‘Death by dangerous cycling’ offence could become law

Ministers under pressure following the death of Kim Briggs in 2016

Matt Mathers
Friday 28 January 2022 15:31
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A new "death by dangerous cycling" offence could be introduced as part of a legal shake-up aimed at better protecting pedestrians.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said he is considering a range of options to hand out tougher sentences to cyclists whose dangerous riding causes serious injury or death.

Ministers have been under pressure to bring in harsher penalties following the death of Kim Briggs in 2016.

While crossing a road in east London, she was hit and killed by Charlie Alliston, who was illegally riding a fixed-wheel bike with no front brakes and travelling at 18mph.

"It’s to make sure we’re able to prosecute cyclists who, for example, cause death by their own dangerous cycling," Mr Shapps said earlier this week.

"The injuries and deaths that take place because of cyclists are also unacceptable."

The aim of a death by dangerous cycling law would be to prosecutre offenders in the same way that drivers are charged with danerous driving.

Motorists face a maximum of 14 years in jail if found guilty of dangerous driving.

Because there is currently no speficic legislation for cycling death offences, Alliston was jailed for 18 months under an archaic law intended to cover offences with horse-drawn carriages.

Matthew Briggs, Kim's husband, has been campaigning for a change in the law since her death.

He welcomed Mr Shapp's comments. He said: "It is a simple tidy up of the law, that will reduce pressure and heartache for families, at a time that is simply awful."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We are exploring changes to allow us to prosecute dangerous cyclists more easily, and delivering more continuous and direct cycling routes...physically separated from pedestrians and motor traffic.”

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