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Matt Briggs has also asked retailers to stop advertising bikes with no brakes

The widower of a woman killed by a cyclist on a fixed wheel track bike has called on courier firms to check all their employees and ensure their bikes are road legal.

Kim Briggs, 44, was killed by former courier Charlie Alliston, 20, last year, when she stepped into the road in front of him.

He had been riding a fixedwheel track cycle which did not have a front brake and so was illegal to use on the road.

He was jailed last week for causing bodily harm through wanton and furious driving but acquitted of manslaughter in relation to the death of Mrs Briggs, who died from head injuries sustained when the pair collided on London’s Old Street in February 2016.

Kim’s widower Matt Briggs wants companies to ensure that their staff use bikes that have front brakes on the handlebars and to issue spot checks to make sure they comply.

Mr Briggs has secured a government review into dangerous cycling with a view to creating a new offence comparable to death by dangerous driving.

He told the Express: “There are two types of fixed-brake bikes or ‘fixies’. There are those that have drill holes so front brakes can be attached and those that are Velodrome-style and don’t.

“The bike that hit Kim was one of the latter and they should simply not be on the road. It’s illegal.

“With the former, a lot of cyclists don’t bother to fit the front brakes so they can get about faster.

“When I come into central London for meetings 90 per cent of the people I see doing this are couriers. That’s why I’d like to sit down with the big courier firms and discuss ways of improving safety and ensuring the cyclists they use have road-legal bikes.

“Ideally, I’d like to see them not employ any rider who uses a bike without front brakes and to issue random spot checks at regular intervals to make sure those that do have brakes on their handlebars don’t just remove them when they think they’re in the clear.”

He also wants retailers like Evans Cycles and State Bicycle Co. to stop using images of bikes without front rakes in their advertising.

He said: “The police have a lot on their hands so I didn’t want to trouble them. I went to the source instead, the retailers.

“They’ve taken my points on board as ‘fixie’ bikes that are sold with front brakes are now shown in photos with the brakes attached. I’m just trying to find a way that’s better and safer for everyone.”

Alliston admitted in court during the trial that the bike, which he had bought second-hand the previous month, had not been fitted with a front brake to make it legal for use on the road and claimed he was unaware that it was required by law.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

68 comments

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Jharrison5 [142 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

We'll have to go abroad to buy track bikes? Or the police could apply the law on brakes that already exists?

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Velovoyeur [58 posts] 4 months ago
22 likes

Mr Briggs grief is entirely understandable and something that many of us will fortunately never encounter. However, his new campaigning stance against cyclists is already starting to appear like persecution of all cyclists for the action of one. 

Under BS6102 and the equivalent EU regulation all bicycles should have separate independent brakes on each wheel at the point of sale. If the customer chooses to remove those brakes there is nothing the retailer can do. If the bicycle is made for use on a velodrome, then it will be sold as not for road use and, again, there is nothing the retailer can do once the customer has left the store or recieved the goods if purchased online. Most cycle retailers are aware of this legislation and make sure they sell compliant bicycles. What the purchaser does afterwards is difficult to control. It is not the retailers responsibility. 

Getting the cycle industry to do the work of police officers is not the way forward. Better police funding from central government might be better but in the current climate that is highly unlikely.

 

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Yorkshire wallet [1691 posts] 4 months ago
19 likes

It's all very campaigning to say that bike shouldn't have been on the road, when neither should his wife.

He seems to be missing the point that no matter what vehicle hit her, it could have been avoided by her stepping onto the road without looking.

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asdfqwerty [38 posts] 4 months ago
18 likes

I've run out of sympathy for this guy.

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rkemb [57 posts] 4 months ago
10 likes
Quote:

a lot of cyclists don’t bother to fit the front brakes so they can get about faster

This initially sounds like a vaguely plausible thing to say, but is nonsense. Unless your brakes are badly adjusted, their presence or absence makes no different to how fast you can cycle and, in fact, having an effective braking system allows you to enter corners faster, thus allowing greater speed overall.

