Reports are reaching us here at Cycalogical about the government's forthcoming Road Traffic Offences Bill. Sources indicate that the bill will be in line with the "war on the motorist" agenda, and will contain the following provisions:
Strict liability. Cyclists and pedestrians will be automatically assumed to be at fault in any collision.
Causing Death by Dangerous Cycling. A new offence of 'Causing Death by Dangerous Cycling' will be created to recognize the large number of deaths caused by cyclists, and ensure that serious cycling offences are properly punished. The offence of 'Causing Death by Dangerous Driving’ will be re-drafted to respect the right to drive, to protect drivers from spurious and vexatious accusations from pedestrians, and to ensure that unavoidable accidents are treated as leniently as possible.
Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. Instead of a lengthy prison sentence, first-time offenders will be given the chance to go on a Speed Awareness course.
Speed Limits and Speed Cameras. The government does not believe it should be telling local authorities how best to make their roads safer. So speed limits will become advisory only. Local authorities may still deploy speed cameras, but to increase respect for the law no fines will be issued, to avoid the accusation that cameras are simply 'cash cows'. The law will now recognize the serious danger posed by cycling, and a 5MPH speed limit will become mandatory for cyclists. However, to recognize the significant costs to the economy of delays caused by congestion, a 10MPH minimum speed limit will be applied to all roads.
Overtaking. The law will now require that cyclists give overtaking cars plenty of room. This will be augmented by a new offence of 'Obstructing a Motor Car', which will also apply to pedestrians who loiter on pedestrian crossings. Many accidents happen at pedestrian crossings due to red light jumping. Therefore the red light will become advisory only for motorists. Pedestrians should only cross on the 'green man' where it is safe to do so and where it would not cause delay to motorists.
Shared Space. Research shows that the 'shared space' concept reduces accidents. Therefore, all pavements, pedestrian crossings, town centres and cycle paths will be re-designated 'shared spaces'. Pedestrians and cyclists will be expected to show consideration in these areas, 'share the road' and not get in the way of drivers.
Causing Scratched Paintwork by Dangerous Cycling. A new offence will be created, punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.
Cycling. A new offence of 'Cycling' will be created, punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment.