The former chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group has written to the Prime Minister and police to ask what action will be taken following the incident in which Transport Secretary Chris Grayling knocked a cyclist off his bike with a car door.
Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, agrees with Cycling UK that Grayling committed at least one traffic offence.
He cites Regulation 105 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986: “No person shall open, or cause or permit to be opened, any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person.”
In addition, Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 requires details to be provided in a collision which results in injury to another road user (or to an animal, or damage to another vehicle or other nearby property). Failing that, the person must report the incident to the police (under subsection 3) with failure to do either an offence.
“Film of the incident shows that Mr Grayling’s door had been flung open, hitting the cyclist and leaving the rider in a state of shock on the pavement. Mr Grayling left after speaking to the cyclist but did not give his details.
“Paul Maynard, a junior Transport Minister, who was also in the car, can be seen swiftly walking away, whilst Mr Grayling’s special adviser Simon Jones hides his identity badge in his pocket.”
Austin says the incident, which took place in October, highlights the vulnerability of cyclists and then goes on to highlight claims subsequently made by Grayling that cycle lanes in the capital are poorly designed on the grounds that, “there are places where they perhaps cause too much of a problem for road users.”
“This shows how vulnerable cyclists are and it does show how careful we all have to be.
“Opening a car door in a way that injures someone is an offence and can result in serious injury and even death. Despite this, Mr Grayling didn’t even provide his details so he could pay for the damage, Mr Maynard couldn’t get away quick enough and their adviser tried to hide his identity badge.
“Anyone can make a mistake, but I don’t think you can have a Secretary of State who has injured another road user, could have committed an offence and failed even to provide his details afterwards.
“And then later, after causing this incident, the Secretary of State complained about cyclists and cycle lanes in London.
“Can I ask what investigation has been carried out into this incident and what action will be taken against Mr Grayling as a result?”