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.