Cycling UK has renewed its criticism of the Government – suggesting the review of cycle laws announced on 12 August fails to delivers on a wider road safety review promised in 2014.
The Government consultation will look at whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for dangerous cyclists.
At the same time, the DfT announced that it will look at updating parts of the Highway Code, including measures to counter the dangerous practice of ‘close passing’ – and that it has commissioned the Cycle Proofing Working Group to develop national guidance and best practice for cycling and walking infrastructure.
However, Cycling UK describes the plans as ‘merely tinkering around the edges of a desperately-needed full road safety review’ – something which was ‘promised’ four years ago.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “We need a full review – something promised by the Government in 2014 – because the way the justice system deals with mistakes, carelessness, recklessness and deliberately dangerous behaviour by all road users hasn’t been fit for purpose for years.”
Cycling UK also says that cyclists and pedestrians are regularly failed by the existing laws on careless and dangerous driving, with only 27% of drivers convicted of death by careless driving sent to prison for sentences, on average, of only 14 months.
Duncan Dollimore added: “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.”