In the second case of its kind, a farmer has admitted to causing death by dangerous driving, even though he wasn’t actually behind the wheel of the vehicle.
The incident happened when a farmer left his eight-tonne tractor sticking out on a narrow country lane, where later that night a motorcyclist crashed his bike into the vehicle, causing it to go up in flames.
The farmer, who normally doesn’t operate the tractor was covering for a member of staff who had failed to show for work that day, admitted he was unfamiliar with using the vehicle.
The biker, an experienced motorcyclist was travelling between 40-45mph simply didn’t see the vehicle due to poor visibility in the dark conditions, where the tractor displayed no lights or reflectors to warn oncoming road users.
In spite of the best efforts from the emergency services the man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash after suffering from severe injuries. The farmer was held responsible, even though the tractor was stationary and unoccupied when the accident occurred.
The farmer was handed a two year prison sentence and a suspended driving ban for two years after a judge ruled that he had shown genuine remorse for the incident after failing to anticipate the danger his stationary tractor would cause to other road users, which in this instance ended in tragic consequences.
In a similar incident in 2010 and the first case of its kind, a businessman was jailed for four years for dangerous driving although he himself was not in the driver’s seat. The man allowed his drunk partner (who was one and a half times over the legal limit) to drive his car back from a day out at the races. The woman was driving at 113mph in bad road conditions, due to deep puddles caused by heavy rain fall, she lost control of the Jaguar causing an horrific crash which resulted in the tragic deaths of a young couple. The woman was jailed for seven and a half years after admitting two charges of causing death by dangerous driving.
Cases like these stress the importance of road safety and should alert all road users to their responsibility towards other drivers and particularly motorcyclists. It highlights the dangers of negligent parking by leaving vehicles abandoned in blind spots, or parked far over pavements compromising the road vision for other motorists.
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