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Prosecutions rise for cycling-related offences

Doubling of sentences over the last decade

The rate at which cyclists are being prosecuted for road offences has doubled in the last year.

The news comes at a time when there is a focus on dangerous cycling following the death of Kim Briggs, who was hit by a cyclist on an illegal bike.

An Old Bailey jury cleared the cyclist Charlie Alliston of manslaughter but found him guilty of wanton and furious driving.

According to the Express, last year 847 cyclists were convicted of road offences, a rise of 16 per cent in the past year, and almost double 2007’s figure of 440.

These include careless cycling, ignoring traffic signs, reckless and dangerous cycling, cycling drunk and riding on footpaths.

Over the last year the average penalty  for a cycling offence was a fine of £170.

Ignoring traffic signals was the most frequent offence in 2016 with 412 cases.

There were also 63 convictions for careless cycling and another 26 for reckless and dangerous cycling.

During the past seven years there have been 25 pedestrians killed in accidents with cyclists and another 700 seriously injured.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at charity Cycling UK, said: “It is sometimes wrongly claimed cyclists cannot be held accountable on the roads, but these figures and the recent Alliston case show this is not the case, and that irresponsible behaviour can be, and is punished.” 

As we recently reported, the government is to hold a review into road safety, with a focus on cycling.

The first phase will look at whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for cyclists, before moving on to the question of wider improvements for cycling road safety issues.

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BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
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"The rate at which cyclists are being persecuted" more than other road users would be more accurate.

Enforcing unlawful rules such as seen in city/town centres banning people on bikes which contravenes protected space legislation is there to see.

Operations that last a week to 'crack down' on anti social cycling whilst half a day on close pass operations that end up doing nothing of the sort and focus as much on people on bikes as it does on the intended target.

Sure, some people on bikes ride recklessly but the clear and obvious agenda that is being pushed against a group that comparative to those that kill and maim daily is ridiculously less by a huge factor distorts these figures hugely. And in turn these figures are used against people on bikes and as an anti-cycling tool.

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dodpeters | 6 years ago
2 likes

What have the trends been for prosecutions of motorists over the same time period? Are we being consistently more stringent about road danger, or are we picking on cyclists in order to divert attention away from the activities on the roads that cause the really serious problems?

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CygnusX1 replied to dodpeters | 6 years ago
4 likes
dodpeters wrote:

What have the trends been for prosecutions of motorists over the same time period? Are we being consistently more stringent about road danger, or are we picking on cyclists in order to divert attention away from the activities on the roads that cause the really serious problems?

Guess. Go on, bet you can't.

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CygnusX1 | 6 years ago
4 likes

And while we're at it ...

TheExpress wrote:

Offences committed by cyclists include careless cycling, ignoring traffic signs, reckless and dangerous cycling, cycling drunk and riding on footpaths. 

Offences committed by motorists include careless driving, ignoring traffic signs, reckless and dangerous driving, driving drunk/off their face on drugs, causing death by careless/dangerous driving  and parking on footpaths. 

TheExpress wrote:

The vast majority of those convicted of cycling offences leave court with only a fine.   

The vast majority of those convicted of driving offences leave court with only a fine.   

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davel replied to CygnusX1 | 6 years ago
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CygnusX1 wrote:

And while we're at it ...

TheExpress wrote:

Offences committed by cyclists include careless cycling, ignoring traffic signs, reckless and dangerous cycling, cycling drunk and riding on footpaths. 

Offences committed by motorists include careless driving, ignoring traffic signs, reckless and dangerous driving, driving drunk/off their face on drugs, causing death by careless/dangerous driving  and parking on footpaths. 

TheExpress wrote:

The vast majority of those convicted of cycling offences leave court with only a fine.   

The vast majority of those convicted of driving offences leave court with only a fine.   

Are you sure this is from The Express?

What are they thinking - don't they know Diana is still dead and Maddie still missing?

Avatar
franta | 6 years ago
2 likes

How much has the number of cyclists increased in the same period ?

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Eton Rifle replied to franta | 6 years ago
2 likes
franta wrote:

How much has the number of cyclists increased in the same period ?

According to the DfT, the number of miles cycled is up about 23% compared to 10 years ago. I'm a bit concerned about the sub-heading on this article - "Doubling of sentences over the last decade" - no they haven't, the number of prosecutions has.

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davel replied to Eton Rifle | 6 years ago
6 likes
Eton Rifle wrote:
franta wrote:

How much has the number of cyclists increased in the same period ?

According to the DfT, the number of miles cycled is up about 23% compared to 10 years ago.

Not sure how reliable that figure is.

I know they don't know about the bulk of my miles, which I do wheelieing on the pavement knocking little old ladies into the road on my no-brake Raleigh Bastard.

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CygnusX1 replied to Eton Rifle | 6 years ago
3 likes
Eton Rifle wrote:
franta wrote:

How much has the number of cyclists increased in the same period ?

According to the DfT, the number of miles cycled is up about 23% compared to 10 years ago. I'm a bit concerned about the sub-heading on this article - "Doubling of sentences over the last decade" - no they haven't, the number of prosecutions has.

I'm more concerned about the headline of another article in the Express linked near the top of the one in this story - I won't link to it, but here's the headline:

Cyclists kill or maim two pedestrians every week, according to statistics

So where do they get these statistics from? The article mentions...

The Department of Transport data, which does not state who is at fault in the accidents, shows three pedestrians were killed in crashes with bikes last year and another 112 were seriously injured.

So 3 deaths per year (they also quotes 25 deaths over 7 years)  which we all would agree is 3 too many whoever is at fault, and 112 serious injuries. Okay, granted that averages 2 KSIs per week as a result of a collision involving a cyclist (although SI far more likely than K, and there's no indication of where the fault lies).

The UK definition of Serious Injury: An injury for which a person is detained in hospital as an 'in- patient', injury or any of the following injuries whether or not they are detained in hospital: fractures, concussion, internal injuries, crushings, burns (excluding friction burns), severe cuts, severe general shock requiring medical treatment. 

But the headline says maim  -- this conjures up images of limbs torn off, mangled flesh etc. and indeed the dictionary definition is "wound or injure (a person or animal) so that part of the body is permanently damaged". 

So fractures, concussion, severe cuts and shock - all quite likely injuries resulting from a collision with a bike but usually not permanent damage is now maiming in the eyes of the press.

 

Avatar
Bob's Bikes | 6 years ago
6 likes

In some ways I am glad that the law breakers are getting caught and prosecuted, but rather sadly (and possibly cynically) seem to think that seeing as the figures are not also up for car/van and lorry drivers the focus on cyclists is at the expense of ALL road users.

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