Speeding Cyclists Kill or Hurt Pedestrians
Grieving Families Slam Government Over Failure to Close Legal Loophole
Families of people killed by reckless cyclists have slammed the government for failing to close a legal loophole that means killer riders can only be jailed for up to two years.
Matthew Briggs, whose wife Kim was killed by a cyclist riding an “Olympic-style” bike with no front brakes in 2016, said he was “deeply disappointed” by a recent meeting with Roads Minister Richard Holden.
“I asked him when the law would be changed,” Briggs said. “He said it was a priority, but I’m still waiting for action.”
An archaic law which was introduced for horse carriages, The Offences Against The Person Act 1861, means that a cyclist who kills someone while riding dangerously will only be jailed for a maximum sentence of two years for “wanton or furious driving.”
This is in contrast to motorists, who can be jailed for up to 14 years for causing death by dangerous driving.
The families of Kim Briggs, Dianne Walker, and Peter McCombie, all of whom were killed by cyclists, are calling on the government to close the legal loophole.
“We need the cycling equivalent of death by dangerous driving,” said Walker. “This would send a clear message to cyclists that they will be held accountable for their actions.”
The government has said it is considering legislation to close the loophole, but no changes have yet been made.
In the meantime, the families of the victims are urging the government to take action.
“We can’t afford to wait any longer,” said Briggs. “We need to make sure that no other families have to go through what we’ve been through.”
Dangers to Pedestrians from Cyclists in the UK
Pedestrians are often at risk of being injured or killed by cyclists in the UK. In 2020, there were 1,190 reported road accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians, resulting in 31 deaths and 1,580 injuries. Of these, 104 were serious injuries and 12 were fatal.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the dangers posed by cyclists in the UK:
Speed: Cyclists who are traveling at high speeds have less time to react to hazards and are more likely to cause serious injuries or death in a crash.
Visibility: Cyclists can be difficult to see, especially at night or in poor weather conditions. This can make it difficult for pedestrians to judge the speed and distance of an oncoming cyclist.
Lane sharing: Cyclists are often allowed to share lanes with cars, which can create a dangerous situation for pedestrians. Cyclists may be traveling at different speeds than cars, and they may not be predictable in their movements.
Reckless behavior: Some cyclists ride recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, and ignoring stop signs. This behavior puts pedestrians at risk of being hit by a cyclist.
Injuries from Collisions with Cyclists in the UK
Pedestrians who are hit by bicycles in the UK can suffer a variety of injuries, including:
Head injuries: Head injuries are the most common type of injury sustained in a collision with a cyclist. Head injuries can be serious, even fatal.
Broken bones: Broken bones are another common type of injury sustained in a collision with a cyclist. Broken bones can occur in any part of the body, but they are most common in the arms, legs, and ribs.
Internal injuries: Internal injuries can also occur in a collision with a cyclist. Internal injuries can include damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and spleen.
Wounds: Cyclists can also cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
How Cyclists Can Take More Care for Pedestrians in the UK
Cyclists can help to reduce the dangers posed to pedestrians in the UK by following these tips:
Obey the law: Cyclists should obey all traffic laws, including speed limits, stop signs, and red lights.
Be predictable: Cyclists should ride in a predictable manner. They should signal their turns and avoid weaving in and out of traffic.
Be aware of your surroundings: Cyclists should be aware of their surroundings and be on the lookout for pedestrians. They should slow down or stop if there is a pedestrian in the way.
Yield to pedestrians: Cyclists should yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and other areas where pedestrians have the right of way.
Use a bell or horn: Cyclists should use a bell or horn to alert pedestrians of their presence.
By following these tips, cyclists can help to make the roads safer for everyone in the UK.