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Cyclist Who Killed OAP Escapes Justice as 'Rules Don't Apply to Them'

A 'militant' cyclist who knocked down and killed an 81-year-old woman in Regent's Park has walked free from court with not so much as a fine because the rules of the road don't apply to cyclists.

Brian Fitzgerald, described as a militant cycilst, was doing up to 29mph, in a 20mph zone, when he hit Hilda Griffiths, 81, who was quietly walking her dog in the park at around 7am on a Saturday in June 2022. 

The militant cyclist had been using the park as his own private raceway: Along with other cyclists he had been doing timed-laps of the Park, he smashed into Mrs Griffiths who was attempting to crossing the road.

The pensioner suffered fatal head injuries in the crash whilst Fitzgerald received only minor cuts and bruises. The death was clearly caused by Mr Fitzgerald and relatives of the victim were expecting there to be some form of justice issued at trial.

However, Mr Fitzgerald walked free after the court heard that speed limits did not apply to cyclists only those in motorists.

Mrs Griffiths' son Gerald, 52, said 'something has to change' after the cyclist who killed his mother was not prosecuted.  'The park is used mainly by families with children, people with dogs. I'm sure my mum is not the first one to be encountering a group like this but she is the first one to be killed by one,' he told LBC

'Something has to change across the board with the law, not just for the speed limit of parks, it's got to be in general.' 

Cyclists did not need to obey the 20mph limit as 'the legal speed limit does not apply to cyclists (the same) as motorists'.  Mr Fitzgerald said

He was doing timed laps of Regent's Park, London, as part of a group when he smashed into Mrs Griffiths while she was crossing the road.  He added that he had 'zero reaction time' to avoid Mrs Griffiths, a retired nursery teacher, who suffered bleeding who suffered catastrophic injuries including bleeding on the brain which she never recorded from, dying in hospital two months later.

Her death was not even recorded as being the result of a road collision as it was 59 days after the incident, the Telegraph reported. 

Fitzgerald, was participating in an unlicensed group event with a number of other cyclists called the Muswell Hill Peloton Club, who were reportedly using the roads in Regents park as their own private racetrack. The group were cycling anticlockwise around the perimeter of the park at an average speed of 25mph, according to their GPS devices.

Yet despite ignoring the speed limit in a public park and being identified as the person responsible for the death police concluded that there was "insufficient evidence" to prosecute Mr Fitzgerald and took no further action.

Inner West London Coroners Court heard that no specific speed limits exist for cyclists and no legislation to prosecute them should they not comply with regular signs for motorists.

Despite causing the death of the pensioner Fitzgerald argued that Mrs Griffiths' death was her own fault because she'd stepped out onto the road without checking for 'oncoming traffic'.

Mrs Griffiths's son Gerard called on existing laws allowing cyclists to ignore speed limits to be updated and said his mother had been killed by a 'culture of cycling', adding the outer circle of Regent's Park had become a 'velodrome'.

Representing Mrs Griffiths's family, Ellen Robertson called on assistant coroner Jean Harkin to issue a prevention of future deaths report, on the basis that cyclists were routinely ignoring 'highly advertised' speed limits and putting vulnerable people such as children and the elderly at risk.

Mrs Harkin refused the request and rejected recorded the death as the result of an 'accidental cycling collision', pointing to the lack of precedent for pedestrian deaths 'in these circumstances'.

Richard Hallam, representing Mr Fitzgerald, suggested the installation of zebra crossings would help to make cyclists slow down to stop for pedestrians.

In a statement that has caused even more outrage on social media, the Muswell Hill Peloton Club called the death a 'tragic incident' and said that the safety of road users was its 'top priority.' the words are entirely hollow, if not sickeningly callous as the cycling club have been seen in the park doing exactly the same thing since the death of Mrs Griffiths.



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