24-year-old Emma Kent was today sentenced to nine months jail with a subsequent two-year community corrections order for driving into and killing bike rider Gareth Davies on Black Forest Drive in Macedon in December 2017.
Ms Kent was trying to connect her car’s Bluetooth to her phone while driving and had her eyes off the road at the time of the crash. She pleaded guilty to the charge of dangerous driving causing death.
She phoned 000 immediately after the crash, recorded negative drug and alcohol tests and assisted police with their inquiries.
Because of this, her lawyers asked that her sentence did not include prison, however the judge, Sue Pullen, believed that a non-custodial sentence would be inadequate.
Judge Pullen noted that Ms Kent’s family was distressed, but so was that of Mr Davies and their loss was permanent.
Let’s learn from this sad situation
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said that this is a warning for all drivers.
“There are no winners in terrible situations like this. A young woman is in prison, a partner, father and son has been lost forever and the bike riding community is feeling the pain of another lost life.”
“Everyone needs to learn from this. When you are driving a car, you can’t be distracted and your eyes must be on the road.”
“There are also clear consequences. If you are driving distracted and hit and kill a person riding a bike, you will go to jail.”
Black Forest Drive must be improved
“We need to make sure that Black Forest Drive is safe for bike riders. It used to have a bike lane, but since it was removed we have seen a death and serious injuries to bike riders,” added Mr Richards.
“Black Forest Drive needs to have a safe space to ride a bike and the width of the traffic lanes must be optimised to make sure people drive safely and attentively.”
Ms Kent also had her licence disqualified. She cannot apply for a new licence for two years and six months.
Bicycle Network’s condolences go out to the family and friends of Gareth Davies.
Our thoughts are also with everyone who has felt the effects of another needless and avoidable death.