In June 2013, Barry Meyer drove the HGV he was driving into Alan Neve, killing him.
Unfortunately, this post is going to be depressing reading.
Firstly, the junction, at High Holborn, doesn’t look much fun to cycle through at the best of times. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it’s this one:
He was charged with causing death by careless driving and driving while uninsured and unlicensed.
My first question is why have the CPS yet again gone with the “soft” charge of careless driving instead of dangerous?
How can running a red light and driving over a clearly visible cyclist not be considered dangerous driving?
Secondly, as Ross Lydall from the Evening Standard shows, the driver had a history of driving offences, so why was he even employed as an HGV driver?
Shocking: the previous convictions of HGV driver who killed cyclist Alan Neve pic.twitter.com/oud8c0CUTY
— Ross Lydall (@RossLydall) April 9, 2015
With such a record, it’s astonishing that such a person could be allowed to hold a licence for a normal car, let alone manage to be employed as an HGV driver.
Surely it is the responsibility of the employer to check that the drivers it employs are legal to drive? I would strongly support a charge of corporate manslaughter against the company that employed Mr Meyer.
Although I expect a custodial sentence to be handed down, the judge will be constrained by the lower charge the CPS brought, so realistically 3 years will be the maximum sentence. And as for the driving, the minimum is 12 months disqualification. Perhaps we could see a lifetime driving ban handed down in this case; his actions certainly warrant it.
Driving is the only thing that most people regularly do that has a significant risk of harm to others. That holds a heavy responsibility, that many people seem to not take seriously. Professional drivers have an even higher level of responsibility, especially when they are driving heavy vehicles like HGVs which carry more kinetic energy. Not only do the drivers hold responsibility to ensure they drive safely, but the companies that employ them must do more to ensure the drivers they employ take that responsibility seriously. If they do not do so voluntarily, parliament ought to force them to.
My deepest condolences to the family of Mr Neve.