Will there be a change in road laws to protect all vulnerable users?
It has been announced that Her Majesty’s Government will consult on proposals for the introductions of new criminal offences related to causing death by reckless and dangerous cycling and to consider whether the penalties for those offences would be the same as for the equivalent driving offences.
A Bill for such offence was considered in 2011 but did not progress however, and in what is likely to be seen as a knee-jerk reaction, the Department for Transport is carefully considering the implications of the highly publicised and tragic case of Mrs Briggs who died after a collision with a cyclist. Although this was an extreme case lessons should still be learnt. A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said “Protecting pedestrians and all road users is a top priority. We already have some of the safest roads in the world but are always looking at ways to make them safer.”
Many people are likely to ask, will it help and will the law be rushed? There might be a reason why there is no current law targeting reckless or dangerous cyclists who kill: it happens rarely compared to pedestrians who are killed or seriously injured by motor vehicles; and prosecutions are even rarer. There should be a change to road laws to protect better all road users specifically those that are vulnerable.
Will this lead to cyclists needing insurance? Importantly, any change may enable those injured by reckless or dangerous cycling to have some access to compensation. A change to the CICA rules might be a start since there is no current compensation redress from insurers or CICA.