Road Safety News

PM hints at new dangerous cycling legislation: BBC News

Wednesday 6th September 2017


Theresa May has indicated that the Government will consider introducing new legislation to address dangerous behaviour by cyclists.

According to the BBC News website, the prime minister made the commitment during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions (6 Sept) when asked about the recent trial of the cyclist Charlie Alliston who knocked over and killed a female pedestrian, Kim Briggs.

Mr Alliston - whose fixed gear bike had no front brakes - was cleared of manslaughter but convicted under the 19th century offence of ‘wanton or furious driving’.

Heidi Alexander, Labour MP for Lewisham East, said the law was "hopelessly out dated and wholly inadequate".

In her reply, Mrs May said it is important to ensure legislation is kept up to date, and added: "I am sure this is an issue that the secretary of state for transport will look at."

Category: Cycling.


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When I was young and in the police service we took the size of a bicycle wheel as the determinating factor for use on a road or pavement. A small size was generally used by kids and larger wheels for adults and so kids were allowed on the pavements and adults would need to be on the roads. That was ok until the chopper cycle was produces with small wheels. A bike that was ridden by all ages. So the deciding factor for pavement became age. If the child was up to 11 years of age and at junior school then they could remain on the pavements and then when aged 11 or over at High school they needed to be on the road.

The use of cycling was controlled by various antiquated laws even then but it was also enforced by a police presence out on the streets.

Charles, as a child we were never told how to kowtow to the motorists as our fathers and mothers drove. We learned from them a healthy respect for others including the rules of the road and of law and good order in general. We learned what we could and could not do and sometimes we were chastises for doing wrong.

Cyclists on the pavement then were just kids and of little danger and not as they are today, fully grown adults.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

Any prosecution depends on knowing who the cyclist is. If an offender does not stop at the scene they may be untraceable.

PS: An unfortunate coincidence, but the BBC news reports today that a pedestrian was killed in London's Oxford Street after a collision with a cyclist. According to the report, the cyclist stayed at the scene but no arrests have been made. Had it been a car, I presume it would not have made the national news, seeing as pedestrians are killed by cars everyday all over the UK.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Tim, I've browsed the RDRF's website, and almost anytime cyclists are criticised, it's met with a "yebbut car drivers are worse" type retort. This argument is a logical fallacy, the issues with each are unrelated (in the context in which they are being discussed).

On the second point, because of the way we are brainwashed from childhood that as pedestrians we must kowtow to motorists on the road, we tend to accept that we need to look out for cars when we cross - but nothing has prepared us for the onslaught of cyclists riding on the footway, ignoring traffic signals, going against the flow in one-ways streets, shooting out of alleyways and across pedestrianised plazas and filtering between queuing cars, so yes, a more effective way of bringing cyclists to account is genuinely an important issue to many road users - especially those older users who would have been taught that cyclists have to obey the rules of the road too.
Charles, England

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)

About time. We have many antiquated laws, often it takes an incident to trigger a change. Many cyclists break road traffic laws and escape prosecution much to the frustration of other road users. I know this will open a can of worms such as the lack of traffic enforcement etc and comments from anti cycling and anti car lobbyists. There is no quick fix I am afraid but where to start? Now there is a question.
Alan Collins Luton

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The press will usually look for the ‘man bites dog’ news mentioned in the RDRF link as it helps attract readers attention. And this is such a story, with the RDRF trying to big it up into something more. If the legislation is so unfit for purpose, as seems to be the case, why not look at it? More likely though it is probably just the PM sidestepping the question.
Pat, Wales

Agree (8) | Disagree (1)

Charles from England, the RDRF works hard to genuinely make our roads safer. I perhaps shouldn't be surprised you won't identify yourself and also trot the the poor 'anti-car' accusation.

If you really think that a one-off and very sad case like this is genuinely an important issue to many road users, I can only ask how you arrived at such a conclusion, beyond reading the clickbait work of some of the newspapers.
Tim Lennon, Cycling Embassy of Great Britain

Agree (9) | Disagree (7)

Alongside all road users cyclists should take care of more vulnerable people. But new legislation? Cyclists kill on average 3 pedestrians pa. Motorists kill > 500 pa. This anti-cycling hype is very depressing.
alan, bristol

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This tragic death gives us two options: Either continue to apportion responsibility and blame for years of bad decisions, or to bring about real change requiring all road users to watch out for the more vulnerable.
Peter Treadgold London

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Rather than being a red herring, it hits the key point spot on. Vehicle drivers kill an average of 500 pedestrians a year and invariably do so at faster than the 18 mph referred to in this tragic case.
Adrian, Kent

Agree (11) | Disagree (9)

Rod, throwing in a red herring from the anti-car lobby adds nothing to this debate. That is just a misleading distraction from this issue that is important to many road users, especially some of the most vulnerable.
Charles, England

Agree (13) | Disagree (13)

A useful comment on this from the Road Danger Reduction Forum:-
Rod King, Warrington, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (12) | Disagree (11)