Cycling UK has offered its assistance with any possible private prosecution that the cyclist knocked from his bike by the car door of Chris Grayling wishes to bring against the Transport Secretary.
The organisation, which used to be called the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC), pointed out that “car dooring” is a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Act, and it would offer the cyclist, Jaiqi Liu, legal assistance through its Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF).
“Mr Grayling as a former Justice, and the current Transport, Secretary should know it’s a criminal offence to open any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger anyone.
“Currently it’s treated as a minor offence with a maximum £1000 fine, despite the fact that people have been killed and seriously injured by car dooring.”
“Cycling UK is keen to speak to Mr Liu to see if our Cyclists’ Defence Fund is able to provide legal assistance.
“There are questions about why Mr Grayling was not prosecuted for what appears to be an offence, and CDF has in the past been prepared to commence private prosecutions on behalf of injured cyclists.”
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The incident, which took place in October, emerged in the media on Thursday only a few days after Grayling had bemoaned cycling infrastructure as causing “too much of a problem for other road users”.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns Officer, said that he hoped the incident will make Grayling reconsider his attitude towards cycling infrastructure.
“Grayling publicly told the Evening Standard that he didn’t think ‘all the cycle lanes in London have been designed as well as they should have been’.
“This is a problem he can fix, and which Cycling UK has repeatedly asked him and the Department for Transport to do.
“It is within the DfT’s gift to devise and establish national design standards for cycle provision so that the risk of similar incidents to what happened between him and Mr Liu are minimised by better infrastructure.
“This incident should bring home to the Transport Secretary that his department needs to treat cycling seriously and introduce national design standards.”