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Death by dangerous cycling offence

A move to introduce a law of causing death or serious injury by dangerous careless or inconsiderate cycling does not address the greater problem when legal reform is needed say personal injury lawyers who represent British Cycling.

Posted on 17 May 2024

This week the Commons agreed to an amendment in the Criminal Justice Bill, proposed by Sir Iain Duncan Smith, to make it a criminal offence, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, to cause death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling.

Leigh Day head of personal injury, Sally Moore, issued a statement in response to the development.

Sally Moore said:

“1766 people died on the roads on 2022. That amounts to five people a day.  Every death is a personal tragedy and we know from our work acting for bereaved families of cyclists, pedestrians and others that the ripple effects of avoidable death are profound. On top of this around 30,000 people are seriously injured on our roads annually. The figures are staggering and so consistently bad they have lost the ability to shock. Pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable. 

“Virtually all deaths and injuries on our roads are caused by motor vehicles, not bicycles. The newly amended Highway Code reflects the importance of protecting vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians by introducing the concept of the hierarchy of road users.

“The proposal to introduce a law of causing death or serious injury by dangerous careless or inconsiderate cycling does not address the greater problem.  Instead, what is required is a wholesale review of laws governing our roads to make them safer for everyone. 

“Without exception, everyone using our roads needs to obey the Highway Code.  Putting the spotlight on cyclists is a distraction from the much wider issue of doing something meaningful about the shameful statistics of death and injury on UK roads and their huge social and personal cost.  The government’s focus should therefore be on changes targeting the road users who cause the greatest harm.”

Leigh Day is the exclusive provider of legal services to members of British Cycling and the British Triathlon Federation.

The amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill followed campaigning by Sir Iain who said cyclists should be accountable for reckless behaviour.

He told the Commons: “This is not, as is often accused by people who say anything about it, anti-cycling. Quite the opposite, it’s about making sure this takes place in a safe and reasonable manner.”


Sally Moore (1)

Sally Moore

Head of the firm's personal injury department. Consistently ranked as one of the UK's leading serious injury lawyers, specialising in brain, spinal and amputation injury claims

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