A HGV driver who seriously injured a cyclist on a ‘Boris bike’ has been fined and disqualified after pleading guilty to a charge of careless driving.
Anthony Farmer, 44 from Dagenham, was given nine penalty points on his driving licence, was banned from driving for six months and received a £420 fine at Highbury Magistrates Court last Thursday. Mr Farmer had previously been fined £200 after pleading guilty to a further charge of driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
The cyclist in his 20s was crushed by the lorry Mr Farmer was driving at the junction of Grays Inn Road and Theobalds Road in Holborn on 19 April last year. Doctors from the London Air Ambulance were sent to treat the man for serious injuries to the head, face, chest and pelvis.
While Mr Farmer has admitted both charges, the size of the fine and length of ban is likely to reignite debates over whether the criminal justice system is failing to protect the safety of cyclists. The BBC reported at the time that Mr Farmer was originally arrested for the more serious offence of serious injury by dangerous driving – however, this appears to have been later downgraded. Causing serious injury by dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of £5,000 fine and/or six months in jail with a mandatory disqualification period of at least two years.
Earlier this month, an Evening Standard investigation found that of 40 cyclists killed on the Capital’s roads, only four drivers were jailed.
The type of vehicle involved, a HGV, is also noteworthy as despite making up only a quarter of London’s road traffic, they are responsible for 53% of cyclist fatalities. This has led to calls for them to be banned from central London.