Bicycle rider `an accident waiting to happen', court told

A MAGISTRATE has dismissed a charge against a driver who hit a cyclist in Delacombe last year because it was "an accident waiting to happen".The Ballarat Magistrates Court heard Kerri Lee Jasper, 34, could not see William Angel riding along Cherry Flat Rd, near the Glenelg Hwy, in darkness shortly before 6.45am on March 29 when she collided with him.As a result, Mr Angel suffered a fracture in his thoracic vertebra, wore a brace for five months and was in residential care for seven months.In a contested hearing yesterday, Mr Angel told the court the night before the accident he had attached a light to the back of his helmet, which he turned on before setting off on his usual Saturday ride.He also said he was wearing a yellow jacket and shoe covers with reflective stripes, but there was no headlight on his bike.The court heard Jasper told police she was driving to work when Mr Angel appeared from nowhere."I tried to go on the outside of the road but I hit him anyway. I didn't see him until I was right on top of him," Jasper said.She told the court Mr Angel had no lights on his bike and he was wearing a dark coloured top with a yellow garment underneath.Police prosecutor Sergeant Bob Anderson submitted that a headlight was not relevant because Mr Angel was hit from behind. He said if Mr Angel was found to be wearing the yellow jacket, there would have been sufficient reflective material clearly visible by cars."A flashing red light was displayed on the victim as required by the road rule," Sgt Anderson said.Defence lawyer Jon Irwin submitted that a cyclist riding in darkness required a headlight, rear light and reflectors on the bike.After hearing six prosecution witnesses and two defence counsel witnesses, Magistrate Terry Wilson found Mr Angel failed to equip his bike with the requirements."If he had a (front) light it would have projected 200m in front and Ms Jasper could have picked up a bike was on the road," Mr Wilson said.Jasper, of Smythes Creek, pleaded not guilty to careless driving.