More than 900 cyclists in London last year were injured in hit and run incidents last year according to figures obtained by a London Assembly Member who warns that instances of drivers failing to stop after crashes have reached epidemic proportions.
The figures, which were obtained by the Green Party’s Sian Berry, showed that 80 cyclists were seriously injured and a further 831 sustained slight injuries as a result of hit and run incidents last year.
The true figure is likely to be much higher, however, since only incidents reported to the Metropolitan Police or City of London Police are included.
According to Transport for London figures, there were 4,744 cyclist casualties reported to the police in 2015, of which 387 were serious, including nine fatalities.
The data obtained by Ms Berry therefore reveal that nearly one in five of total casualties, and a similar proportion where a rider was seriously injured, resulted from a hit and run.
Looking at all road casualties in the capital – 30,182 in 2015 – across all road users, around one in six, or 4,945 were the result of a failure to stop incident, including 10 of the 65 pedestrian fatalities during the year.
However, Ms Berry, the Green Party’s candidate in May’s London Mayoral Election, says that while the number of hit and run incidents in which someone is hurt has risen year on year since 2009, police cannot quantify how many result in a prosecution.
The figures were provided in response to a question posed by Ms Berry to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said in response: "Like you I am passionate about road safety and have campaigned on this issue for many years."
But he added that “due to limitations within the current systems utilised by the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service], it is not possible to report specifically the number of these cases that were subject to prosecution action.”
Ms Berry said: “With drivers now failing to stop after a shocking one in five crashes, this is a real epidemic that needs real action from the police to tackle it.
“Londoners are being killed and injured and yet we don’t even know whether hit and run drivers are being brought to justice.
“Hit and runs are associated with other illegal activities such as drunk driving, speeding, being disqualified or simply having no insurance.
“The Mayor needs to ensure that the police enforce the rules of the road and people need to believe that if they run away from a crash they will face consequences.”
She added: “I am very disappointed that the Metropolitan Police Service is still not able to provide data on the rate of prosecution of hit and run drivers.
“The Mayor has admitted current systems aren’t adequate to track prosecutions and with a new Police and Crime Plan being drafted, replacing unfit systems must be a priority.
“We need to know how effective the police currently are in dealing with these crimes, and to be able to prioritise work to tackle it.”
Yesterday, a cyclist posted a video to Twitter that showed him crash into a car as the driver turned right across his path.
The rider shared the footage, apparently shot n London, in the hope that the vehicle might be identified so the incident could be reported to the police – meaning for now, the incident will not be recorded in official figures.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.