Protect cyclists

I note with interest the five-year custodial sentence given to Ethan Roberts, who killed a couple after crashing his HGV while using his mobile phone. He was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

His victims, Tamsie and Mark McHale, were in their Audi when it was crushed by his lorry. The custodial sentence, and the charge of causing death by dangerous driving, is in contrast to the case of Steven Conlan, who killed cyclist Grahame McGregor after failing to stop at a stop sign because he was distracted by his sat-nav system. Conlan was charged with causing death by careless driving and received a 12-month community penalty and a two-year driving ban.

Drivers are rarely charged with dangerous driving when a cyclist is killed in a road accident and there is rarely the same level of forensic investigation by the police when compared with an accident involving motor vehicles.

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Accusations about cyclist hogging the road, jumping red lights and enraging drivers by cycling up the inside of traffic queues are a smoke screen which masks the fact that cyclists are vulnerable and will always come off worst (often fatally) in a collision with a motor vehicle.

Cyclists need more protection from the law and there needs to be more done in terms of making provision for cyclists on the road. London is leading the way and we should follow suit with practical measures on the tarmac rather than poster campaigns on buses and billboards.

Dave McLavin