Man says he couldn’t avoid hitting cyclist on busy road
AN 82-YEAR-OLD man facing court says he couldn't avoid hitting a cyclist on a busy stretch of road.
William Einar Peterson was driving along Steve Irwin Way at Glasshouse Mountains on May 26 when his vehicle allegedly collided with a man riding a bike along the 80km/h zone.
Police prosecutor Amanda Brewer said there was little to no hard shoulder on the road and the cyclist was riding along the fog line.
"The defendant has failed to give way to the cyclist the required passing distance of 1.5m causing his vehicle and/or trailer to make contact with the cyclist and the cyclist was knocked off his bike," Senior Constable Amanda Brewer said.
"The persons in the vehicle travelling behind the defendant's vehicle observed the incident and they stopped to assist the cyclist.
"Police questioned the defendant in relation to the incident and he stated he couldn't see the cyclist and he was unable to pass him as there was double white lines down the centre of the road."
The matter was brought before the court after Mr Peterson, from Woodford, elected to contest a $400 infringement notice he was given on the day for failing to maintain a safe distance from the cyclist.
At Caloundra Magistrates Court today he pleaded guilty to failing to keep a safe distance from the cyclist.
"There is no way in the world I could have avoided hitting him even if I had seen him because there was no way to go," Mr Peterson said.
"And in that amount of traffic you haven't got the distance to stop."
Mr Peterson said he was apprehensive about driving his car following the incident and feared vigilante action from cyclists who could turn up to his home.
Magistrate Barry Barrett said he wouldn't accept Mr Peterson's guilty plea after reading his version of events and hearing his comments.
"You're really setting up a defence rather than pleading guilty," Mr Barrett said.
"You're saying you hit him without an alternative to avoid him.
"There are defences."
Senior Constable Amanda Brewer said she understood Mr Barrett's concerns but the prosecution could support that a traffic offence had occurred.
"Certainly there are grounds in there for the time and distance that should have been provided and that certainly does give cause to whether there was due care exercised," she said.
The matter was adjourned to December 17 and Mr Peterson was advised to seek legal advice.