Cycling UK has launched a campaign today to persuade the government to undertake an urgent review of road traffic laws.
The national cycling charity believes improvements could be made by simplifying and improving the legal definitions of unsafe driving behaviour, increasing the use of driving disqualifications and closing the ‘exceptional hardship’ loophole.
They also believe in increasing the current six-month maximum prison sentence for drivers who fail to stop.
Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns, said: “Every death or serious injury is a tragedy but too often families are also being let down by loopholes and a legal system that victims and bereaved relatives don’t think treats road crime seriously.
“Road crime is real crime, and today we’re calling on the Government to take action and carry out the full review of road traffic offences, as it promised four years ago.”
The campaign is supported by Brake, the road safety charity, and Roadpeace, the national charity for road crash victims.
Earlier this month, the Department for Transport announced it was opening a consultation into new offences of causing death by careless or serious cycling.
It follows the case of cyclist Charlie Alliston who was jailed for 18 months in September 2017 for knocking over and killing 44-year-old Kim Briggs as he cycled through east London on a bike with no front brakes.
Alliston, 20, was cleared of manslaughter but found guilty of causing bodily harm by ‘wanton and furious driving’.
However, Cycling UK believes the government is overlooking the real cause of road danger and should use the opportunity to fulfil its commitment to a wider review, promised in 2014.
Mr Dollimore added: “Since the Government made that promise, it’s estimated that over 1,800 pedestrians have died on Britain’s roads.
“In 2016, the last full year we have full casualty figures for, 445 pedestrians died in collisions with motor vehicles, and three in collisions with cyclists, but the Government plan to review cycling offences and ignore the main cause of road danger.
“This is a serious issue being overlooked by the Government, especially when you consider that in the last ten years 99.4 per cent of all pedestrian deaths involved a motor vehicle.
“It’s time the Government took this problem seriously and ended the injustice suffered by far too many families who are being let down by the system.”
To learn more about the campaign, and how you could get involved, click here.