British Cycling & CTC meet justice minister to call for review of sentencing
Current rules "send the wrong message about the right of people to ride safely on the roads", say British Cycling
Representatives of British Cycling, CTC and RoadPeace met today with justice minister Helen Grant as part of their campaign to review sentencing in cases where someone is killed or injured on the road. British Cycling described the meeting as "a significant step forward" in its efforts to persuade the government to reform the system.
Also in attendance today was Will Jefferies, brother of British Cycling employee Rob, who was killed last year while out training on his bike in Dorset. The 18-year-old driver in that case was given a 12-month community order after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
British Cycling says that Ms Grant, who was joined at the meeting by officials from the Department for Transport (DfT), who agreed to back "a cross-stakeholder meeting with the different agencies involved to discuss a review of the system and how it might be improved."
Other issues to be addressed will include improvements to the way that support is given to victims and their families, whether greater transparency can be introduced to the system, as well as involving ministers from Ms Grant's own Ministry of Justice and other Whitehall departments.
The campaign was launched earlier this year, and the issues it raises were among those discussed at a parliamentary adjournment debate on the wider topic of victims of crime held in October. The initiative is also supported by other other organisations including the London Cycling Campaign, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, The Times, Brake and Leigh Day & Co solicitors.
Martin Gibbs, British Cycling's policy and legal affairs director said “We thank the minister for agreeing to meet with us and discuss our calls for a comprehensive review of the justice system.
“People need to feel that 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 look forward to working with the Ministry of Justice and other organisations to look at how the justice system can better serve cyclists when they’re hurt on the roads.”