The family of champion cyclist Jason MacIntyre had expected to be cheering him on at the Olympics but instead they watched yesterday as the man who killed him in a road accident walked from court after being fined by a sheriff.

Council driver Robert McTaggart, 36, was fined £500 and banned for driving for six months, having pled guilty to the charge of careless driving.

In January, he drove his pick-up truck in front of Jason as he cycled into Fort William on the A82 after training on the roads around Lochaber. Jason hit the back of the truck at speed.

McTaggart has always insisted he never saw the cyclist but the driver travelling behind him told police he had. The driver said he had been braking in anticipation of McTaggart doing the same to allow the cyclist to pass.

Police investigations had found that Mr MacIntyre would have been visible for a full 16 seconds if he had been cycling at the 30mph estimated by another witness.

Before sentencing McTaggart at Fort William Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said that, given the charge against him, he could not take into account the outcome of the accident, only the quality of driving. There were gasps and tears from Jason's family.

A triple British and multi-Scottish champion cyclist, Mr MacIntyre, who was 34 when he was killed, was recognised as Scotland's best road racer and one of the best in the UK but that required him to train on roads.

He retired temporarily from cycling to care for one of his twin daughters, who was born prematurely and suffered serious health problems. She was later given a kidney transplant by Jason's father, David.

Yesterday with other family members around him, David MacIntyre said he believed McTaggart should have been imprisoned and he made an impassioned plea for a change in the law.

Of his son, he said: "He was an outstanding cyclist with Scottish and British championships to his name and under consideration for the 2008 Olympics. Jason went out for a spin on his bike and never came home.

"Jason was killed by Robert McTaggart but there is to be no justice for Jason and no justice for his family.

"We are of the view that McTaggart should have been facing charges of culpable homicide or causing death by dangerous driving."

He claimed that the local procurator-fiscal recommended dangerous driving charges but that the Crown Office downgraded the charge to careless driving, despite an appeal from the family.

"The Crown Office view is that this standard of driving falls below normal standards. We are of the view that this standard of driving falls far below normal standards and is deserving of a more serious charge."

He refused to accept that to drive along a road unaware of oncoming traffic for 16 seconds, to cross in front of oncoming traffic thereby causing death, amounted only to careless driving. That the Crown Office did, he said, "was a terrifying indictment on our society".

The family had also complained to the Chief Constable of Northern Constabulary about the investigation. Police forces in Scotland were guided by the road death investigation manual produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos). But, unlike the manual in England and Wales, this had not been updated.

"When can victims of road traffic crime in Scotland expect to have the deaths of their loved ones investigated to the same standard as those in England and Wales?" asked Mr MacIntyre.

He also said a fatal accident inquiry could help provide more answers.

An Acpos spokesman said the manual was currently being revised and was expected to be published in its new form by the end of the year.

A spokesman for the Crown Office said careful consideration had been given to all the evidence before crown counsel decided to prosecute under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (careless driving).

"In light of the concerns raised by the family this initial decision was reviewed by crown counsel not involved with the original decision-making process. They reached the same decision that proceeding in terms of Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 was appropriate.

"When assessing the culpability or standard of driving, the law does not allow for the consequences of road traffic incidents to be taken into account, and crown counsel must reach their decision as to the appropriate charge based on the relevant legislation."