Barry Meyer trial. (Title edited)

A lorry driver banned from the road five times admitted yesterday that he jumped a red light before crushing a cyclist to death.

Victim Alan Neve, 51, was on his way to work when Barry Meyer’s unlicensed, uninsured truck hit him and dragged his body along the road in front of pedestrians.

Prosecutor Allison Hunter said Meyer, 53, had previous convictions for driving while disqualified, uninsured and without the correct licence.

She said: “He drove through the lights. Not only had he not used his mirrors but he then failed to stop.”

Meyer, of Walthamstow, East London, had also blocked part of his windscreen with a toilet roll, tub of sugar and phone holder.

He admitted causing death by careless driving and will be sentenced later at Blackfriars crown court.
glenn forger

glenn forger


Being uninsured, unlicensed, driving a twenty ton truck through a red light With an obscured windscreen, careless. Just careless.


Flouncing Nobber
The law is a bit crap on this. The decision to drive unlawfully was a pre meditated act, so ' death by' seems a bit inadequate. While I'm sure the death was unintentional, it was the consequence of several deliberate unlawful acts, so would be ripe for a 2nd degree murder charge like in some other countries.

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
The charge is correct - in law.

Prosecutors are told to disregard previous convictions when deciding if to charge death by careless or death by dangerous.

Those are the only two possible charges.

The causing death part is met in both charges, so the prosecutor effectively disregards that for the next stage.

Was this careless driving or dangerous driving?

The evidence is the driver 'followed on' through an amber or red light.

He then stopped in the middle of the junction, presumably due to traffic, then pulled forward a second or two later and ran over the cyclist who was trying to get around the front nearside of the lorry.

The act of running the light at slow speed and getting stuck in the junction can be no more than careless driving - as defined by law.

It is routinely dealt with by a fixed penalty.

Thus the prosecutor charges causing death by careless - the killing is accounted for by the 'causing death' part of the charge.

The driving would have to have been of a much lower standard for causing death by dangerous to be correct.

An example would be if he ran the light at full speed.

Typically, a dangerous driving charge will also contain a more prolonged period of bad driving, such as racing around for a few miles.

In that example, the driver would be charged with dangerous driving if he didn't hit anything or hit a lamp post, but he would be charged with causing death by dangerous driving if he killed someone.
glenn forger

glenn forger

The law is a bit crap on this. The decision to drive unlawfully was a pre meditated act, so ' death by' seems a bit inadequate. While I'm sure the death was unintentional, it was the consequence of several deliberate unlawful acts, so would be ripe for a 2nd degree murder charge like in some other countries.
The charge is plainly absurd. He had rubbish piled on his dash that blocked his view. He chose to drive without being able to see where he was going. "Careless" is dropping a cup. Driving blind and running a red light is Dangerous.

A V Lowe

Über Member
The truck was a very clean & new vehicle and it seems unlikely that Meyer was the owner of it. Thus there is an operator, with an operators licence who has handed Meyer the tool with which he killed Alan Neve.
O Licences are issued to those who are required to prove and maintain good repute and diligence in operating their fleet legally and honestly. This is regulated by the Traffic Commissioner - for Met & SE this is Nick Denton. He is charged with being the independent overseer for commercial operations which exploit the use of the roads to make a profit, to ensure such operations are legally delivered, and accountable.
The Commissioner can impose a variety of sanctions on drivers (holders of vocational C D and E licences) and operators.
It is not clear what sort of O licence was held by the operator nor have we an operators name and operating base address - does anyone have this?
A photo of the truck cab should reveal if the O Licence was a UK standard national (blue) or a restricted licence (orange) (for carrying only the licence holder's goods)
Depending on the O licence category the operator may have a Transport Manager whose duties include maintaining a record of drivers and their qualification to drive
What is the Traffic Commissioner doing about this operator?
The issue tracks back further to the principal client who should have done due diligence on reviewing the contracts and monitoring performance with regard to the balance that naturally determines the outcomes in terms of price and safety

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
We appear to have lost sight of what constitutes a reasonable standard to expect from people.
We do expect that standard, careless driving is an offence.

The punishment is not great, careless driving on its own is not imprisonable, so it's a maximum of a mixture of a fine, points and ban.

The maximum sentence for death by careless is five years - if the case is heard in a crown court.

But it's an either way offence, it can be heard by magistrates.

If so, the maximum sentence is six months.

I've seen cases where the driver doesn't go to prison, although he will in this one.
glenn forger

glenn forger

I just can't believe it. How can it be careless driving.
The CPS will go for what they think they can get. The jury, made up of drivers because only 2% of the population are regular cyclists, will be reluctant to convict behaviour they themselves were guilty of. If you needed proof that ignoring traffic lights when you can't see where you're going then a fatality is as good a proof as you can get, but the CPS avoid laying that charge. It's like apartheid South Africa, having a black man on trial before a jury of white racists will achieve similar results. There should be a single charge of Causing Death on the roads then the court decide the sentence.

Look at the comments beneath newspaper stories. Cyclists are "vermin" or "pests". Ring any bells? Who else dehumanises people that way? It's a similar thought process to racism, homophobia, you name it. A million people tried to save the job of a man who has made a lot of money by "joking" about killing cyclists. These "jokes" tap into a deep reservoir of hatred and antipathy. The people who enjoy these "jokes" serve on juries.

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
You misunderstand. Choosing to drive through a red light is not careless, it is deliberate.
In the legal meaning of the word it is careless driving - in this case.

The driver said he deliberately followed on to keep up with his mate.

A driver who hammered through a red light deliberately at high speed would be charged with dangerous driving.
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