New cycling offences: causing death or serious injury when cycling
In August 2018 the Government announced the consultation Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review: proposal for new cycling offences. To address the few high profile incidents of cyclist causing the death of pedestrian, the Government propose to introduce new offences for causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling. This consultation seeks views on the new offences and the associated penalties, the consultation closes 11.45pm on 5 November 2018.
The Government instigated a review of the laws relating to cycling offences which was undertaken by Laura Thomas, a Barrister at Birketts LLP. The review considers the existing law applicable to cycling and driving, together with the respective penalties that may be applied; specific attention being paid to the offences of causing death or serious injury. The author concluded that disparities exist between the offences relating to cycling and driving, also in the penalties applicable to the respective offences.
The report puts a compelling case for the review of cycling offences and alignment of the penalties. However, the final clause states; ‘Considering the wider impact of legislative change, this review is focused specifically on cycling. However, some of the issues outlined above would apply in respect of all non-mechanically propelled vehicles such as horses, horse and carriages etc. This is particularly so if, rather than setting out new legislation specifically for cyclists; there was an amendment to existing legislation to remove the “mechanically propelled” stipulation.’ This suggestion would apply a consistent set of offences to all road users, not just focusing on cyclist. Continue reading New cycling offences: Government plans and consultation