Enough is enough. It’s time the government made the justice system fairer for cyclists who are hurt or seriously injured on our roads.

Urgent action is needed to support bike riders, to give us the confidence that we are being supported and protected by the law.

This week we are joining forces with British Cycling and calling for talks with Ken Clarke at the Ministry of Justice, Theresa May at the Home Office and Justine Greening at the Department for Transport to review the system that governs how incidents involving cyclists are investigated and prosecuted.

The light sentences often given out when bike riders are hurt or killed is undermining the current system. “A culture of mutual respect on the roads is in everyone’s interest,” says BC’s policy and legal affairs director, Martin Gibbs.

“An essential ingredient of that culture is a process to ensure that when things go tragically wrong and people have behaved irresponsibly they are dealt with in a manner that is right and fair to all those involved.”

What’s needed is a review of how the police, coroners and CPS investigate and prosecute. Sentencing guidelines need to adequately reflect the consequences of the offence. Let’s see an examination of the offences available to the CPS, plus a review of their guidelines and priorities.

We want safer roads. We want them now.

Robert Garbutt

Editor, Cycling Weekly

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British Cycling and Cycling Weekly call on government for make justice system fairer for road users

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  • Jane Jefferies

    As Rob’s wife,I support these viewpoints wholeheartedly. The use of the word ‘victim’ is a strange one for those faced with this type of loss. The biggest problem that I have had to deal with in this whole process is how the CPS etc take the remorse of the driver into account. As the supposed victim I was given no opportunity to witness or judge the remorse of Rob’s killer. As far as I know there is no expert witness to judge the remorse of the driver. Thus the judgement is made by somebody who may be a driver considering how they themselves would feel in a similar circumstance. I am a driver and there are teenage friends and family who drive. This part of the law causes the problem. We feel a bit sorry for Lee Cahill because under similar circumstances we would maybe expect the same treatment.
    I have revised my opinion about what needs to be done. Motorised vehicles and cyclists need to be separated on the roads. I don’t necessarily think sentencing will solve the problem of how dangerous it is to cycle alongside bigger vehicles that can travel in excess of 30mph. There are just too many of them now and the training and monitoring of new drivers, particularly young teenage boys is inadequate.
    Lee Cahill should not have been allowed to stay on the road when he had already shown a disregard for the law within 3 months of taking his driving test. Possibly remorse in his case amounts to feeling for himself. He has not been under any obligation to apologise to me or my family for his reckless actions.
    Meanwhile the pain of my loss is sheer hell.

  • arthur franks

    Why is it always reported that the driver is uninjured-of course he is he is in metal box! What happened to the lorry driver that killed a cyclist at Blyth in Notts two months back? answers please.

  • Graham

    Under common law we all have a duty of care to others. On the road the motorists has a greater duty than the cyclist, as the driver is in charge of heavy object that can easily cause death. Therefore, They carry a greater duty of care than cyclists. It should be a no-brainer that the penalties for abusing/neglecting that duty should be sufficient to focus the mind. After all that is why the offence of corporate manslaughter was created – to ensure that corporate bodies did not neglect their duty.

  • Gerrish Gray

    Bravo! Following the lead of “Sarah’s Law” let’s call this campaign “Rob’s Law”!

  • Simon

    A dead victim is not a very good witness. No one has mentioned revenge. Justice must be done and seen to be done.

  • Dan

    100% support for this, of course. But please avoid the emotive and frankly wrong use of the word justice, to refer to the punishment of motoring offenders in some way offerng recompense to their victims. In the UK, justice is administered by the courts, to deter offenders and to try to reform them. A victim is a witness, and not someone for whom revenge is delivered.

    If you are approaching the Home Office and the Department of Justice, it helps if you understand the law.

    And the reason for changing or enforcing the law is to prevent death and injury to cyclists, not to get revenge on motorists.

  • Simon

    The problem is that police, coroners, CPS, magistrates and jury members are invariably drivers but rarely cyclists.In most cases they sympathise with the driver because they know that they could have committed the same offence. The law was changed because juries simply refused to convict drivers for manslaughter. The only effective deterrent is a law of strict liability. This has the effect of concentrating the minds of drivers and removing legal bias with extremely beneficial results.