Cyclists Who Kill Pedestrians May Be Prosecuted Like Motorists

New rules could see cyclists prosecuted in a similar way to drivers should they cause the death of a pedestrian…

Cyclists to be Prosecuted like Motorists?

Under proposed rules, cyclists could be prosecuted in a similar fashion to motorists should they cause the death of a pedestrian. Grand Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said a new law is required to “impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care”.

In a recent article, Shapps suggested that a “selfish minority” of cyclists believe themselves to be “immune” to red lights. He explained, “we need the cycling equivalent of death by dangerous driving to close a gap in the law and impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care”.

He added, “we need to crack down on this disregard for road safety. Relatives of victims have waited too long for this straightforward measure”.

‘Exploring Changes’ 

According to the 1991 Road Traffic Act, cyclists can face a maximum fine of £1,000 for careless cycling. A maximum fine of £2,500 can be issued for dangerous cycling. Should a cyclist cause bodily harm, they can actually be prosecuted under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act; potentially facing year two-year prison sentence.

Nevertheless, very few fatal accidents in the UK involving a pedestrian concern cyclists. Back in 2019, for instance, just five road deaths involved a bicycle. Conversely, 48 cyclists and 305 pedestrians were killed by motorists.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said “any death on our roads is a tragedy, and though we have some of the safest roads in the world, the government is committed to making them even safer. We are exploring changes to allow dangerous cyclists to be prosecuted more easily and delivering more continuous and direct cycling routes in towns and cities which are physically separated from pedestrians and motor traffic”.

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