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Cyclists to face ‘dangerous riding’ penalties like those for dangerous driving motorists

New laws will target dangerous cyclists who seriously injure or kill, Government says

Cyclists and pedestrians

The UK Government will introduce new laws targeting the careless or reckless cyclists who endanger others, making them liable to the same penalties as drivers who kill or maim.

An amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill proposed by Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP introduces a new offence of ‘causing death by dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling, and causing serious injury by careless or inconsiderate cycling’. The measure has gained the support of ministers, and the government will put the amendment into the Criminal Justice Bill as it enters the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

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“Most cyclists, like most drivers, are responsible and considerate. But it’s only right that the tiny minority who recklessly disregard others face the full weight of the law for doing so,” says transport secretary Mark Harper.

“Just like car drivers who flout the law, we are backing this legislation introducing new offences around dangerous cycling. These new measures will help protect law-abiding cyclists, pedestrians and other road users, whilst ensuring justice is done.”

If and when the law is passed, cyclists will face the threat of similar penalties to drivers. Following a review of guidelines by the sentencing council in 2023, that could mean prison terms up to and including life imprisonment. Drivers convicted of causing death or serious injury through dangerous driving also face a five-year mandatory driving ban, and compulsory extended re-tests.

The most up-to–date statistics reveal that nearly 100 cyclists were killed on the roads in 2022, but there were no deaths recorded of cyclists hitting pedestrians. Pro-cycling lobby group Cycling UK points out that cycles account for 2 per cent of pedestrian casualties reported by police, and that 98 per cent are hit by car drivers.

What do you think of these new cycling laws? Tell us in the comments section below...

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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