Judges need to be "more imaginative" in prosecuting drivers...

The cycling barrister Martin Porter who blogs under the name the Cycling Silk has reiterated his call for a review of sentencing procedures for motorists convicted of killing or seriously injuring cyclists.

He told the Evening Standard newspaper: "The excuses of not seeing cyclists seem to be too readily accepted by the police and the CPS so there isn't a prosecution when there should be.

“Judges should be handing down stiffer sentences and prosecutors should be more ambitious in the choice of charges and the decision to prosecute. It's up to a judge and a jury to accept whether an excuse is good enough."

His words come in the wake of the death of former heavyweight boxing champion Gary Mason, who died last week following a collision with a van and also as an inquest into the death of Spanish-born, London-based academic and author David Vilaseca-Perez is opened.

Mr Vilaseca-Perez died under the wheels of a left-turning lorry that apparently did not see him as he rode near Tower Bridge just 100 yards from his home.

The lorry driver is not facing any criminal charges whereas the driver involved in the death of Gary Mason has been charged with offence of causing death by careless driving, a lesser charge than that of causing death by dangerous driving.

Debra Rolfe, CTC's campaign co-ordinator, told the Standard: "There are a lot of areas where the law does let down cyclists - whether at the level of the police failing to collect enough evidence to the CPS not prosecuting or the courts often convicting to a lesser offence. This needs to change."


pedalingparamedic [94 posts] 6 years ago

Chapeau Mr Porter.

Let's hope the people making the decisions take notice.

OldRidgeback [2826 posts] 6 years ago

Good sense, but we'll have to see whether the suggestions are followed. At present there seems to be an assumption of partial liability against cyclists merely for having the temerity to ride a bicycle on the road.

kobacom [100 posts] 6 years ago

Just a little tale of how the police see cyclists. A few week ago there was a comming together of a car and a cyclist right outside where I work. Because it was raining one of the officers brought the driver into the foyer of the building where I work to take a statement. The driver was making the usual excuses, "sorry gov I didn't see him", I wasn't going that fast". I then heard the officer say, "well we all know what cyclists say, it wasn't their fault it was yours, don't worry". I have no idea who was at fault in this particular case but I'm willing to bet that the attitude of the officer is not that unusual.

londonplayer [621 posts] 6 years ago

The only way I can see this position changing is if an MP, a Cabinet Minister or a senior police officer is killed on the road. Until then, no politician will give a damn.

We also need the strict liability rule of presuming the driver was at fault unless he/she can show 100% that they were not to blame for the accident, as in Denmark.