New blitz to slow death toll among London cyclists
I finally got my day in court today, when the motorist who left me unconscious after knocking me off my cycle in Berwick Street in March came to trial at the Magistrates’ Court in Queen Victoria Street.
Interesting that the case coincided with the beginning of which might just be a new era in the up-and-down story of London cycling. I picked up this evening’s Evening Standard because of the front page, with its blaring headline: ‘POLICE BLITZ TO COMBAT CYCLE CARNAGE.’ This after six cyclists were killed in less that two weeks this month. The police are promising “zero tolerance” in their crack-down on dangerous road users, including cyclists.
One unexpected delight today was to meet the young woman who had been the only English witness of my head-over-heeling, and had turned up to give evidence – even though her sister had just given birth this morning. She turned out to be involved in the world of social entrepreneurship, too, which meant we had much to talk about beyond road safety.
The end result was that the motorist was found guilty on all charges, was fined and had six points put on his licence, which means that he will be banned until he does his driving test again. In the circumstances, I thought that was a fair outcome. He lied repeatedly under oath, which undermined any sympathy I might have felt for my erstwhile nemesis, though I confess that thoughts of restorative justice had nagged at me as the Magistrates retired to consider their verdict.
Then back to the office to work on speeches for our Breakthrough sessions in Berlin and Pottsdam next week – and a smart grids session in Belgium the following week. But first, tomorrow, its off to Holland for a couple of days with carpet-makers Interface, interviewing many of the people who have been involved in their Mission Zero.