The widower of a woman killed by a cyclist on a fixed wheel track bike has called on courier firms to check all their employees and ensure their bikes are road legal.
Kim Briggs, 44, was killed by former courier Charlie Alliston, 20, last year, when she stepped into the road in front of him.
He had been riding a fixedwheel track cycle which did not have a front brake and so was illegal to use on the road.
He was jailed last week for causing bodily harm through wanton and furious driving but acquitted of manslaughter in relation to the death of Mrs Briggs, who died from head injuries sustained when the pair collided on London’s Old Street in February 2016.
Kim’s widower Matt Briggs wants companies to ensure that their staff use bikes that have front brakes on the handlebars and to issue spot checks to make sure they comply.
Mr Briggs has secured a government review into dangerous cycling with a view to creating a new offence comparable to death by dangerous driving.
He told the Express: “There are two types of fixed-brake bikes or ‘fixies’. There are those that have drill holes so front brakes can be attached and those that are Velodrome-style and don’t.
“The bike that hit Kim was one of the latter and they should simply not be on the road. It’s illegal.
“With the former, a lot of cyclists don’t bother to fit the front brakes so they can get about faster.
“When I come into central London for meetings 90 per cent of the people I see doing this are couriers. That’s why I’d like to sit down with the big courier firms and discuss ways of improving safety and ensuring the cyclists they use have road-legal bikes.
“Ideally, I’d like to see them not employ any rider who uses a bike without front brakes and to issue random spot checks at regular intervals to make sure those that do have brakes on their handlebars don’t just remove them when they think they’re in the clear.”
He also wants retailers like Evans Cycles and State Bicycle Co. to stop using images of bikes without front rakes in their advertising.
He said: “The police have a lot on their hands so I didn’t want to trouble them. I went to the source instead, the retailers.
“They’ve taken my points on board as ‘fixie’ bikes that are sold with front brakes are now shown in photos with the brakes attached. I’m just trying to find a way that’s better and safer for everyone.”
Alliston admitted in court during the trial that the bike, which he had bought second-hand the previous month, had not been fitted with a front brake to make it legal for use on the road and claimed he was unaware that it was required by law.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.