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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.