs parellel to the 3 lane A40 which has a speed limit of 70 mph. Cyclists have every right to be on that road, as they are to go round Hangar Lane and many other busy road, but when there is a SAFE alternative, I don't think it's much to ask for people to use it. No point campaigning for more cycle lanes if cyclists don't use the exisiting ones. The sentance is a disgrace, he should have been found not guilty. Malc London
  • Score: -1

2:27pm Tue 27 Mar 12

usvelt says...

Malc London wrote:
Obviously some of the people posting are not familier with this bicycle lane. It is clean, wide, away from the main road, and separated by a grass verge and runs parellel to the 3 lane A40 which has a speed limit of 70 mph.

Cyclists have every right to be on that road, as they are to go round Hangar Lane and many other busy road, but when there is a SAFE alternative, I don't think it's much to ask for people to use it.

No point campaigning for more cycle lanes if cyclists don't use the exisiting ones.

The sentance is a disgrace, he should have been found not guilty.
I wonder if you would have thought that if it was a member of your family?
[quote][p][bold]Malc London[/bold] wrote: Obviously some of the people posting are not familier with this bicycle lane. It is clean, wide, away from the main road, and separated by a grass verge and runs parellel to the 3 lane A40 which has a speed limit of 70 mph. Cyclists have every right to be on that road, as they are to go round Hangar Lane and many other busy road, but when there is a SAFE alternative, I don't think it's much to ask for people to use it. No point campaigning for more cycle lanes if cyclists don't use the exisiting ones. The sentance is a disgrace, he should have been found not guilty.[/p][/quote]I wonder if you would have thought that if it was a member of your family? usvelt
  • Score: 1

2:43pm Tue 27 Mar 12

demoness the second says...

No doubt there are lessons to be learnt on both sides. I do not think a witch hunt is indicated here. A man lost his life and another has to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. It is evident that he is sorry - he has taken responsibility and not tried to blame anyone else - how would a custodial sentence help exactly?
He did not set out with the intention of killing anyone and I am sure he has relived that day over and over.
How many of us would be aware that cyclists could use the main road of the A40 and indeed how many of us would look for a bike?
I know I will from now onwards.
It is just so very sad for all concerned.
No doubt there are lessons to be learnt on both sides. I do not think a witch hunt is indicated here. A man lost his life and another has to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. It is evident that he is sorry - he has taken responsibility and not tried to blame anyone else - how would a custodial sentence help exactly? He did not set out with the intention of killing anyone and I am sure he has relived that day over and over. How many of us would be aware that cyclists could use the main road of the A40 and indeed how many of us would look for a bike? I know I will from now onwards. It is just so very sad for all concerned. demoness the second
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Tue 27 Mar 12

wayneo says...

demoness the second wrote:
Firm Bottom wrote: The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless. The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.
Then perhaps it is time for cyclists to lobby for better cycling lanes so that they can be used safely?
As a regular cyclist, I would NEVER use a bypass unless there was a cycle-lane alongside, even though I have a 'right' to do so. There is such a thing as personal culpability and it is for the individual to determine and accept the risks associated with any activity. In my opinion, using that stretch of the A40 is but a matter of time before it ends in tears.
!
It is about time that dual carriageways are made off limits to riders and that if cycle lanes on the highway are to be provided, then it is the cyclist who contributes to their upkeep.
!
As for being a metre away from the kerb, one can assert their right and evidently the law is on their side, in my opinion, it would be foolish to do so. I regulary see the lary cyclists who go out of their way to antagonise motorists.
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: The Highway Code recommends that cyclists keep a distance of 1 metre from the curb and the vast majority of cycle lanes are effectively unusable to anyone other than children or the very nervous. They are usually littered with debris that causes punctures or have multiple sideroads coming in meaning cyclists have to keep stopping - pointless. The onus is entirely on the motorist to drive with due care and attention. Cyclists have every right to be there and ought to be safe. Ignorance OS not an excuse.[/p][/quote]Then perhaps it is time for cyclists to lobby for better cycling lanes so that they can be used safely?[/p][/quote]As a regular cyclist, I would NEVER use a bypass unless there was a cycle-lane alongside, even though I have a 'right' to do so. There is such a thing as personal culpability and it is for the individual to determine and accept the risks associated with any activity. In my opinion, using that stretch of the A40 is but a matter of time before it ends in tears. ! It is about time that dual carriageways are made off limits to riders and that if cycle lanes on the highway are to be provided, then it is the cyclist who contributes to their upkeep. ! As for being a metre away from the kerb, one can assert their right and evidently the law is on their side, in my opinion, it would be foolish to do so. I regulary see the lary cyclists who go out of their way to antagonise motorists. wayneo
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Malc London says...

I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident?

Paul Luker has been punished enough.

