Government considering introducing 'death by dangerous cycling' law

Government considering introducing 'death by dangerous cycling' law

Monday, August 13, 2018

The government is beginning a consultation on changing the law to treat cyclists the same as motorists if they kill a pedestrian.

The Department of Transport is reviewing current legislation as there is currently nothing in law that covers death by dangerous cycling.

In 2016, 44-year-old Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier who was travelling on a fixed-gear bike with no front brakes.

Charlie Alliston, who was 18 at the time, was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of ‘wanton and furious driving’ - a Victorian offence first introduced to cover reckless horse-handling.

 

'Law change is a positive legacy'

Ms Briggs’ widower Matthew has spent the past year campaigning for a change in the law.

"Any working single parent will tell you it's tough,” he told Sky News. "But getting the law changed is a positive legacy from this. The government has treated me very well, and this seems to have moved very swiftly.

"A week after Kim died, the investigating officer told me there might be an element of wrongdoing, but then came the 'but', that he didn't know what to charge him with.

“That started an 18-month rollercoaster of the ins and outs and the CPS reports.”

 

'I thought this was a joke'

But cyclists have greeted the news with anger.

Olympic cycling medallist Chris Boardman, whose own mother was killed by a truck when cycling in 2016, said he felt "genuinely sick" after seeing the message on the official Conservative party Twitter feed (the tweet has now been removed).

The message said: "We're launching a consultation into dangerous cycling so that our most vulnerable road users are protected."

Boardman responded: "That says it all really. Wow, just wow. I genuinely thought this was a bad joke, had to check it was a real account."

Cycling minister Jesse Norman apologised after the message sparked a hail of angry responses from bike-users.

Carol Boardman died aged 75 when she was run over by a pick-up truck while on a bike ride near Connah's Quay in north Wales.

BBC radio presenter Jeremy Vine also spoke out about the Tory message.

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

National charity Cycling UK claimed a "full review of road traffic offences" is required.