Government could change the law to help tackle risky cycling

Government could change the law to help tackle risky cycling”

Ministers have announced an "urgent review into cycle safety", which they are expressly linking to recent "high profile incidents involving cyclists", such as the death of pedestrian Kim Briggs.


Alliston was a teenager when he collided with Briggs on Old Street, London on a fixed-gear track-racing bike with no front brakes; the bike was deemed illegal for use on public roads.

Alliston was cleared of her manslaughter and was handed an 18-month jail term in a young offenders institution on Tuesday following a conviction of committing bodily harm by "wanton or furious driving". A Government source said the review would "consider different ways in which safety can be further improved between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists".

Announcing the Government's review, which will also consider wider improvements for cycling road safety, transport minister Jesse Norman said: "Although the United Kingdom has some of the safest roads in the world, we are always looking to make them safer".

The Victorian law, originally drafted to deal with reckless handling of horses, was used because there is no cycling equivalent in law of the offence of causing death by unsafe driving.

The Government will take independent legal advice on the introduction of a new offence for cyclists and hope to reach a decision early next year.

He said: 'I fully welcome it and am grateful to the government for acting so swiftly, and am looking forward to helping the review in any way I can and getting these laws on the statute book.

But he said the call for a legislation update was "not in any way anti-cycling".

Transport minister Jesse Norman told the BBC that road safety laws needed to "keep pace" with the increased number of cyclists on British roads.

He added: "If I can get something good to come out of something so tragic, then I'll have done my job".

Transport Minister Norman, said: "Although the United Kingdom has some of the safest roads in the world we are always looking to make them safer".

The second phase will be a wider consultation on road safety issues relating to cycling.

"This will ensure the justice system can deal with mistakes, carelessness, recklessness and deliberately risky behaviour by all road users". Mr Alliston was convicted under the 19th century offence of "wanton or furious driving".

It may sound slightly eccentric, but perhaps it is down to its wording which was coined in 1861.

The review will also look at whether the lesser offences of causing death or serious injury by careless driving should be extended to cover cyclists.

It carries a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

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