Safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging a thorough and comprehensive review of road traffic offences to ensure consistency in dealing with all road users who flout the rules.
The Government this week proposed a death by dangerous cycling law after 44-year-old mother-of-two Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said, “We want to encourage more people to discover the health benefits and enjoyment of cycling, but we want all road users to feel equal under the law. That’s why we believe that cyclists who kill or seriously injure pedestrians should be treated in the same way as dangerous drivers.
“Kim Briggs’ death was, of course, a tragedy. But if the teenage cyclist who collided with her went to prison, then surely so should the drivers responsible for more than 99 per cent of pedestrian deaths each year.
“It is a matter of great regret that prosecutors had to rely on legislation dating from 1861 in order to secure a conviction against the cyclist who knocked down and killed Kim Briggs, and that it took more than a year after her death to bring the prosecution.
“We are therefore repeating our call for a full review of road traffic offences, something promised by the Government in 2014 but which has yet to materialise. We see sentencing inconsistencies day in and day out across the UK’s courts.
“If we are to encourage more people to take up cycling and walking, then we must ensure there is a joined-up and consistent way of dealing with road users who flout the rules, whether through ignorance, carelessness or deliberately high-risk behaviour.”
In 2016, 448 pedestrians lost their lives on the UK’s roads, with 99.4 per cent of these deaths involving a motor vehicle.