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Bereaved father calls for 'greater awareness' of cyclists

Opposition to cycling is 'intolerable' and must change...

The father of the cyclist killed by teenager driver Katie Hart – convicted this week – has called for better awareness of riders on the road.

Major Gareth Rhys-Evans, 37, was killed near Eaton Ford, Cambridgeshire, as he took part in a 25-mile time trial. Hart, 19, claimed not to have seen her victim but was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Major Rhys-Evans's father, Glyn Rhys-Evans, wrote to the Cambridge News after the verdict to welcome the verdict and thank local police for their efforts.

He said it is “a matter of considerable importance” that the climate of cycling should be positive and supportive. There is still “a huge amount of opposition” towards cyclists in the UK, he said, adding that their presence on the roads is frequently seen as an obstacle and a nuisance to other road users.

Mr Rhys-Evans wrote: “This is a situation which is rapidly becoming intolerable, and a change in this prevailing climate of antipathy must be made, by encouragement where possible but punishment when necessary.

“It may well be that my son’s case becomes a landmark along the path towards greater recognition being given towards cyclists in this country, and that the procedures followed by the Cambridgeshire police and the CPS in successfully bringing his case to court be held up as an example of good practice for other police forces to follow. If so, then Gareth’s death may prove not to have been in vain.”

Sally Guyer, press and publicity officer at Cambridge Cycling Campaign, said the campaign endorsed Mr Rhys-Evans’ comments.

She said: “We would like to see all roads users being trained and being made aware of and more considerate to other road users, for example, driving tests could require drivers to spend a day cycling in traffic as part of the test process. Many people on bikes are motorists who choose to cycle both as a sport and as their preferred method of transport.

“Personally, I know that I am a better motorist because I cycle and a better cyclist because I drive. In Holland and Denmark many people are motorists who cycle and we need to go down that route in the UK, both for sports cyclists and commuter cyclists, in order to make our roads safer for all.”

Judge Nicholas Coleman banned Hart from driving and granted her bail on condition she lives at her home until she is sentenced at Huntingdon Crown Court during the week beginning February 15.

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OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

That loudmouth celeb chef who spoke out about cyclists getting under his wheels should also be required to use a bicycle. Come to think of it, any driver found guilty of innuring a cyclist and banned from driving should be required to cycle a minimum of 1000 miles on road before being allowed the licence back. If the mileage cannot be verified, the licence should be withheld until the distance can be proven.

Zaskar | 14 years ago

Oldridgeback is right!

Best regards to the Major's family I hope she gets justice but nobody ever has.

Personally I think she and others should be banned for life and not just 2 yrs and let the idiots back on the road again.

I would welcome drivers cycling on the road as part of their test.

OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

First step would be to require Jermey Clarkson to cycle a minimum of 1000 miles on UK roads over the next three months and report on it on Top Gear.

He's a fat boy and needs the exercise. And if someone crushes him under the wheels of a car, it'll save the BBC his £850,000/year salary, as well as proving a point and constributing to cycle safety. He'd give his big fat gob for others, imagine that.

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