The government is continuing to consider legislation to tackle "dangerous cycling", Justice Minister Edward Argar today told Parliament, as current laws are "old" and "difficult to successfully prosecute offences".
Answering questions in the House of Commons during 'Justice Questions', Argar responded to a query from former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom who asked what work was being done to "make sure that the sentencing for those convicted of dangerous cycling is equalised with the sentencing guidelines for those convicted of dangerous driving?"
To which, Argar confirmed the matter is being considered by the Department for Transport (DfT).
"The safety of our roads is a key objective for the government. Protecting all road users is a priority," he said. "Like all road users, cyclists have a duty to behave in a safe and responsible manner. While laws are in place for cyclists, the current laws are old and it can be difficult to successfully prosecute offences.
"That's why DfT colleagues are considering bringing forward legislation to introduce new offences concerning dangerous cycling to tackle those rare instances where victims have been killed or seriously injured by irresponsible cycling behaviour."
The answer should, of course, not come as a surprise. Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called for a new 'death by dangerous cycling' law in January of last year, an intention again heard during his summer of 2022 backpedalling and U-turns after suggesting cyclists should have licences, number plates, be insured and subject to speed limits.
And while the Department for Transport quickly confirmed to road.cc that the string of ideas was "just proposals" — Shapps backtracking with a "not attracted to bureaucracy" of number plates for cyclists statement — the idea of bringing a 'death by dangerous cycling' law, in line with what motorists are subject to, has stuck around.
In June, it was reported that the DfT had admitted to campaigners that there is a lack of parliamentary time to implement such a law before the next general election, with attention thought to be being turned to a private member's bill.
The campaigners, many of whom are bereaved relatives, want to see the law updated to see stricter punishments for cyclists who kill while riding recklessly. Currently, offenders can be jailed for a maximum of two years under the 1861 wanton or furious driving law.
However, as reported on this website, it was said that any legislation may struggle to be passed before the next election, expected to be held in January 2025. According to Argar's comments today, such legislation is still being considered.
The line come a day after the All Party Parliamentary Group for Walking and Cycling (APPGWC), a cross-party group, unveiled its report making recommendations to improve safety on Britain's roads.
At the report's launch, Chris Boardman spoke for the first time about losing his mum at the hands of a killer driver.
The Road Justice report makes ten recommendations, including compulsory re-testing of drivers after any period of disqualification, ending the speed leniency that allows drivers to exceed the limit by 10 per cent, and making the "exceptional hardship" claim genuinely exceptional.
Sponsored by British Cycling, the governing body has also supported it, calling for an end to "hazardous leniency" in sentencing of drivers who kill or injure cyclists.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.