"A lot of cyclists don't understand physics and think it's cool not to have a front brake", I'll accept. But thinking it makes you go faster is not even close.

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wycombewheeler [1257 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I don't know people spend a lot of money making their bikes lighter, removing the brakes altogether can save 200g for zero cost.

but otherwise agree.

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Awavey [367 posts] 4 months ago
11 likes

Alliston bought his bike 2nd hand didn't he ? not via a retailer, so what does this solve exactly chasing retailers as already pointed out conform to the existing sales laws.

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Johnnystorm [104 posts] 4 months ago
17 likes

Next stop carphone warehouse asking them to make sure nobody looks at their products whike crossing the road.

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don simon [1762 posts] 4 months ago
12 likes

I wonder if Mrs Briggs would be happy that her husband is using her unfortunate demise to emtionally blackmail the rest of us.

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Gus T [324 posts] 4 months ago
13 likes

This is turning into a vendetta by Matt Briggs, I'm sorry for his loss but his late wife did contribute to her own demise, he needs to admit this before he can obtain closure on his bereavement and should seek professional help before this takes over his life.

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Grahamd [862 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

I think British Cycling et all have been too quiet on this matter and are doing the cycling community a disservice. The sceptic in me wonders if this is due to BC expecting an uplift in membership for their insurance cover.

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zanf [970 posts] 4 months ago
9 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

It's all very campaigning to say that bike shouldn't have been on the road, when neither should his wife. He seems to be missing the point that no matter what vehicle hit her, it could have been avoided by her stepping onto the road without looking.

Tell him that on Twitter and he immediately blocks you. He really isnt interested in hearing from anyone that doesnt fully agree with his myopic stance.

His campaign reminds me of that of Leah Betts parents crusade against ecstasy/MDMA. 

Despite her dying from over consuming water (because she freaked and didnt want her parents to see her 'rushing' at her 18th birthday party), her parents went on a misguided crusade to enforce a prohibition, even though they are proven not to work, and got all manner of government people on board. The result: kids still die from dodgy pills whereas the Netherlands have been running testing stations inside clubs so at least people know what theyre taking.

Again, the Netherlanders lead the way while the UK rolls out the grieving family to beat others over the head with.

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Housecathst [628 posts] 4 months ago
15 likes

Im really bored of this chap now.

I bet the family of Jessica Weir would love weeks of front page headlines in the hope of stopping motorists driving down pavements and killed children. But seeing as it just one of thousands of death at the hands of motorists they only get a story in the local paper if there lucky.

 

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StraelGuy [1135 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes
Housecathst wrote:

Im really bored of this chap now.

 

Me too.

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Housecathst [628 posts] 4 months ago
16 likes

What this kid did was really stupid, and he’s now paying the price for it, an 18 month prison sentence and mass vilification in the alt right gutter press. His sentence is inline with top 15% of motorists convicted of death my careless driving.

Mr Briggs you’ve got your justice which is fair more than a lot of people who are killed at the hands of motorists. Not having a front brake is no more illegal or stupid than opening a car door with out looking but when was the last time a driver was given an custodial sentence for killed a cyclist with there car door. 

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FluffyKittenofT... [1972 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
ooldbaker wrote:

I've heard Mr Briggs give many interviews. Never has he even suggested that he has anything against legal cyclists.

He says, and I fully believe him, that he regularly cycles with his children. 

He is not drawn on even commenting on Charlie Alliston let alone criticising other cyclists at all.

He merely wants steps taken to get illegal bikes off the road.

Plenty of people are using this case to vent their fellings about bikes but I am sure he is not one of them.

There have, after all, been numerous cases of families who have been bereaved as a result of motorist actions, campaigning for various changes or reforms in road laws. E.g. changing when driving bans start.

You can't really blame any of them for the very selective way the media choose who to give attention to.

I don't see a problem in the police doing a bit more to actually enforce the existing law regarding bicycle front brakes. It might save some future Aliston from their own mistakes, for one thing. Though the police seem to believe they lack the resources to do anything much about road policing.

