Cyril Harrison sustained fatal injuries after collision in Norwich on road coroner says presents a “significant risk” to cyclists…
A speeding driver who killed a cyclist in Norwich will not be prosecuted because the road the fatal crash took place on did not display the correct signage notifying drivers of the speed limit, reports the Eastern Daily Press.
Bez [612 posts] 1 day ago10 likes
Addressing some inaccuracies in the article and the comments:
- This was an inquest, not a trial. So there are no “charging errors” or suchlike in this context.
- The absence of the repeater sign makes it difficult to prosecute the driver for speeding. It does not mean that he cannot (as per the EDP headline) or will not (as per the Road.cc headline) be prosecuted, because it does not prevent prosecution for careless or dangerous driving, or for causing death by either of those. Equally, it may be that Norfolk Police do not charge the driver (and I suspect this is likely). If they do not then it would be interesting to know on what basis they make that decision. It may be that they have already said they will not prosecute, and this may be what gave rise to the headlines (though the EDP’s remain’s factually incorrect) but if so then it is curious that their comments have gone unreported.
- The nature of a “mandatory cycle lane” is indeed that motor vehicles are not permitted to enter it. Pedal cycles are permitted to leave it, though in this case the only way to leave it is to enter the oncoming lane. This is not an offence, just as moving into the oncoming lane to overtake is not an offence, but naturally anyone doing so does not have priority over oncoming traffic. However, oncoming road users would normally still be expected not to collide with oncoming vehicles: if you approach a part of a road where parked cars occupy the opposite lane and a driver has already begun to pass them, having moved into your lane, you are expected to slow to allow them to pass. If you drove headlong into them then I think most people would expect that to be a culpable act of at least careless driving.
- The arrangement of the road is such that parked vehicles tend to appear in the main lane, not in the cycle lane. The remark about “forcing people to do something they should not” relates to drivers having to move into the cycle lane to pass parked vehicles, thereby committing an offence. Those comments relate to the road rather than the collision, which occurred in the eastbound lane. Note that there are no yellow lines in the carriageway, but in theory one might argue that if parking in the lane prevented drivers from legally using the road then such parking would constitute an obstruction and thus an offence despite the absence of markings.
Sadly I suspect the case will be “NFA” and will go quiet in the media now that the public have been misled into thinking that no prosecution is possible, but we shall see.