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.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.