Government could change the law to help tackle dangerous cycling

Posted On: 
21st September 2017

The Government could toughen up the law in a bid to tackle dangerous cycling, it has emerged.

The cycling review is set to be published next year
PA Images

Ministers have launched a review to consider whether to implement an equivalent law to death by dangerous driving for cyclists. 

It follows the death of Kim Briggs, who was killed after being hit by Charlie Alliston on a bike with no front brakes. Mr Alliston was convicted under the 19th century offence of “wanton or furious driving”. 

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Mrs Briggs’ widower Matthew said her death had revealed a “huge gap” in the law. 

Mrs Briggs’ local MP Labour’s Heidi Alexander, described the law as "hopelessly outdated and wholly inadequate".

Transport minister Jesse Norman 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 already 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."

The Government said the review will also consider wider cycling safety issues such as signage and public awareness. 

Mr Briggs told the BBC: "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.

"Kim was by no means the first person this has happened to, but I think what Kim's case has done is highlighted a huge gap in the law between one from 1861 at one end and manslaughter at the other end.

"Manslaughter could only be brought because these were a rather unique set of circumstances, otherwise they would have been left with the Victorian law."