I am, in the absence of stats to show otherwise, a bit doubtful as to how common this is, or how far this is a problem specific to cycle couriers.

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ooldbaker [127 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

I've heard Mr Briggs give many interviews. Never has he even suggested that he has anything against legal cyclists.

He says, and I fully believe him, that he regularly cycles with his children. 

He is not drawn on even commenting on Charlie Alliston let alone criticising other cyclists at all.

He merely wants steps taken to get illegal bikes off the road.

Plenty of people are using this case to vent their feelings about bikes but I am sure he is not one of them.

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ConcordeCX [627 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes

He seems to be saying that people who employ cyclists (presumably even freelance ones working under disguised employment so that the employers can evade their other responsibilities) should take responsibility for the condition of their bikes, just as road hauliers should take responsibility for the condition of their drivers' trucks.

Seems reasonable to me, an idea I'm very much for, along with other ideas for making employers take their responsibilities seriously and not dodge them with legalistic tricks.

 Where does the money for enforcing this come from? Is someone going to pluck it this fine autumn day from the magic money tree that should be in fruit by now, or is it going to come from the budget for checking that lorries are safe?

If the latter, who is going to explain to the families of the people killed by illegal lorries that the police were busy checking bike brakes rather than lorry brakes?

He's not saying that track bikes shouldn't be sold, he's saying they shouldn't use them in advertising - presumably where they're shown being used illegally, rather than in say a track racing magazine.

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burtthebike [1374 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes
Grahamd wrote:

I think British Cycling et all have been too quiet on this matter and are doing the cycling community a disservice. The sceptic in me wonders if this is due to BC expecting an uplift in membership for their insurance cover.

The cycling organisations can't win on this one.  If they point out that he's being stupid, they will be criticised for failing to understand the grief-stricken widower.  Pointing out the facts will just be ignored by the media and saying that she contributed to the collision will enrage them.  They can't even point out that motor vehicles pose a thousand times the risk on pedestrians, because it will be seen as trying to distract from the killer cyclists hysteria.  They don't have much option other than to keep quiet.

Next week it'll be something else.

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burtthebike [1374 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes
ooldbaker wrote:

I've heard Mr Briggs give many interviews. Never has he even suggested that he has anything against legal cyclists.

He says, and I fully believe him, that he regularly cycles with his children. 

He is not drawn on even commenting on Charlie Alliston let alone criticising other cyclists at all.

He merely wants steps taken to get illegal bikes off the road.

Plenty of people are using this case to vent their feelings about bikes but I am sure he is not one of them.

He may well see it that way, but given the relative risk posed by a fixie without a front brake compared to any motor vehicle, his zeal is misplaced.  If he was really interested in preventing pedestrians dying, he'd be campaigning about motors, not cyclists. 

We all understand his grief and pain, but he needs to understand that his campaign is misplaced and is just making things more dangerous for the other vulnerable road users, cyclists, which I hope is not his intention; it is however, the effect.

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franta [7 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I can only immagine how we all would be equally appalled if it had been a car without front brakes that killed a wandering cyclist. 

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ooldbaker [127 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes

We all understand his grief and pain, but he needs to understand that his campaign is misplaced and is just making things more dangerous for the other vulnerable road users, cyclists, which I hope is not his intention; it is however, the effect.

Why would someone who has just suffered a tragedy due to a bike, however much a freak accident this was, want to campaign about something else even if related

Surely it is up to the politicians to decide where priorities lie and in that I would agree that this is next to insignificant. Blame them for jumping on the bandwagon not him for putting it there.

 If he was really interested in preventing pedestrians dying, he'd be campaigning about motors, not cyclists. 

True and if you were interested in saving lives you would ignore road safety and campaign for a cure for heart disease and cancer. Just because there are bigger issues does not mean there is not something to gain in his campaign.

