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New consultation investigates how to punish dangerous cycling

Posted: 14 August 2018 | | 1 comment

There has been a new consultation launched, investigating whether dangerous cyclists should be reprimanded in a similar way to dangerous drivers.

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A new consultation, open for 12 weeks from 12 August 2018, is investigating whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for dangerous cyclists.

More is being done to protect cyclists and pedestrians who safely use the roads, including new government proposals that include changing the law and building better infrastructure.

These measures follow the launch of a UK-wide initiative helping police prosecute dangerous drivers who pass cyclists too closely in a two-pronged approach.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is also looking at updating parts of the Highway Code, including measures to counter the dangerous practice of ‘close passing’, which puts people off cycling, and benefit other vulnerable road users like horse riders.

Cycling and Walking Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “In recent weeks we have announced a range of measures designed to protect vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. These include new measures to combat close passing, training for driving instructors, better collision investigation and £100 million in new investment through the Safer Roads Fund.

“Now we are taking further steps. These include a consultation on new cycling offences, further work on national guidance on cycling and walking infrastructure and improvements to the Highway Code. All these measures are designed to support the continued growth of cycling and walking, with the benefits they bring to our communities, economy, environment and society.”

In 2016, three pedestrians were killed and 108 seriously injured after being involved in collisions with cyclists.

Matt Briggs, whose wife was killed by a cyclist in 2016, said: “I welcome the government’s proposals for new legislation around causing death and serious injury by dangerous and careless cycling. This public consultation is an important step towards updating the arcane laws that are currently being used to prosecute cycling offences. I would urge people to contribute to the consultation and of course to support the proposed changes to the law.”

As part of the Cycling and Walking Safety Review, the government has commissioned the Cycle Proofing Working Group to develop national guidance and best practice for cycling and walking infrastructure, so that all road users can benefit from the best facilities. The government has also announced that £1 million will be provided to support the pathfinder demonstration projects for repairing and upgrading sections of the National Cycle Network (NCN).

Separately, the DfT has announced that it is gathering evidence on the effectiveness of current laws on pavement parking to address safety issues concerning cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

Earlier in 2018, more than £7 million of funding was awarded as part of the first response to the Cycle and Walking Safety Review. The money will be spent on a range of improvements to encourage more people to cycle safely as part of their everyday journeys.

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