Here’s some dashcam footage taken in Southall last year. It’s a shocking incident – so shocking that there were rumours going around on the internet last year that it was faked in an elaborate publicity stunt. It is real.
The footage featured at the start of the recent Channel 5 show, The World’s Scariest Drivers. In that programme the narrator claimed that the driver, Rubia Hamid, was given a ‘lifetime driving ban’.
This is incorrect. She was only banned for three years. A short excerpt from the Times (£) story about this incident –
Mrs Hamid was found guilty at Isleworth Crown Court last month. She was sentenced to 12 months of prison suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay Mr Sharma, who is still recovering from his injuries, £500 in damages. She will also be banned from driving for 3 years and will have to take an extended driving test before she is allowed back on the road.
My opinion is that this is a derisory sentence for an act which could quite easily have killed an elderly man, in addition to which Mrs Hamid left the scene and further denied all knowledge of any incident taking place. Her punishment – a £500 fine, 200 hours of community service, and a short ban – does not reflect the severity of her crime.
British Cycling are currently running a campaign, with the support of a host of other organisations, calling for an urgent review of the way drivers who kill or injure cyclists and other road users are sentenced. It’s well worth supporting.