Tuesday, February 21, 2012

off your bike

Phillip Mead is a much nicer person than me. He has found a way of forgiving the moronic and callous bus driver who deliberately and with vindictiveness drove his bus into Phillip as he cycled along a road in Bristol. I could never forgive him. Nor should I. Nor should anybody.

The bus driver pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and GBH and must have chuckled to himself when handed a wholly inadequate 17 months custodial sentence. Out in 9 months, piece of cake. He knows very well what his bus could have done to the cyclist and how miraculous it is that it didn’t. A charge of attempted murder would have been justified. The judge said the driver used the bus as a weapon to bully and intimidate; no he didn’t; he used it to try to kill, or at least severely injure.

Whether or not they had an argument before the attack does not matter. Nor does it matter, with respect to determining the correct charge and sentence, that the driver has a family. We can at least be consoled that his right to family life under Article 8 of the you-know-what didn’t allow him to walk out of court with a conditional discharge and a stern reprimand.

This is not a vote for stiffer sentences or more prisons and I certainly don't subscribe to the throw-away-the-key mentality; quite the opposite. But sentences must fit the crime and the intent.

Cycling should be encouraged and cyclists must be protected from acts of malicious violence on the roads. This sentence comes nowhere near to helping the cause.

The Times Cities fit for cycling



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