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Army Cyclist Killed By Teenage Driver

21 Oct 2015, 2:44 PM

A 19 year old woman has been convicted of death by dangerous driving after killing an army sports cyclist. Katie Hart, a health worker from Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for the death of Major Gareth Rhys-Evans.

Ms. Hart was travelling south down the A1 to her boyfriend’s house, when she hit Major Rhys-Evans. The court was told that Ms. Hart ‘drove straight into the back of him’ and that the first she knew about the presence of the cyclist was upon impact.

The 37 year old father of two was an experienced cyclist, and was taking part in an organised time trial. Major Evans was wearing ‘vivid and distinctive’ army colours at the time of the accident. He was pronounced dead at the scene by medics.

Danger of Young Drivers

Road safety experts are becoming increasingly worried about the risks posed by young drivers. Motorists in the 18-25 age group are statistically more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than anyone else on British roads. Many of these accidents are due to dangerous driving.

‘The inexperience of young people can lead to deadly traffic accidents’ explains safety campaigner Ross Campbell, whose teenage daughter was killed in a car crash last year. ‘The cause of such tragedies is usually poor judgement, but drink-driving, speeding, and risky behaviours do play a role in a significant number of road deaths.’

New Laws to Reduce Road Accidents

Families of road accident victims are calling for stricter regulations for young drivers. Many are starting to press for the introduction of ‘probationary’ licences, or compulsory advanced driving tests for all young drivers.

Some people think the problem is bigger than just inexperience. Michael Farmer, a driving instructor from Newcastle defended his teenage clients: ‘The roads are the busiest in history. In some areas of the country even mature drivers are experiencing difficulties. The reality of modern driving, even in rural areas, is travelling on busy, chaotic roads, with not much room for error.’

Cyclists at ‘High Injury Risk’

The danger for cyclists is particularly high. A bike offers little protection, and a collision at just 5mph can kill a cyclist. The quiet motion of a bike might be great for the environment, but isn’t so good at alerting traffic to your presence. Hundreds of cyclists like Major Evans are killed on the roads each year, simply because they aren’t noticed by motorists.

Cycle Accident Death a ‘Tragic Loss’

For the family of Major Gareth Evans, road safety debates are merely academic, whereas their loss is a daily reality. The father of two was a member of the Icknield Cycling Club which had organised the cycling trial on the day of the incident.

Fellow cyclist Sian Webster spoke about his death, ‘Any cycling death is terrible news, but to lose someone who contributed so much to his family, community and country is a tragic loss of life.’

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