Urge your MP to attend Commons debate on victims of crime, says British Cycling

Adjournment debate on October 17 likely to address issues raised in governing body's call for sentencing review

by Simon_MacMichael   October 6, 2012  

Palace Of Westminster At Night © Andrew Dunn.jpg

British Cycling is urging cyclists to write to their MPs to ask them to attend a House of Commons adjournment debate on 17 October regarding the treatment of victims by the criminal justice system.

The governing body launched a campaign in May for a review of sentencing following a string of criminal cases in which motorists convicted of killing cyclists received sentences that were widely perceived as too lenient.

That led to an Early Day Motion being tabled in July which has so far received the support of 56 MPs from across the political spectrum after lobbying from British Cycling members, with the organisation saying that more MPs are expected to give their backing once Parliament returns from recess on 14 October.

The debate on 17 October has been tabled by Tony Lloyd, the Labour MP for Manchester Central. The subject is ‘Victims and the Criminal Justice System.’

Scheduled to start at 2.30pm and to last for 90 minutes, it takes place at Westminster Hall within the Palace of Westminster – the venue of a similar debate on cycle safety earlier this year – and is open to the public, although early arrival is essential to get through security checks.

British Cycling’s campaign is urging the government to undertake a comprehensive review of the investigation and prosecution of incidents in which cyclists suffer death or injury, with the aim of securing changes that instil confidence in all road users that the system protects them.

Martin Gibbs, Policy and Legal Affairs Director at British Cycling commented: “This is an issue which concerns everyone who cycles, whether they are a world champion or someone who rides their bike to work occasionally.

“Our call for a review is supported by the CTC, Sustrans, the London Cycling Campaign, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, The Times, RoadPeace, Brake, Leigh Day & Co solicitors, the Road Danger Reduction Forum and many others.

"The creation of a safe and welcoming environment for cycling has many elements. One of those elements is how adequately people feel they are protected by the law.

“It is clear to us that the current justice system often delivers results which send the wrong message about the right of people to ride safely on the roads. We need to take action now to make the government take this issue seriously.”
 

7 user comments

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Find your local MP here http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ Wink

I've got the template and i'm off to adjust it and get it emailed off Big Grin

You may also want to note, 56 memeber's signed it and 2 withdrew their signature's.

The template starts with a thank you for signing EDM 407, which may not be applicable to your MP Wink

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/e...

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
6th October 2012 - 1:55

4 Likes

Here is an example of my "rant" to my MP Devil

It started with a personal story.... then continued with

Quote:
You only have to look at inconsistency of sentence’s handed down in fatal accidents involving cyclist’s to see that changes need to be made. I am an avid user of a website called Road.cc (http://road.cc) where there are often reports of cyclists injured or killed on Britain’s roads. Followed up by a report on the investigation/prosecution and sentence’s that are given to the culprits. All too often they never seem to match the crime committed. If you kill someone through your actions while driving. It should be classed as it is in other countries as manslaughter. At this moment in time, you can be charged with offenses - "causing death by dangerous driving" and "causing death by careless driving while unfit through alcohol/over prescribed limit", under the Road Traffic Act 1988. But further offence’s which were added in the Road Safety Act 2006 have still to my knowledge to be brought into force.

It is about time that this country took action and laid out specific laws to not only give road users, particularly cyclists, faith in the justice system, but to also eliminate these inconsistency’s from case to case, where many of the circumstances are the same. We need something along the lines of vehicular manslaughter, where you cause death that result from the negligent operation of a vehicle. You will be punished to the full extent of the law and a minimum punishment be brought in with fines and jail terms.

At the moment, it seems a slap on the wrist, fine and jail terms that are measurable in months, rather than years are the norm.

I am going to wait to see if I get any contradictions on what I have said before emailing it off. Because I know the readers of this might pick up on something in the act's that I have missed.....please tell me if there is Wink Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
6th October 2012 - 2:41

4 Likes

No comments all day......

I am surprised. Day in day out I see people commenting and complaining about the sentence's give to drivers who have caused accidents on the roads involving cyclist...but when it comes to calling for action to improve and change the systems behind the judgements.....where is everyone?

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
6th October 2012 - 18:43

5 Likes

'All too often they never seem to match the crime committed.'

perhaps change to

'All too often they don't to match the crime committed.'

or

'They very rarely seem to match the crime committed.'

Personally I think the wording re dangerous driving is far too vague and is causing CPS not to press dangerous driving charges because of that vagueness. The bit I'm talking about is the words 'far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver'.

Many collisions with cyclists fall in to simple to define categories, these need to be set by law in to either careless or dangerous driving. And then the sentencing guidelines need to be reviewed because right now you can murder someone with your car and get away with community service and a short driving ban.

posted by kie7077 [565 posts]
7th October 2012 - 11:26

6 Likes

..And driving is a privilege, not a right, some people should be banned for life and the 'hardship' element of removing a persons license should be dropped altogether, it is getting abused by petrol-head judges.

posted by kie7077 [565 posts]
7th October 2012 - 11:32

6 Likes

Done.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
7th October 2012 - 15:09

2 Likes

I've just written on behalf of the Hackney group of the London Cycling Campaign to the two MPs whose constituencies cover our borough. They're usually supportive when we ask them.

trevorparsons's picture

posted by trevorparsons [13 posts]
16th October 2012 - 15:55

7 Likes