Government launches ‘urgent review’ into cycle safety

12.00 | 21 September 2017 | | 5 comments

The Government has launched a review to consider whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for cyclists.

The DfT announced the review following a series of high profile incidents involving cyclists.

Earlier this year the prime minster Theresa May hinted that the Government was considering new legislation to tackle dangerous cycling, following the trial of cyclist Charlie Alliston who knocked over and killed a female pedestrian, Kim Briggs.

Mr Alliston – whose fixed gear bike had no front brakes – was convicted under the 19th century offence of ‘wanton or furious driving’, and earlier this week was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The Government review will look at whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for cyclists, as well as wider improvements for cycling road safety issues.

Jesse Norman, transport minister, said: “It’s great that cycling has become so popular in recent years but we need to make sure that our road safety rules keep pace with this change.

“We have strict laws that ensure that drivers who put people’s lives at risk are punished but, given recent cases, it is only right for us to look at whether dangerous cyclists should face the same consequences.

“We’ve seen the devastation that reckless cycling and driving can cause, and this review will help safeguard both Britain’s cyclists and those who share the roads with them.

The review will be in two phases.

The first phase will analyse the case for creating a new offence equivalent to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving to help protect both cyclists and pedestrians. The conclusions from this phase are expected in early 2018.

The second phase will be a wider consultation on road safety issues relating to cycling. It will involve a range of road safety and cycling organisations, as well as the general public and will consider different ways in which safety can be further improved between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

The DfT says further details of the review will be announced shortly.

Category: Cycling.



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    Gill. Unfortunately the law that you refer to only applies to motorised vehicles and not to cycles which in law are regarded as carriages and come under legistlation from a previous era of transport before cars.

    Whatever one’s ideas are regarding blame there is still a vacuum when it comes to the law, and of cyclists endangering other road users particularly when using off road cycle and pedestrian precincts etc. That hole in the law must be filled. As we increase the numbers of cyclists we may expedentially increase the conflict between them and pedestrians. History in general shows that pedestrians are always the ones that will end up with the short straw. They must be, and feel that they are being, protected by the law.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    The significance in the media is the unusual ‘man bites dog’ interest as mentioned in another post. I don’t consider that road-safety is the true aim of the review. More like parity in the legal system to bring about an appropriate legal mechanism for redress. That seems fair enough to me.

    Pat, Wales
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    It beggars belief that 419 drivers were convicted of causing death by driving in England and Wales in 2016, and just two death were caused by cyclists. Yet one of those tragic deaths, caused by a cyclist with a missing front-brake, is somehow singled-out as the focus of great significance. If road-safety is the true aim of a review, wouldn’t vulnerable road-user deaths (pedestrians and cyclists) alone be the aim, and if objective logic, science and reality were involved, the focus should be upon motorists who kill at-least two hundred times more pedestrians. Of course there are the deaths of typically over a hundred cyclists, at the hands of motorists. A significant proportion of whom involving hit and run by the driver, which would seem to indicate a level of awareness of significant guilt. Whether the impact was deliberate, or through dangerous driving, or road-rage, or impairment by drink or drugs, or no insurance or no licence, or phone-use.

    Barney Stone
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    There is an offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. It replaces using GBH for traffic related offences. The offence of causing serious injury by careless driving exists in Northern Ireland only.

    Gill Beecham
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    Whether it’s drivers or cyclists, why is it just’death by careless or dangerous driving’ and not injuries as well? The cause is the same i.e the ‘careless or dangerous’ bit so why differentiate between the consequences, which will be influenced by factors beyond the actions leading up to the impact.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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