Driving ban refused for bike rider

April 2, 2015 | By More

Bicycle wheel-testA judge has refused to impose a driving disqualification on a French visitor who injured a pedestrian while riding his bicycle on the footpath, saying the situation was “an absurdity”.

Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave said it was “utter nonsense” to disqualify someone from driving for an accident that happened while riding a bicycle.

Cyril Millet, 24, had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of careless use of a vehicle causing injury. The victim was knocked to the ground as he stepped onto the footpath on Manchester Street on February 16, and needed surgery for a fractured hip. He spent three days in hospital.

The case was adjourned for a restorative justice conference to be held, but the victim had said he did not see the need for it.

Judge Neave said a bicycle was a qualifying “vehicle” for this type of offence.

“You proved the wisdom of people not cycling on the footpath because it is obviously potentially quite dangerous. Footpaths are exclusively for pedestrians.”

He said that all that was needed in this case was an order for reparation to compensate the victim for costs that were not covered by ACC.

Technically, disqualification could be imposed, “but as you were not driving a motor vehicle it would seem to be an absurdity”.

He imposed an order for a reparation payment of $600 to be paid within 28 days.

Defence counsel Michelle Barrell said Millet would be able to pay the money on his Visa card. He was scheduled to leave New zealand on May 1.

Millet appeared in court with the help of a French interpreter. He has been in New Zealand on a one-year work visa.



Category: Focus

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