I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.
I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident? Paul Luker has been punished enough. I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us. Malc London
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Malc London says...

I agree totally with Wayeo. In fact I considered cycling to work and I could do so safely on the cycle lanes that run along side much of the A40, but it would also mean cycling on the A413 which would be suicidal.
I agree totally with Wayeo. In fact I considered cycling to work and I could do so safely on the cycle lanes that run along side much of the A40, but it would also mean cycling on the A413 which would be suicidal. Malc London
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Firm Bottom says...

Cycling less than one metre from the curb makes you a target for every frustrated driver in the country who will try to squeeze past, regardless of the safety of the cyclist and other road users. The *only* safe place on the road is this 1 metre position which at the very least makes drivers aware that you are there and that they need to find a *safe* place to pass you, not just any place.
Cycling less than one metre from the curb makes you a target for every frustrated driver in the country who will try to squeeze past, regardless of the safety of the cyclist and other road users. The *only* safe place on the road is this 1 metre position which at the very least makes drivers aware that you are there and that they need to find a *safe* place to pass you, not just any place. Firm Bottom
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Tue 27 Mar 12

Firm Bottom says...

Malc London wrote:
I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident?

Paul Luker has been punished enough.

I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.
This is just trolling
[quote][p][bold]Malc London[/bold] wrote: I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident? Paul Luker has been punished enough. I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.[/p][/quote]This is just trolling Firm Bottom
  • Score: 0

10:00am Wed 28 Mar 12

wayneo says...

Firm Bottom wrote:
Cycling less than one metre from the curb makes you a target for every frustrated driver in the country who will try to squeeze past, regardless of the safety of the cyclist and other road users. The *only* safe place on the road is this 1 metre position which at the very least makes drivers aware that you are there and that they need to find a *safe* place to pass you, not just any place.
If a driver is becoming frustrated, maybe the sensible thing to do is to pull over and let the procession pass rather than asserting a right. I find that most drivers are very patient and certainly appreciate it when as cyclists, we act in a courteous manner.
[quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: Cycling less than one metre from the curb makes you a target for every frustrated driver in the country who will try to squeeze past, regardless of the safety of the cyclist and other road users. The *only* safe place on the road is this 1 metre position which at the very least makes drivers aware that you are there and that they need to find a *safe* place to pass you, not just any place.[/p][/quote]If a driver is becoming frustrated, maybe the sensible thing to do is to pull over and let the procession pass rather than asserting a right. I find that most drivers are very patient and certainly appreciate it when as cyclists, we act in a courteous manner. wayneo
  • Score: 0

10:02am Wed 28 Mar 12

wayneo says...

Firm Bottom wrote:
Malc London wrote: I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident? Paul Luker has been punished enough. I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.
This is just trolling
Not it's not, it Malc expressing an opinion.
[quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Malc London[/bold] wrote: I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident? Paul Luker has been punished enough. I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.[/p][/quote]This is just trolling[/p][/quote]Not it's not, it Malc expressing an opinion. wayneo
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Wed 28 Mar 12

J B Blackett says...

wayneo wrote:
Firm Bottom wrote:
Malc London wrote: I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident? Paul Luker has been punished enough. I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.
This is just trolling
Not it's not, it Malc expressing an opinion.
I think Firm Bottom meant he / she him/herself is a troll. That could be the case and he/she could be just stating a fact (apparently).
.
The statement would appear to be a bit ambiguous
[quote][p][bold]wayneo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Malc London[/bold] wrote: I tend to agree with Demoness the Second, but will take it one step further. Yes, this was an accident. What is to be gained by taking away the licence of Paul Luker (which means he can't do his job), because of an accident? Paul Luker has been punished enough. I am about to drive on this road, like I do 5 days a week, but this time I am going to make sure I am not in the inside lane even if driving at 50mph, because this could have been anyone of us.[/p][/quote]This is just trolling[/p][/quote]Not it's not, it Malc expressing an opinion.[/p][/quote]I think Firm Bottom meant he / she him/herself is a troll. That could be the case and he/she could be just stating a fact (apparently). . The statement would appear to be a bit ambiguous J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Firm Bottom says...

Sorry, I meant Malc London was trolling. He said at 1:24pm Tue 27 Mar 12 that the sentence was a disgrace and that Paul Luker should have been found not guilty. He didn't get a response to that, so tried again, suggesting that an accident resulting in the death of someone (husband, father of two young daughters) should not (ever) result in a penalty and that the 100 hours community service was more than sufficient a penalty. I don't believe he means that, or that any reasonable human does. Hence, he's a troll.

