British Cycling repeats call for wholesale review of justice system to properly protect cyclists

British Cycling has reiterated its demand (first made in the spring) for a review of the British justice system, calling for much greater protection for the most vulnerable people on our roads such as walkers and cyclists.

The London Cycling Campaign and other cycling organisations, including CTC and Sustrans, are united behind the campaign.

People are strongly urged to write to their MP using the template letter on the British Cycling website.

Former Olympic gold medalist Chris Boardman told BBC Breakfast today: "We want a full review of how the system operates all the way from the investigation of incidents where people are hurt on the road through to prosecution and sentencing."

So far 34 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 407 calling for the justice system to be reviewed, with Cambridge MP Julian Huppert playing a prominent role in promoting the EDM.

As part of ongoing our No More Lethal Lorries campaign, we've been lobbying regional and national decision-makers to no longer accept the blind-spot defence for lorry drivers who hit cyclists.

We've also called on the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute the worst drivers under dangerous driving laws, rather than the frequently accepted plea of careless driving, which has less severe penalties.

Replies

Peter Bottomley is the only conservative suppporting the EDM - would be good to see the so called cycle friendly Boris on the list of EDM supporters!

I'm mainly a public transport user and fair weather cyclist to work who drives to the supermarket / out of town.

From observation of my fellow cyclists on my route, it would be at least 50/50 who was responsible for a collision with a lorry or bus etc in most cases.  - Nearly every day I see idiots going up on the inside when lights are about to change - or even in moving traffic - and then there are the really fast cyclists who weave around traffic of all sizes in a completely random fashion that cannot be anticipated by drivers without extra eyes for their wing mirrors full time - whilst watching forward ( where they are going) and around for pedestrians, lights etc that they need to be aware of after moving off.

Perhaps I'm lucky that on my rush hour route most of the traffic seems to be very aware of cyclists - I just wish some of the cyclists were more aware of the traffic.  The other day another cyclist at the light commented to me that a couple of guys who jumped the lights "might not be long for this world" - he took the words out of my mouth !

This post was edited by Helen2000 at 5:26pm 8 September 2012.

Adults riders were found to be solely responsible for accidents causing serious injury 17-25% of the time by a Transport Research Laboratory report, with drivers 60-75%, so that's more like a ratio of 2:7. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/15/cycling-bike-accidents-study Perhaps you didn't mean literally 50/50, but it's useful for discussions to be informed with the strongest evidence available, rather than only anecdote. On the other hand, I do agree that it would be valuable for road users, including all cyclists (including me in my less responsible moments) to fully respect the Highway Code.

Anecdotal evidence again, but I've noticed that when I'm on a BoJo bike in plane clothes, no helmet, and shopping wobbling about on the rack. Drivers treat me as if I am the vulnerable road user that I am — they take responsibility and overtake properly (often moving into the next lane) as they don't know if I'm a predictable sensible cyclist or an idiot. If I'm on my road bike in my lycra, they treat me as if I was indestructible and leave no room when overtaking.

In the netherlands, it's totally different. Car drivers stay well away from cyclists, because they know that if they hit one, even if it's because the cyclist falls off/wobbles through their own incompetence, the authorities will ask why the driver was so close to the cyclist or traveling so fast that they couldn't avoid them.

Perhaps a "strict liability" law would extend this BoJo bike effect to all cyclists?

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