The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) is expected this week to urge the government to take steps to ensure that motorists found guilty in incidents where the victim is a cyclist receive harsher punishment than is often currently the case.
The appeal will be one of the recommendations contained in the report of the recent Get Britain Cycling Parliamentary Inquiry hosted by the APPCG, reports the Independent on Sunday.
Other recommendations of the report, which is due to be unveiled at the House of Commons on Wednesday, are that speed limits be reduced and greater investment made in cycle routes.
The report has been written by transport academic Phil Godwin, funded by News International, owner of The Times newspaper which last year launched its Cities Fit For Cycling campaign, with the Bicycle Association paying for the design and printing.
While the initiative from The Times, building on existing efforts by cycle campaigners, addresses issues such as the safety of cyclists around lorries and infrastructure, helping push those issues up the political agenda, recent months have also seen a new focus on what happens after a cyclist is killed or seriously injured.
Last year, British Cycling and CTC were among organisations that launched a campaign urging for a review of sentencing in cases in which the victim is a cyclist, leading to a meeting with justice minister Helen Grant that the governing body’s director of policy and legal affairs, Martin Gibbs, afterwards called “a significant step forward.”
In February, CTC launched another campaign calling on residents of England and Wales to urge their Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to prioritise road safety.
The organisation said that police forces need to thoroughly investigate road traffic incidents involving vulnerable users including cyclists and ensure the drivers involved face appropriate action.
According to CTC, shortcomings in investigations of such cases result in less evidence being available to the prosecution, which has a knock-on effect in terms of the charges that are brought and, ultimately, sentencing in the event of a conviction.