Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More on the Dangerous and Reckless Cycling (Offences) Bill

CTC have devoted a bit more time and resources into this one than I have, and have pointed out that

"During the last decade, judges issued prison sentences to each of the cyclists who killed pedestrians"

which is a little ambiguous, but I'll assume this means pedestrian deaths where a cyclist was at fault.

In any case, this record of custodial sentencing compares well with the leniency often shown to drivers of motor vehicles, and rather reinforces my assertion that there's one law for drivers and another for cyclists, even with the law apparently drafted in the favour of the reckless cyclist. It's clearly time for Andrea Leadsom to be as good as her word and "bring equal protection and the potential for equal punishment to all road users".


  1. I think it may be a reference to the 70 deaths of pedestrians caused by vehicles on footways in the last decade. The 2 cyclists were both imprisoned. I wonder how many of the 68 motorists who mounted a footway and killed a pedestrian were jailed?

    I looked for a copy of her bill on the Parliament website. So far nothing, but I see it gets its second reading in November.

  2. I'm struggling to find anything positive about this. It is a law that looks to be imposed by the majority (drivers) upon a minority to solve a non-problem.

    It's about the perceived danger from cyclists exemplified by an extremely rare and tragic event. Such events cause feeding frenzies among the anti-cyclist media that last for weeks.
    Unsurprisingly, the everyday massacre of cyclists and pedestrians by motorists goes virtually unreported and ignored, often going no further than the local papers.

    The Public are 'know' that cyclists are the bogeymen because they remember seeing something about it in the press, and those that I have communicated with, just will not listen. I don't know how many times I've heard 'I was nearly killed', which clearly doesn't mean what they claim, and in reality seems to mean they were surprised by a cyclist. They 'know' that cyclists are dangerous and that cars are not. Mere physics and statistics are disregarded.

    This Law will tilt an already uneven playing-field even further against cyclists, while doing nothing about the scandalous inability (or unwillingness=downright refusal) of the Police, the CPS and the Legal system to detect and adequately punish killers who use motor-vehicles.

    If Andrea Leadsom were true to her word, she would be campaigning for mandatory minimum standards of investigation; much stricter and prescriptive sentencing guidelines; and careful auditing of sentences and penalties to counter any systemic bias.

    The victims of dangerous drivers are every bit as harrowing as the account she gave in the House of Commons. Despite being far more numerous, they and their grieving friends and relatives are being ignored, because motorist MPs will not face-up to their responsibilities.