The family of a Reading cyclist who died after a pedestrian stepped out into the road in front of him, causing a crash, were told he may have faced prosecution had he survived, it has emerged.
Benjamin Pedley, aged 26, died from head injuries sustained following the collision in Earley, near Reading, with Nathan Kellsell in March this year. At an inquest earlier this month, witnesses described how the pedestrian had walked into the road without seeing him.
Mr Kellsell was also injured and has no memory of the incident, and Mr Pedley’s brother William has told Get Reading that police informed him that had the rider survived, he could have been prosecuted.
However, he and his family believe that pedestrians who step into the road causing a cyclist to crash should be held to account for their actions.
"It is an incredibly sad but avoidable death,” he said. "But I spoke to police officers who said if Ben had survived and was healthy there would be a chance that he would be prosecuted as a road user.
"And yet there is no comeuppance for a pedestrian,” he continued. "At the moment there is no law to say that if you step out into a road you are responsible for your actions.
"Potentially one could step out in front of somebody you have a vendetta against and nothing would happen about it.
"Surely the law needs to be changed so that when you step into a road, you are responsible for your actions," he added.
The news comes in a week that London cyclist Charlie Alliston was sentenced to 18 months’ detention in a young offender institution in connection with the death of pedestrian Kim Briggs.
Last month, an Old Bailey jury cleared Alliston of manslaughter but convicted him of causing bodily harm by furious and wanton driving under the Offences Against The Person Act 1
Mrs Briggs had started to cross London’s Old Street as Alliston approached, with much of the prosecution’s case resting on the fact that his fixed wheel bike had no front brake, meaning it was not legal for use on the road.
That case, and the media furore surrounding it, prompted the government to announce last night an urgent review of the law regarding cyclists, including whether offences of causing death by dangerous or careless cycling should be introduced.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.