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Uninsured Driver Kills Cyclist and Avoids Jail
Tuesday 07 Feb 2012
A 28-year-old man has been sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court today (3/2), for causing the death of a cyclist on the A5 in Milton Keynes.
Martin Boulton, of Lucas Place, Woughton on the Green, was sentenced to a six-month jail term suspended for two years, after admitting charges of causing death by careless driving and causing death by driving a vehicle while uninsured at earlier court hearings.
Boulton was driving a red Peugeot 306 at 9.45am on Sunday 20 March 2011, when he crashed into a bike being ridden by 43-year-old Robert Gregory, from Little Brickhill in Milton Keynes.
At the time of the collision, Boulton was adjusting his car radio and the distraction meant he collided with Mr Gregory.
In addition to the suspended jail term, Boulton was also sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, a 15-month driving disqualification for each of the two offences, to run concurrently, and he was fined £350 with a £15 victim surcharge. He will also be required to take part in a restorative justice scheme, if the victim’s family wants to take part.
Investigating officer PC Naomi Hames, of the Road Death Investigation Team in Aylesbury, said: “This is a very sad case and my thoughts continue to be with the family of Robert Gregory who have been very supportive throughout the police investigation.
“Martin Boulton admitted he was adjusting his car radio and failed to see Mr Gregory cycling along the road. When he did see him, sadly it was too late for him to take any preventative action.
“Although it is not against the law to adjust car radios while driving, this case is a stark reminder that driving is a multi-functional task which needs undivided attention. Any distraction can lead to a tragic outcome.
“Mr Boulton was also driving while uninsured and while it is accepted by police that it was not a deliberate act on his part, I want to remind drivers that it is their responsibility to check they have valid insurance in place, especially after renewing or changing to a new insurance company.
“Just because third party cover has been provided in the past it does not always follow that they will automatically be given this cover on renewal. It often has to be specifically requested.”
Cycling solicitor Tim Beasley says, "This type of case is all too prevalent. Drivers now have multiple distractions in front of them and around them – sat navs, radios, music players, not to mention mobile phones, but what is most important is keeping vigilant in relation to other users. A moment’s inattention has resulted in the death of an innocent cyclist."
"Immediate prison sentences should be the norm for those whose inattention result in the death of other road users. We have to send a signal to motorists that they are responsible for the handling of a lethal machine. Drivers must face the consequences if their inattention results in the death of another user of the road. In comparison to motorists, cyclists are vulnerable and they need the protection of the law. I hope also that the police and highway authority will consider whether anything can be done to improve safety for cyclists in this particular location."
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