Boy, 4, Knocked Down On Zebra Crossing - But Driver Keeps Her Licence

A woman who knocked down a four-year-old boy at a zebra crossing then dragged him 120ft down the road has been allowed to keep her driving licence.

Rachel Batts, 28, from Essex, hit four-year-old Luke Spatt as he was walking home from nursery with his mum, Samantha.

The car then dragged Luke 120ft along the road. He was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries, which included a deep wound to his head. He was in hospital for nine days and needed three operations and skin grafts.

Ms Batts admitted careless driving but was given just six penalty points and a £250 fine.

Speaking at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court, Mike Allem, chairman of the bench, said a ban would normally have been considered, but Rachel's village location – and that she needed the car to get to work and take her son to school - was taken into account.

"We would normally consider disqualification but we have taken into account where you live," said Mr Allem.

"This was a very unpleasant result of a momentary lapse of concentration. We accept it was a low speed, but aggravated by the injuries to the child and it was on a zebra crossing."

Speaking at the hearing, Rachel said: "I don't know why I didn't see them. I agree I caused the accident, but I didn't see the child. I am extremely sorry and upset that this accident occurred."

A statement from Luke's mum Samantha was read out in court. She said:

"I was sure they had seen us. I remember thinking: 'Oh my God, it's not going to stop.' The car was between me and Luke and I could not do anything.

"I saw him get dragged under the car, it hadn't stopped."

Speaking to the Mirror, Philip Goose, spokesman for road safety charity Brake, said:

"In cases where drivers face disqualification we believe exceptional hardship should not be an argument accepted to ensure leniency.

"Road users who engage in risky behaviour that can kill and seriously injure should face tough penalties, however inconvenient, to deter dangerous behaviour.

"As part of Brake's Crackdown campaign we call for tougher penalties to protect the public by deterring dangerous behaviour."