The Department for Transport plans to update road safety laws to protect vulnerable road users
A new consultation, open for 12 weeks from 12th August, will look at whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for dangerous cyclists.
The plans to reduce the amount of dangerous cyclists follows a campaign from earlier this year, which looked at clamping down on dangerous drivers.
The motivation behind the new road safety laws is to reassure people that more is being done to make our roads safer, in a bid to encourage more of us to take to two wheels — or two feet — to get around.
The Department for Transport 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 would 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 all 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 pedal cyclists.
Matt Briggs, whose wife Kim 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.
“I also acknowledge that it is just under a year since I began my campaign for new legislation after the death of my wife, Kim Briggs, and I would like to thank the Department for Transport and in particular, Jesse Norman MP, for responding to my campaign in such a positive and expeditious manner.”
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.
Finally, the government has also announced today 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 Department for Transport has also 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.
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