I have a lot of sympathy with Wayneo's suggestion that cyclist should pull over to let a procession of traffic past and that being courteous is always the right way to go. However, I don't see how that applies on a three lane road.
Sorry, I meant Malc London was trolling. He said at 1:24pm Tue 27 Mar 12 that the sentence was a disgrace and that Paul Luker should have been found not guilty. He didn't get a response to that, so tried again, suggesting that an accident resulting in the death of someone (husband, father of two young daughters) should not (ever) result in a penalty and that the 100 hours community service was more than sufficient a penalty. I don't believe he means that, or that any reasonable human does. Hence, he's a troll. I have a lot of sympathy with Wayneo's suggestion that cyclist should pull over to let a procession of traffic past and that being courteous is always the right way to go. However, I don't see how that applies on a three lane road. Firm Bottom
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Wed 28 Mar 12

Malc London says...

I believe that "firm bottom" is the troll. It doesn't matter if the person who died was "husband, father of two young daughters" however sad that may be.

Keep to the facts.

There was a safe, and frequently used cycle lane, which the victim could have used. He was, quite rightly, entitled to use the 3 lane 70 mph carriageway, which he did.

My argument is that Paul probably had about 5 seconds to react to a cyclist in front of him and did not deliberately go out to hit him. It was an accident.
I believe that "firm bottom" is the troll. It doesn't matter if the person who died was "husband, father of two young daughters" however sad that may be. Keep to the facts. There was a safe, and frequently used cycle lane, which the victim could have used. He was, quite rightly, entitled to use the 3 lane 70 mph carriageway, which he did. My argument is that Paul probably had about 5 seconds to react to a cyclist in front of him and did not deliberately go out to hit him. It was an accident. Malc London
  • Score: 0

9:35am Thu 29 Mar 12

wayneo says...

Firm Bottom wrote:
Sorry, I meant Malc London was trolling. He said at 1:24pm Tue 27 Mar 12 that the sentence was a disgrace and that Paul Luker should have been found not guilty. He didn't get a response to that, so tried again, suggesting that an accident resulting in the death of someone (husband, father of two young daughters) should not (ever) result in a penalty and that the 100 hours community service was more than sufficient a penalty. I don't believe he means that, or that any reasonable human does. Hence, he's a troll.

I have a lot of sympathy with Wayneo's suggestion that cyclist should pull over to let a procession of traffic past and that being courteous is always the right way to go. However, I don't see how that applies on a three lane road.
Firm Bottom wrote:
that cyclist should pull over to let a procession of traffic past and that being courteous is always the right way to go. However, I don't see how that applies on a three lane road.
Very good point, It doesn't but then I don't think a three lane carriageway is a place for cyclists. Ironically I came across a chap on the Lane End road a couple of days a go, who was oblivious to the fact that his rear light was out, it was only because I caught a reflection from his pedal reflector that I saw him in time, a busy section of the A40 like that in question, drivers are often hemmed in and to brake hard from 70 to about 20-30 is dangerous.
!
I use a hybrid to and from work but can appreciate that those on racers probably find cycle lanes too restrictive to get any speed, although sustrans do a great job on their cycle routes, many of these, even the pheonix trial, is unsuited for racers. The problem for sustrans etc is funding though WDC have some interesting ideas regarding cycle routes that appear to be factored into new projects using developer contributions, again though, not sure if these would necessarily be suited to racers in fairness.
[quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: Sorry, I meant Malc London was trolling. He said at 1:24pm Tue 27 Mar 12 that the sentence was a disgrace and that Paul Luker should have been found not guilty. He didn't get a response to that, so tried again, suggesting that an accident resulting in the death of someone (husband, father of two young daughters) should not (ever) result in a penalty and that the 100 hours community service was more than sufficient a penalty. I don't believe he means that, or that any reasonable human does. Hence, he's a troll. I have a lot of sympathy with Wayneo's suggestion that cyclist should pull over to let a procession of traffic past and that being courteous is always the right way to go. However, I don't see how that applies on a three lane road.[/p][/quote]Firm Bottom wrote:[quote]that cyclist should pull over to let a procession of traffic past and that being courteous is always the right way to go. However, I don't see how that applies on a three lane road.[/quote]Very good point, It doesn't but then I don't think a three lane carriageway is a place for cyclists. Ironically I came across a chap on the Lane End road a couple of days a go, who was oblivious to the fact that his rear light was out, it was only because I caught a reflection from his pedal reflector that I saw him in time, a busy section of the A40 like that in question, drivers are often hemmed in and to brake hard from 70 to about 20-30 is dangerous. ! I use a hybrid to and from work but can appreciate that those on racers probably find cycle lanes too restrictive to get any speed, although sustrans do a great job on their cycle routes, many of these, even the pheonix trial, is unsuited for racers. The problem for sustrans etc is funding though WDC have some interesting ideas regarding cycle routes that appear to be factored into new projects using developer contributions, again though, not sure if these would necessarily be suited to racers in fairness. wayneo
  • Score: 0

10:53am Thu 29 Mar 12

Firm Bottom says...

