• Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Harsh punishment for cyclists causing death on cards

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has promised to change the law and cyclists who kill people would face life in prison like other road users

Picture for representation only (iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has warned that dangerous cyclists will face the “full weight of the law” and will have to undergo the same punishment as dangerous drivers.

Harper has promised to change the law and cyclists who kill people would face life in prison like other road users.

At present, dangerous cyclists can only be jailed for up to two years, under Victorian laws designed to deal with horses.

He observed that most cyclists are responsible and considerate, but there is a tiny minority that is reckless.

Harper said he will work towards ensuring that the Criminal Justice Bill contains powers to hold irresponsible cyclists to account.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith had tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill in an attempt to change the law so cyclists faced tougher sentences.

Laura Farris, the safeguarding and victims minister, has announced that the Government would back the amendment. In the next few weeks, it will be redrafted and re-introduced in the House of Lords.

While launching his amendment in the House of Commons on Wednesday (15), Sir Iain said the amended law would ensure that cyclists are held accountable for their actions, enhance road safety and provide justice for victims and their families.

He clarified that he was not against cycling, but wanted to ensure this takes place in a safe and reasonable manner.

The former Tory leader pointed out that between 2018 and 2022, almost 2,000 pedestrians collided with a pedal cycle, and in nine clashes the victims lost their lives, while 657 suffered very serious injuries.

He said that of the 331 admitted to hospital in 2022-23 following collisions with a cyclist, six were over 90 and 11 were under the age of four.

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