Plans for new legislation which could see cyclists who kill pedestrians treated the same as dangerous drivers criticised

Laws proposed after 44-year-old Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in February 2016

Neil Lancefield
Sunday 12 August 2018 00:04
Comments
Cycling UK, a national charity, claimed a 'full review of road traffic offences' is required
Cycling UK, a national charity, claimed a 'full review of road traffic offences' is required

Plans to introduce offences of causing death by dangerous or careless cycling have been described by cycling campaigners as “tinkering around the edges” of road safety.

Cyclists who kill pedestrians would be treated in a similar way to dangerous drivers under the new legislation.

The laws are being proposed by the government after 44-year-old mother-of-two Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in February 2016.

Cycling UK, a national charity, claimed a “full review of road traffic offences” is required.

Ms Briggs was killed by Charlie Alliston, then 18, who was travelling at 18mph on a fixed wheel track bike with no front brakes.

He was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty of causing bodily harm by “wanton and furious driving”.

The Victorian legislation, originally drafted to deal with reckless handling of horses, was used because there was no cycling equivalent to the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

Ms Briggs’ widower Matthew supports the proposed new laws.

He said: “This public consultation is an important step towards updating the arcane laws that are currently being used to prosecute cycling offences.”

Department for Transport (DfT) figures for 2016 show that 448 pedestrians were killed on Britain’s roads, but only three cases involved bicycles.

Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore described the current system of prosecuting and sentencing for careless or dangerous drivers as “something of a lottery” which leaves victims and their relatives “feeling massively let down”.

He went on: “Adding one or two new offences specific to cyclists would be merely tinkering around the edges.

“If the government is serious about addressing behaviour that puts others at risk on our roads, they should grasp the opportunity to do the job properly, rather than attempt to patch up an area of legislation that’s simply not working.”

In recent weeks the DfT has announced a series of measures to protect vulnerable roads users, including funding to give driving instructors training to ensure cyclists’ safety is prioritised, better investigation of crashes and investing £100mn to improve dangerous roads.

The latest announcement includes the introduction of national guidance for cycling and walking infrastructure and updating parts of the Highway Code to combat close passing of bicycles.

Jesse Norman, cycling and walking minister, said: “All these measures are designed to support the continued growth of cycling and walking, with all the benefits they bring to our communities, economy, environment and society.”

Press Association

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in