Ottawa

Ottawa driver who hit cyclists gets house arrest

A man who side-swiped a group of Ottawa cyclists in his pickup truck was handed a conditional sentence Wednesday.

A man who side-swiped a group of Ottawa cyclists in his pickup truck was handed a conditional sentence Wednesday.

Richard Martin, 41, will spend six months under house arrest followed by a six-month night curfew. He also loses his driver's licence for a year and must pay $6,000 to the cyclists.

Martin was found guilty in April of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and for failing to remain at the scene of an accident after the June 2004 incident.

A dozen members of the Ottawa Bicycle Club were cycling on Riverside Drive when Martin passed the group in his truck, slowed down and clipped the lead rider.

The lead rider suffered serious injuries including a dislocated shoulder. Four others were injured in the resulting pileup.

During the trial, court heard that Martin, whose son was with him at the time, laughed about the incident.

Before the sentence was delivered, Martin apologized to his family for the humiliation he's caused but not to any of the cyclists.

Sentence appropriate

Ron Amero, one of the cyclists injured in the incident,said the sentence handed down by Justice Judith Beaman is appropriate.

"The judge did offer a fairly stiff punishment and I think one that should send a warning to these people who feel a little bit aggressive sometimes against cyclists — that they'd better be careful because the court system now is taking these cases very seriously," Amero said.

Amerothinks that cases where cyclists have been victimized by aggressive drivers should always go to court.

"Every time we can bring one of these to trial then so much the better," Amero told CBC News. "It just raises the level of awareness."

Amero says despite the hit and run, all of the cyclists in the Ottawa Bicycle Club are still riding regularly.