An 81-year-old man who was told by doctors to stop driving because of his poor eyesight nine years ago has been jailed for hitting and killing another pensioner.

Neil Pemberton, 81, was able to read a car number plate from just 2.5 meters away, despite the legal requirement being 20 metres, Lancashire Police said.

Pemberton ignored doctors and continued to get behind the wheel, police added.

On March 17 last year he fatally struck 80-year-old pedestrian Peter Westwell in the village of Langho, near Blackburn, Lancashire.

Mr Westwell was crossing the A666 when he was hit by the defendant’s Honda Jazz and thrown into the air. He suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pemberton was driving at 48mph in a 30mph zone at the time of the collision, Preston Crown Court heard.

On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to 32 months in prison, police said.

Drivers have a personal responsibility to ensure that our roads are as safe as possible and that their vision meets vision standards

Judge Simon Medland KC said Pemberton had selfishly prioritized his own comfort by continuing to drive and was repeatedly dishonest when he reapplied for his license and told the DVLA there was nothing wrong with his eyesight.

Mr Westwell’s daughter Hazel said: “I really wanted to thank the people who stopped and tried to help my dad that day. That means I know he wasn’t alone.” They were all so nice.

“Dad was walking that day because his doctor and family told him he needed to stop driving, so he did.

“I would ask people to take personal responsibility when it comes to their health and driving, and I would also ask family members to have this difficult conversation if they have any concerns.

“My father was an active, fit, friendly and loving family man. He fought and worked hard to remain independent, and it is almost impossible for us to see him die as a result of someone else’s selfish actions.”

Detective Sergeant Helen Parkinson said: “It was very sad and ironic that Peter was walking that day as he had been told he could not drive for medical reasons.

“Drivers have a personal responsibility to ensure our roads are as safe as possible. Ensuring that your vision meets the vision standards for driving is an important part of this, as is checking that your car is drivable.”

“Tragically, Neil Pemberton’s failure to live up to this personal responsibility had all too obvious disastrous consequences.”

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Source : www.newschainonline.com

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