How driving when you can't see in front of you at speed is not 'dangerous driving', rather than 'careless' I don't understand.
It does appear that cyclists lives are worth less than other peoples. A young man got 8 weeks in prison for a racist tweet and somebody else that kills a cyclist gets a 12 month driving ban?
How driving when you can't see in front of you at speed is not 'dangerous driving', rather than 'careless' I don't understand. It does appear that cyclists lives are worth less than other peoples. A young man got 8 weeks in prison for a racist tweet and somebody else that kills a cyclist gets a 12 month driving ban? Firm Bottom
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11:54am Thu 29 Mar 12

wayneo says...

Firm Bottom wrote:
How driving when you can't see in front of you at speed is not 'dangerous driving', rather than 'careless' I don't understand.
It does appear that cyclists lives are worth less than other peoples. A young man got 8 weeks in prison for a racist tweet and somebody else that kills a cyclist gets a 12 month driving ban?
I understand fully what you're saying but I don't see that it's as simple as that. The same measure of what is careless or dangerous would be the same whether it was a cyclist, pedestrian or other road user. I think the Police had to weigh the evidence, driver, along with witnesses etc against the circumstances surrounding the crash. The mitigating circumstances in this case, was that the driver didn't see the cyclist because wasn't expecting a cyclist, to be on that stretch of the A40, that the cyclist was wearing dark clothing, was probably doing between 20-30mph and that the speed of traffic compared to the Cyclist was much greater than one would generally expect to find,was enough to convince the Court that his actions were careless not dangerous; there was not intent.
!
While that man has to live with his carelessness for the rest of his life (punishment enough as he evidently has shown real remorse), it is critical that the harm and the memory of the man who died, is balanced by seeing if there's a better way of preventing these kinds of crashes.
[quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: How driving when you can't see in front of you at speed is not 'dangerous driving', rather than 'careless' I don't understand. It does appear that cyclists lives are worth less than other peoples. A young man got 8 weeks in prison for a racist tweet and somebody else that kills a cyclist gets a 12 month driving ban?[/p][/quote]I understand fully what you're saying but I don't see that it's as simple as that. The same measure of what is careless or dangerous would be the same whether it was a cyclist, pedestrian or other road user. I think the Police had to weigh the evidence, driver, along with witnesses etc against the circumstances surrounding the crash. The mitigating circumstances in this case, was that the driver didn't see the cyclist because wasn't expecting a cyclist, to be on that stretch of the A40, that the cyclist was wearing dark clothing, was probably doing between 20-30mph and that the speed of traffic compared to the Cyclist was much greater than one would generally expect to find,was enough to convince the Court that his actions were careless not dangerous; there was not intent. ! While that man has to live with his carelessness for the rest of his life (punishment enough as he evidently has shown real remorse), it is critical that the harm and the memory of the man who died, is balanced by seeing if there's a better way of preventing these kinds of crashes. wayneo
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12:15pm Thu 29 Mar 12

Malc London says...

Firm Bottom wrote:
How driving when you can't see in front of you at speed is not 'dangerous driving', rather than 'careless' I don't understand. It does appear that cyclists lives are worth less than other peoples. A young man got 8 weeks in prison for a racist tweet and somebody else that kills a cyclist gets a 12 month driving ban?
Well the best way of preventing these kind of accidents is to have more cycle lanes and for cyclists to use them.

As for driving "when you can't see if front of you", there are times when a motorist can be temporarily blinded by a low sun, all you can do is slow down. The A40 is well known for this hazard, early morning and early evening, when the sun is low.

To impose a prison sentence for an accident will not bring back the cyclist who died, especially when by all accounts the driver wasn't doing anything particularly wrong, except for a moments lapse.

Paul Luker drives for a living, taking away his licence is punishment enough.
[quote][p][bold]Firm Bottom[/bold] wrote: How driving when you can't see in front of you at speed is not 'dangerous driving', rather than 'careless' I don't understand. It does appear that cyclists lives are worth less than other peoples. A young man got 8 weeks in prison for a racist tweet and somebody else that kills a cyclist gets a 12 month driving ban?[/p][/quote]Well the best way of preventing these kind of accidents is to have more cycle lanes and for cyclists to use them. As for driving "when you can't see if front of you", there are times when a motorist can be temporarily blinded by a low sun, all you can do is slow down. The A40 is well known for this hazard, early morning and early evening, when the sun is low. To impose a prison sentence for an accident will not bring back the cyclist who died, especially when by all accounts the driver wasn't doing anything particularly wrong, except for a moments lapse. Paul Luker drives for a living, taking away his licence is punishment enough. Malc London
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