Title: Cycle safety review independent legal report

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 20th March 2018
Date published/launched: March 2018

This independent report, written by Barrister Laura Thomas, finds a ‘strong case’ for changing the law to tackle the issue of dangerous and careless cycling that causes injury or death. If introduced, the new law would bring cycling in line with driving offences.

In her conclusion Laura Thomas said: "In my opinion there is a persuasive case for legislative change to tackle the issue of dangerous and careless cycling that causes serious injury or death; in order to bring cycling into line with driving offences.

"The current legal position does not allow for a range of offences or penalties to tackle this issue. The gap between manslaughter and the historic offence of wanton and furious driving is too wide; particularly when, as far back as the 1950s it was recognised that juries are slow to convict in ‘motor manslaughter’ cases, let alone cases involving cyclists.

"The use of a historic offence aimed at carriage driving does not fit with the modern approach to road safety; it is difficult to define, is not objective in scope and does not allow for a transparent and consistent sentencing practice focused on culpability and harm. Moreover, the maximum sentence available does not appropriately reflect the harm in cases involving serious injury or death."

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