A CYCLIST who was knocked over in a designated cycle lane has hit out at the punishment meted out to the driver.
Mike Anwyll needed hospital treatment for cuts and bruises and his bike was a write-off after the accident on Gravel Hill.
But Mike was staggered to learn from Dorset Police that the woman driver had been offered a Driver Awareness Course.
The 51-year-old electrician said: “It felt like a bomb had gone off under the bike – I didn’t realise what had happened at first.
“My issue is not really with the driver. It’s with the police over the lack of consistency in these things.
“For instance, my father-in-law was fined and got penalty points for doing 36mph at 4am on his way to the airport.
“On the other hand, I get knocked over by someone who loses control, mounts the pavement and crosses a grass verge on to the designated cycle path. This doesn’t make sense.”
In a letter to Mike, a Dorset Police official said: “I have concluded that the driver was sufficiently blameworthy to justify further police action.
“In view of the poor driving judgement shown, I intend to make an offer of attendance on a driver awareness course.
The letter also states: “While there is sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution, there is no provision in law for a magistrate to order such retraining and the imposition of a fine and penalty points will not do anything to correct poor driving habits.”
Mike, who cycles to work every day added: “I find that a really strange admission to make, that fines and points don’t have any effect as far as driving habits are concerned.”
He said the woman had blamed a steering problem for the incident, but there now seemed to be no evidence of that.
He has 21 days to respond to police with his views.
A spokesman for Dorset Police refused to discuss individual cases but said: “Every case is different and all the evidence will have been looked at.”
DORSET Police decided the driver in Mike Anwyll’s collision met the criteria for a driver awareness course.
This criteria included the fact that police felt there was enough evidence to prove she was driving without due care and attention and could be prosecuted in a magistrates’ court.
This could still happen if the driver does not pay for and attend the course. The collision had to be non-injury or slight injury to qualify – Mr Anwyll was recorded as suffering slight injury.
The driver awareness course is a national government initiative designed to be more effective than a fine and penalty points in effecting future driver behaviour.