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Number of pedestrians killed or maimed by cyclists doubles in a decade

But given that cars and trucks cause 99% of road deaths - is the justice system working?

The number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured by cyclists in Britain has doubled in a decade, according to new analysis.

The Daily Telegraph looked at government data and concluded that in 2016, “three pedestrians died in such incidents across Great Britain while a further 108 sustained serious injury.”

This compares with “50 pedestrians who were killed or seriously injured a decade earlier in 2006.”

Importantly, the newspaper notes that its data “does not apportion blame for the accidents in question”.

The figures follow analysis by the Daily Mail which we recently reported on, which was based on analysis of Department for Transport (DfT) road casualty statistics by data analysis company Mapmechanics. The piece started by saying, “The number of accidents between cyclists and pedestrians has soared by almost 50 per cent in seven years.

"One crash on pavements or roads now takes place every day as the number of cyclists increases. The total number of accidents rose to 408 in 2015, according to official figures, a significant jump from the 274 in 2009."

At the time, we took a look at the numbers from the DfT’s Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Report for 2015 to put them into context.

In that year, of 406 collisions in which a cyclist and someone on foot was involved – slightly lower than the Mail’s 408, possibly due to subsequent database updates – two pedestrians were killed and 100 seriously injured. The other 304 sustained slight injuries.

There were more incidents involving most other types of vehicle – 16,415 involving cars, for example, leaving 3,433 pedestrians seriously injured and 212 dead.

And even when the total number of casualties was lower, the outcome could be significantly different. There were 381 pedestrian casualties involving a heavy goods vehicle, with 105 seriously injured – but 44 people lost their lives.

Commenting on the Telegraph’s findings Matt Briggs, whose wife Kim was killed by a cyclist on an illegal bike last year: "These figures reinforce the need for comprehensive and coherent laws relating to cyclists in line with other road users.

“At the moment, there is simply no effective, relevant legal remedy for anyone killed or seriously injured as a result of criminal wrongdoing by a cyclist. This represents a huge gap in UK law."

But Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said: "The rise in the numbers of pedestrians killed or injured by cyclists is concerning but the fact remains that vehicles are responsible for 99 per cent of road user fatalities.

“Our justice system has to be far better equipped to deal appropriately with dangerous behaviour from all road users."

A Government spokesperson said: “We already have strict laws that ensure that drivers who put people’s lives at risk are punished.

“Given recent cases, it is only right for us to look at whether dangerous cyclists should face the same consequences and that is why we are carrying out a review to improve all elements of cycle safety, including looking at the case for a new offence, equivalent to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving.”

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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