Bob Scoble, Brixton, Devon, August 2012

Bob was cycling along a narrow country road with two other cyclists when an impatient lorry driver – who had been persistently revving his engine whilst behind the cyclists – overtook them and pushed Bob into the adjacent hedge when he had to suddenly pull in to allow an oncoming lorry to pass. The lorry driver did not stop but carried along the road until he came head on with another lorry and was forced to stop.

The professional driver broke rule 128 of the Highway Code which states that a driver may cross a double white line if the line nearest is broken, only if it is safe to do so. It was very clearly not safe to do so. Bob suffered a double fracture of his neck and a permanent hand injury.

The police failed to use photos taken by the witnesses and failed to take witness statements. They charged the driver with careless driving, meaning the case was not referred to the CPS for review. Had it been referred and had they obtained statements from the cyclists, the driver may have been charged with the more appropriate offence of dangerous driving. The driver was found guilty and disqualified for six months, fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Bob’s story shows how lenient sentencing can arise due to an apparently weak charging
decision by the police, without the CPS even being involved.

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