A motorist who killed four cyclists when he ploughed into them on an icy road was yesterday fined £180 and given six penalty points on his licence.
Robert Harris (47) was driving a Toyota Corolla with three defective tyres when he lost control on black ice near his home in Abergele, north Wales, on January 8.
The car ploughed into a group of 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club, who were on a training ride.
Thomas Harland, aged 14, Maurice Broadbent, aged 61, Dave Horrocks, aged 55, and Wayne Wilkes, aged 42, all died. Thomas Harland's father, Jon Harland, suffered a broken leg.
Harris, a security guard for DIY chain B&Q, pleaded guilty to three counts of driving with defective tyres by post and did not attend the hearing at L landudno Magistrates' Court.
Diane Williams, prosecuting, told the court that a police investigation found that Mr Harris's defective tyres - the front pair and rear nearside - were not the cause of the crash.
She said: "The Crown took the decision that in the circumstances, tyre tread is there to displace liquid debris from the road to give a better grip.
"In this situation, the examination has found there was no liquid there - it was black ice, consequently the defective tyres couldn't have been a contributory factor to the collision."
Llion Williams, chairman of the magistrates bench, fined Harris £60 for each of the counts and endorsed his driving licence with three points for the first two counts but none for the third.
He said: "We are dealing with this case as we would any case involving defective tyres, where a guilty plea has been entered by post. It has already been established in court that defective tyres were not a contributory factor."
Cyclists Touring Club campaigns and policy manager Roger Geffen said: "Our first thoughts are for the families of those killed. It highlights the need for a serious overhaul of road traffic law.
"Time and again when people are killed and seriously injured, the message given out by the legal system is that these incidents are nothing more than tragic 'accidents'.
"The victims are disproportionately pedestrians and cyclists, the very forms of transport we most need to encourage."