 

 

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Housecathst [628 posts] 4 months ago
8 likes
franta wrote:

I can only immagine how we all would be equally appalled if it had been a car without front brakes that killed a wandering cyclist. 

How about if it was a car that was traveling in excess of the speed limit. just as illegal as a bike without a front brake and effects the brake distance in the same way.

I wonder how many cyclists have been killed by motorists breaking the speed limit, I bet it more than one, and I bet it wasnt front page news in daily mail for weeks.  

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FluffyKittenofT... [1972 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes
Housecathst wrote:
franta wrote:

I can only immagine how we all would be equally appalled if it had been a car without front brakes that killed a wandering cyclist. 

How about if it was a car that was traveling in excess of the speed limit. just as illegal as a bike without a front brake and effects the brake distance in the same way.

I wonder how many cyclists have been killed by motorists breaking the speed limit, I bet it more than one, and I bet it wasnt front page news in daily mail for weeks.  

Here's one

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/15319412.No_jail_for_cab_driver_who_kn...

And, to be fair to the Mail, and ironically enough, the above and the Daily Mail seem to be the only places the case was reported at all!

Another

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/engineering-student-who-killed-man...

No jail time served in either case of course.

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Housecathst [628 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

No jail time, there’s a suprise.

You’ve done well to find cases which have been reported by national press rather than just the local papers. I was over the view than generally a motorists need to kill multiple people to make them nastional press, like those lorry drivers who managed to conspire to kill 8 people in one go.

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franta [7 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Housecathst wrote:
franta wrote:

I can only immagine how we all would be equally appalled if it had been a car without front brakes that killed a wandering cyclist. 

How about if it was a car that was traveling in excess of the speed limit. just as illegal as a bike without a front brake and effects the brake distance in the same way.

I wonder how many cyclists have been killed by motorists breaking the speed limit, I bet it more than one, and I bet it wasnt front page news in daily mail for weeks.  

There already have been plenty of campaigns reminding motorists to respect speed limits. Immagine there was a movement amongst mototrists to drive unroadworthy cars because that is how they like it. Would you be OK with a campaign to prevent that ?

 

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Housecathst [628 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes
franta wrote:
Housecathst wrote:
franta wrote:

I can only immagine how we all would be equally appalled if it had been a car without front brakes that killed a wandering cyclist. 

How about if it was a car that was traveling in excess of the speed limit. just as illegal as a bike without a front brake and effects the brake distance in the same way.

I wonder how many cyclists have been killed by motorists breaking the speed limit, I bet it more than one, and I bet it wasnt front page news in daily mail for weeks.  

There already have been plenty of campaigns reminding motorists to respect speed limits. Immagine there was a movement amongst mototrists to drive unroadworthy cars because that is how they like it. Would you be OK with a campaign to prevent that ?

 

 

and how successful have they been ? 

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-05-10/over-half-of-uk-drivers-admit-to-brea...

There already a movement of motorists driving unroadworthy vehicles. I don’t see any campaign which is getting as much news as Mr Briggs.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-3275472/Some-1-2-million...

do you think there are 1.2 million brakeless fixies on the road ? 

 

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wellsprop [718 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

I'm bored of this.

Next story please.

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spen [208 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Someone just posted a reply on the express site pointing out that the bike cited as being sold by Evans without brakes is explicitly listed as being for use on a velodrome only!

 

You couldn't make it up

 

Edit - it's disappeared!

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FluffyKittenofT... [1972 posts] 4 months ago
9 likes
franta wrote:

<

There already have been plenty of campaigns reminding motorists to respect speed limits.

 

Don't be ridiculous. Have you actually _seen_ any roads?

There's no enforcement of speed limits - ergo nobody pays much attention to them. Just yesterday I stopped to watch a 'check your speed' readout sign on a road with a 20mph limit, for a few minutes during the morning. The lowest speed displayed was 27mph, the highest was 37. To be fair, the sign did make a frowny face at all the speeders though (that is, at every single vehicle that went past). The frowning didn't seem to be having much effect.

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