Search

Should cyclists who kill pedestrians face ‘death by dangerous cycling’ charges?

PUBLISHED: 06:50 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:36 13 August 2018

Stock photo of cyclists in London. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Stock photo of cyclists in London. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

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

- Investing £100 million 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.

Cycling and Walking Minister Jesse Norman 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.”

Other News

13 minutes ago

Tributes have been paid to the “founding father” of boating on the Broads, after his death aged 95.

51 minutes ago

A crash involving a moped and a car has partially blocked a road this afternoon in Gorleston.

12:10

A “valuable” memory club in Gorleston which helps dementia and memory loss patients has been boosted by a Co-op donation.

12:05

Work has begun to restore and preserve a mill first built in the 1880s as efforts to use the site as an educational resource take shape.

Most Read

51 minutes ago

A crash involving a moped and a car has partially blocked a road this afternoon in Gorleston.

Read more
England Ambulance Service
08:03

Due to resignalling work trains will be replaced by buses on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft line this week.

Read more
11:17

People in Norfolk and Waveney can expect a “shock to the system” this week as temperatures dip sharply after a spell of unseasonably warm weather.

Read more
Adam Dury
Yesterday, 18:00

Fly-tipping waste including a kitchen cabinet was among the rubbish picked up during a beach clean in Gorleston.

Read more
BBC
12:05

Work has begun to restore and preserve a mill first built in the 1880s as efforts to use the site as an educational resource take shape.

Read more
Martin Wilby

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 6°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy