Killer Cyclist Penalty Review Inspired By Tragic Mum’s Death

Government considers tougher penalties for reckless, killer, cyclists following a high profile death in London

Wife killed by cyclist on illegal bike

The Government might introduce new offences similar to causing death by dangerous/careless driving for irresponsible, reckless, and selfish cyclists following a high profile tragedy, it confirmed. In February 2016, Kim Briggs, 44, was hit by a bike in London. The wife and mother died a few days later of head injuries.

Charlie Alliston, now 20, was riding a lightweight track bike without a front brake - pictured below. It is illegal to use such a machine on the road. He was also travelling at speed – The Old Bailey heard - shouting at pedestrians and swearing. Hours later he stated online:

“I refuse to accept any responsibility. It is not my fault people think they are invincible or just have zero respect for cyclists.”

In September 2017, Mr Alliston was cleared of manslaughter but imprisoned for 18 months for causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving. The latter offence was created in 1861 to punish reckless use of (say) a horse carriage. Mrs Briggs’ widow, Matt, therefore argued the law has to evolve to reflect the modern world.

He stated: "This case has clearly and evidently demonstrated there is a gap in law when it comes to death and serious injury by dangerous cycling.” He added the courts: “Rely on manslaughter at one end or a Victorian law that does not even mention causing death at the other. This tells you there is a gap”, Mr Briggs concluded.

Minister discusses punishment for killer cyclists

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We already have strict laws which ensure that drivers who put people’s lives at risk are punished. However, given recent cases it is only right for us to look at whether dangerous cyclists should face the same penalties.”

“Although The United Kingdom has some of the safest roads in the world, we are always looking to make them safer”, Mr Norman stated.

Government review remit

The Government is reviewing bike safety in phases. The first considers the pros and cons of creating a new offence(s). Causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling, for example. It plans to consider “specific issue” that arise from recent collisions, it said. The report is expected in the new year. 

The second phase is a wider consultation that involves safety organisations, cycle organisations and the general public. It considers how to minimise the risk to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Its remit includes optimising the rules of the road, improving traffic signs, public awareness plus key safety concerns.

Unfortunately cyclist have been given the impressions that they are green and are a law unto themselves and can do no wrong. Hence the attitude of this idiot - Biking organisations do nothing to discourage this arrogant attitude. Bikes can be just as lethal as cars and given their design (all the energy in a small part of the impact zone) can place a lot of force on a hit pedestrian. Having said that - think cyclist by right should be able to ride on pavements etc., provided speed is kept down and priority given to pedestrian.

There already exsists a speed limit for powered vehicles on the pavement of 6kph, so why is it not enforced on all vehicles that use the pavement.

I've been cycling on roads for half a century, but definitely agree that ANY cyclist crashing into a person, has to be punished and EDUCATED, (let alone any cyclist actually killing someone!). However, on busy roads, sometimes the only safe option for a cyclist is to use the pavement - as indeed is the common practice in Germany and Holland. This means keeping your speed down and being aware of pedestrians with hands hovering over the brakes ready to stop! Cyclists who injure or kill pedestrians are as guilty as car drivers who do the same. No excuses.

If areas are designated for vehicles and pedestrians then why not bicycles? They are more dangerous on walkways but vulnerable on the carriageway. Asking people to care for one another is not working in the UK.

Requiring a psychological assessment after an incident and a ban on using a vehicle/cycle before passing the test might be an idea.

He should have been jailed for life

things have changed...... 50yrs ago i was done for careless use of a bicycle... i got a licence endorsement and fine because there was no difference what my vehicle was, it was transfered to my driving licence with the comment a vehicle is a vehicle WHATEVER the means of power is.

Get over yourselves... "Killer Cyclists"!

sentence needs to be appealed, he got off far too lightly, we see cyclists on the pavement here in norwich every day with no respect for anyone other than themselves, time to get tough with them

yes i agree a bike is a vehicle, you cannot argue that.

This smells strongly of interference by the funny handshake brigade. He was stupid, he hit her and she died as a result of those injuries - how on Earth can that not be manslaughter? That semi-secret organisation can and does interfere in the police, the Law and the justice process, among other things that were well-known in the past but have faded into the background in recent decades being overshadowed by other issues. A local woman was t-boned by an uninsured youth driving a stolen car at speed through a red light. The young constable dealing was initially full of sympathy and threats of throwing the book at the offender but later declared there would be no action. When the woman protested the officer warned her a green light doesn't mean go it means go if the road is clear and as someone was jumping a red light the road wasn't clear. He told her she was lucky she wasn't being booked for causing the accident... The local force has a long history of such things, due everyone believes to a particularly strong Masonic influence.

Well, let's look at it this way. If a person was standing on a pavement and a cyclist came along, stopped, dismounted and then raised the cycle, swung it round and smashed it into the pedestrians head and body causing wounds that resulted in death, would he not have got life for murder?

There certainly should be an upgrade to the present law. That this man got off so lightly is a gross injustice. How they could not convict him manslaughter I will never understand. He showed no remorse and arrogantly claimed it was the victims fault! The fact that he was riding a bike that was illegal on the public highway seems to have eluded him.

his punishment was greater than that received by most car drivers who kill cyclists, cycling organisations have been campaigning for updates to the law for a long time and have no fundamental objection to cyclists being included in that. They do however object to the law being tightened for cyclists while motorists literally still get away with murder. more t25% of those found guilty over cyclist deaths did not evenreceive driving bans, Of those found guilty, only 44% went to prison and The average jail sentence was less than two years

straw man argument, not comparable

so if someone deliberately steps out in front of a cyclist then the cyclist is entirely responsible but where someone steps out in front of a motor vehicle then the driver is not responsible that's basically your argument since drivers are not held responsible in those circumstances

Bikes can be just as lethal as cars - only in very limited circumstances, generally cars are far more likely to seriously injure or kill someone than cycles, for every mile you walk, you are 60 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by a driver than a cyclist. The calculation is this (Mass X Velocity Squared) over 2. Let's take a 13 odd stone cyclist on commuter bike..That's roughly 100kg of mass. Let's say he/she is going at 22mph (10metres /sec) 100 x 10 squared /2 = 5000 joules of energy impact. let's take a little car weighing 750kg and a passenger (small one) let's call that 800kg. 800 x 10 squared / 2 = 40,000 joules of energy impact. 8 times more impact energy. If the car is doing 44mph you can make that 160,000 joules or 32 times the impact. and that's a small car at the same speed as a cyclist. Make it a range rover with 4 passengers in and you have 500,000 joules or 100 times the impact energy. then a cyclist hitting a pedestrian is soft tissue and bone hitting soft tissue and bone thereby mitigating the force of impact (cos the cyclist gets about half).

Sadly you are missing two important points Cyclist are in a lot more close proximity to pedestrians - death, serious, and minor injury (hardly ever reported) rate are still high per bike mile travelled. You are also forgetting cars have a lot more safety features to drastically reduce injuries at lower speeds, bikes have none. Most pedestrian will survive at 30mph impact from a car. For a bike the impact will be with a small surface area hitting the unfortunate pedestrian rather than a surface designed to cause minimum damage. i.e. Bikes are like a bullet, energy concentrated in a one point impact place, the car energy is spread over a larger area of impact. The comparison needs to be at the 20-30 mph region comparing at 40+ MPH makes little sense when comparing the damage due to each. Cars at 40MPH should not be in environment close to pedestrians (ignoring speeding motorists!). At the end of the day is called using a bike or car sensibly!

No, I didn't even hint at that Spotthelemon! "ANY cyclist crashing into a person, has to be punished and EDUCATED, (let alone any cyclist actually killing someone!)". I didn't mention at all the situation where a car driver kills a cyclist and gets off scot free! That is a separate issue. However, if a cyclist is on the pavement, a pedestrian may not necessarily be expecting to have to watch out for a speeding bicycle, then it is our duty as a responsible cyclist to ensure we are both alert and able to stop in time, should such a situation arise.

Sounds good to me Peter! However, it may pose a problem in measuring a cyclist's speed, as not all cycles have speedometers.