Recent press reports confirm a public consultation has begun on government proposals to create new offences of causing death or serious injury by dangerous cycling.
The aim is to achieve consistency between cyclists and drivers, the current legislation means those convicted of causing death or serious injury by dangerous driving receive much more severe penalties than those who cause the same outcome whilst cycling.
The lack of consistency in the law was highlighted last year when a London cyclist who caused the death of a pedestrian was sentenced to a mere 18 months imprisonment for causing bodily harm by 'wanton or furious driving', an offence which carries a maximum of 2 years imprisonment.
For a person to be convicted of causing bodily harm by 'wanton or furious driving' in accordance with section 35 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, it must be shown that the driver or cyclist had a 'subjective recklessness so far as the foreseeability of causing injury is concerned'. Alternatively, a cyclist may be charged with dangerous or careless cycling under the Road Traffic Act 1988, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of up to £2,500.
By comparison, the maximum penalty under the same act for causing death by dangerous driving of a 'mechanically propelled' vehicle is 14 years imprisonment.
Commenting on the proposals, Stephen Green, Partner and Head of Personal Injury at Fosters Solicitors LLP said "This news will be welcomed by anyone who has been injured by the reckless or dangerous conduct of the few cyclists who do not use the roads safely".
If you have been injured by a cyclist, or any other road user and wish to pursue a claim, then please contact one of our specialist Personal Injury solicitors on 0800 731 8539, or email us, for a free no obligation chat.