The UK should introduce a “death by dangerous cycling” law, the transport secretary has said.
Grant Shapps is vowing to close a legal loophole which means cyclists who kill pedestrians can be jailed for just two years.
Under his plans, cyclists who kill other road users will be treated the same as motorists.
Writing in Mail+, Mr Shapps said the law was needed to “impress on cyclists the real damage they can cause when speed is combined with a lack of care”.
He added: “A selfish minority of cyclists seem to believe they are somehow immune to red lights.
“We must crack down on this neglect of road safety. The relatives of the victims have been waiting for this simple measure for a long time.”
Mr Shapps suggested the new law would be added to the transport bill due to be introduced to parliament in the autumn.
It comes four years after the government consulted on proposals for new offenses for causing death or serious injury while cycling.
Cycling rates are ‘rising’ in England
In other developments, new figures show cycling levels in England are on the rise as cash-strapped consumers cut back on driving.
In the five months to the end of July, there was a 47% increase in cycling on weekdays compared to the same period last year, and a 27% increase on weekends.
As fuel prices peaked last month, cycling levels even surpassed the summer of 2020, when quieter roads during the coronavirus pandemic encouraged more Britons to get on their bikes.
Cycling UK is calling on local authorities and employers to do more to help people drive less and cycle more, particularly for short daily journeys.
Road safety remains a concern
Duncan Dollimore, the organisation’s head of campaigns, says many Britons don’t think the country’s roads are safe enough to cycle on.
But given how 71% of journeys made in the UK are less than five miles, increasing cycling could help the environment while also bringing benefits to health, wealth and wellbeing.
Recent research from GoCompare shows that the average Briton will save £106.60 a month by cycling, all while reducing carbon output by 5kg a day.
Actress Scarlett Wilderink says taking up cycling has boosted her bank balance, telling Sky News she saves up to £15 a day by not taking the train.
But some employers who have tried to encourage their staff to bike to work say safety remains a major concern.
Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive of the British Coatings Federation, said: “I put in all the infrastructure, bike racks, showers and everything, but no one was using it. I think it has to do with the fear of feeling incompetent.”
He told Sky News it was important to educate the public about safe cycle routes and get the most out of dedicated cycle lanes.
“Death due to dangerous cycling” law proposes to close legal loophole setting two-year prison term | UK news
Source “Death due to dangerous cycling” law proposes to close legal loophole setting two-year prison term | UK news