Cyclists who kill pedestrians could face tougher punishments under a new law

·2-min read
Cyclists who kill pedestrians could face tougher punishments under a new law. (Getty)
Cyclists who kill pedestrians could face tougher punishments under a new law. (Getty)

Cyclists who kill pedestrians could face tougher punishments under a new law, the transport secretary has said.

Grant Shapps has pledged to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law that will treat killer cyclists the same as motorists.

Announcing the plans in the Mail+, he said the law is needed to “impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care”.

The move will close a legal loophole which means that cyclists who kill pedestrians can only be jailed for two years.

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 19, 2022: Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps arrives in Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting on July 19, 2022 in London, England. This week MPs in Parliament hold a series of votes to narrow down the number of candidates down to the final two in the contest to replace Boris Johnson as the leader of the Conservative Party and the new British prime minister, followed by postal ballot of party members with a winner announced on 5 September. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has pledged to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law. (Getty)

It comes four years after the government ran a consultation on proposals for new offences of causing death or serious injury while cycling.

Shapps wrote that a “selfish minority” of cyclists believe they are “immune” to red lights.

“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 said.

“For example, traffic lights are there to regulate all traffic.

“But a selfish minority of cyclists appear to believe that they are somehow immune to red lights.

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

Under Shapps’ proposal, the new law would be added to the Transport Bill due to be put before Parliament in the autumn.

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Cyclists use a cycle lane on Lower Thames Street in London. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022. (Photo by James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images)
Cyclists use a cycle lane on Lower Thames Street in London. (Getty)

The latest high-profile case of a cyclist being prosecuted for killing a pedestrian occurred last month.

Stewart McGinn, 29, was jailed for 12 months after knocking down 79-year-old Elizabeth Stone, as she returned from an evening with a friend at around 10pm on June 7 last year.

McGinn had mounted the pavement in Monmouth, South Wales, in order to cut the corner of the junction of Wonastow Road and Somerset Road, and would not have been able to see pedestrians when he made the turn.

At a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on 14 July, McGinn admitted one count of causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

The court heard he had no lights on his bike, only one working brake and failed to stop to assist Ms Stone, despite her friend Janet Bromley’s plea for help as he rode away.

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