A 92-year-old driver who crashed into a cyclist on a roundabout in Cambridge, with the victim spending 10 days in intensive care as a result of the serious injuries he sustained, has been fined £440.
Ann Ruel was also banned from driving for six months, but has not driven since the crash earlier this year and has informed the DVLA that she does not wish to renew her licence, reports Peterborough Matters.
The motorist pleaded guilty by letter to driving without due care and attention after she struck the unnamed cyclist at the four lamps roundabout in Cambridge at around 1230pm on 21 January this year.
Lois Hutchings, prosecuting, told Peterborough Magistrates’ Court that the cyclist was already on the roundabout, which he had approached from Jesus Lane, when Ruel drove onto it from Victoria Avenue.
She said that Ruel had “failed to give way to the pedal cyclist,” and that “as a result the defendant has collided with the pedal cyclist, causing him serious injuries,” including a collapsed lung, dislocated shoulder and fractures.
“He spent ten days in intensive care in hospital and then three months as a wheelchair user.
“In a statement read to the court he said he twice thought he was going to die and during the incident he remembered the wheels going over his pelvis and it seeming dark as the car passed over him.
“The victim was unable to complete his degree as planned and had been due to start work in September.
“Ruel, who had a clean driving licence, told police that she had stopped at the roundabout and claimed she had a “clear view”.
The prosecutor added that Ruel, from Girton, “didn’t feel her driving fell below that of a safe and competent driver,” the standard required to satisfy the charge – although notwithstanding that, she did enter a guilty plea.
The more serious charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, which was not charged in this case, requires the prosecution to show that the standard of driving “falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.”
Besides the fine and the ban from driving, Ruel was also told to pay court costs of £110 and a victim surcharge of £44.
As well as the ban, she was fined £440 and ordered to pay £110 costs and £44 victim surcharge.
In Great Britain, driving licences automatically expire when the holder reaches their 70th birthday, with the DVLA sending a reminder and an application form 90 days beforehand.
The licence must then be renewed every three years, and while healthcare professionals such as GPs or optometrists can advise older motorists to surrender it on health grounds, they cannot compel them to do so.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.