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"If the aviation or rail industry had the safety record that roads do, planes would be grounded, and trains would be stopped": Brake road safety charity latest to respond to government's 'dangerous cycling' bill

Brake's CEO says the attention given to the announcement was "disproportionate", adding that the government is still yet to publish the 'Road Safety Strategy' it promised in 2021...

A week after the government announced that it would back an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill to introduce the offence of ‘causing death by dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling, and causing serious injury by careless or inconsiderate cycling', the road safety charity Brake has responded by calling the attention and emphasis placed on cycling as "disproportionate". 

The amendment, tabled by Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, was backed by Transport Secretary Mark Harper, who said it would mean the “tiny minority” of reckless cyclists would face the “full weight of the law”, while protecting “law-abiding cyclists”.

> The Highway Code for cyclists — all the rules you need to know

It means the maximum sentence for causing death or serious injury by dangerous cycling, if the proposed amendment passes, would be brought into line with sentencing guidelines for dangerous driving, of which the maximum sentence is currently 14 years' imprisonment. The government are set to bring forward an updated amendment to James Cleverly’s Criminal Justice Bill as it enters the House of Lords, where it will be debated.

In response, Brake cited statistics that shown nine people were killed in collisions involving a cyclist between 2018-2022, while just in 2022, 1,766 people died and 29,000 were injured on the roads in total. The charity mentions Chris Boardman's interview on BBC News, in which he said more people are killed by lightning and cows each year than cyclists

"You’re not going to legislate away these sort of incidents": Martin Porter KC on cycling and the law

The response continues: "In 2022, 4,935 people were killed or seriously injured in a crash involving a young driver – and yet the Government continues to push back on opportunities to safeguard young and newly qualified drivers through a Graduated Driver Licensing system, calling it restrictive to young people’s freedom.

"Three years ago, the Government committed to publishing a Road Safety Strategy with measures to reduce the number of deaths on our roads and promote safe and healthy travel for everyone. As we write this, in May 2024, there has still been no such strategy published."

As Brake mentions, the Road Safety Strategy it alluded to is still nowhere to be seen, its absence debated in the House of Lords in December 2023 as Lord William Jordan (Labour) noted that the previous strategy elapsed in 2019, leaving England as "the only country in mainland Britain and G7 not to have a published road safety strategy". 

In response, Lord Roborough (Conservatives) said "priorities change" and cited an overall 2% reduction in road fatalities compared with 2019. 

> “That new dangerous cycling law can’t come soon enough”: BMW driver crashes spectacularly into bike stand

Brake's CEO Ross Moorlock said: “Every road death and injury is devastating for the families involved, and we welcome robust and fair sentencing for any road user who kills or harms through reckless behaviour.

"However, it feels that the focus being given to this announcement – by both Government and the media – is disproportionate given the true extent of road casualties across the UK, and the lack of commitment from this Government to address road safety at a strategic level.

"If the aviation or rail industry had the safety record that roads do, planes would be grounded, and trains would be stopped.

"Given the Government is so eager to act on dangerous cycling, we ask that they now continue this trend, by introducing further legislation that ensures that we see a significant and sustained reduction in road death and injury both this year and in the years to come."

 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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26 comments

Avatar
kingleo | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

The mainstream media usually completely ignores road accidents and death crashes unless they involve a cyclist - the media completely distorts the way the public thinks when it comes to road accidents and who is the big danger on our roads.

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Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Comparing to aviation and rail? How stupid. There aren't any idiotic pilots or train drivers. There are plenty of idiotic car drivers and cyclists.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
9 likes

Hivizalways wrote:

Comparing to aviation and rail? How stupid. There aren't any idiotic pilots or train drivers. There are plenty of idiotic car drivers and cyclists.

How naive of you to think so

https://news.sky.com/story/pilot-mike-beaton-sacked-by-british-airways-and-banned-from-flying-after-cocaine-binge-before-flight-12970783

Quote:

A British Airways pilot has been sacked after reports he snorted cocaine off a topless woman before trying to fly a passenger plane back to London.

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Hivizalways replied to hawkinspeter | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

How naive of you to cherry pick a few incidents, you're missing the point here.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

Hivizalways wrote:

How naive of you to cherry pick a few incidents, you're missing the point here.

I suspect you don't know what "naive" actually means. If I'm missing your point, then maybe your communication skills could do with some improvement?

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Is it something to do with Nye Bevan?

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Clem Fandango replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

hello again

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Hirsute replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

Which pbu are you again?

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Hirsute replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

You clearly have no idea of how safety in the airline industry has changed and the culture of change. There was a big change to remove the hierarchy and make all staff have an equal say. This started from when the pilots shut down the wrong engine and would not accept that the other engine was still on fire.

Then you have the system of reporting near misses and errors to improve safety for all. The airline set up shows what can be done if safety is put first rather than convenience.

There are still a few pilots and drivers who do turn up affected by drugs/alcohol.

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festina | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

Obviously it's because election is looming. Tories are trying to get the car vote by slamming cyclists and the Tory media are only too happy to oblige. I mean the world is burning but the Tories see it as a war on motorists and their freedoms just to get a vote. Once the election is over any promises will be forgotten, either way.

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eburtthebike | 1 month ago
18 likes

Good to see BRAKE finally realizing that cycling safety isn't about helmets.

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Patrick9-32 | 1 month ago
22 likes

The thing with improving road safety is that its easy and cheap to do. It would just be political suicide as it would involve drivers being told no for the first time in their lives. You don't even need to introduce any new laws, just implement a policy of rigidly and ruthlessly enforcing the ones we have now. 

Its actually the perfect thing for the dead duck conservatives to push through right now. There is no chance of them winning the next election no matter what they do so why not do something morally good, but politically unpopular before they go? 

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hawkinspeter replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 month ago
22 likes

Patrick9-32 wrote:

The thing with improving road safety is that its easy and cheap to do. It would just be political suicide as it would involve drivers being told no for the first time in their lives. You don't even need to introduce any new laws, just implement a policy of rigidly and ruthlessly enforcing the ones we have now. 

Its actually the perfect thing for the dead duck conservatives to push through right now. There is no chance of them winning the next election no matter what they do so why not do something morally good, but politically unpopular before they go? 

If they were interested in doing anything morally good, they wouldn't be Tories, would they?

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Boopop replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

If they were interested in doing anything morally good, they wouldn't be Tories, would they?

Now now, let's not tar all tories with the same brush, otherwise we start following the same track as those who think all cyclists are law breakers etc. Clearly the tories towards the centre that are still sitting MPs are holding their nose so tightly I'm surprised it hasn't been chopped off however.

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chrisonabike replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
6 likes

You think it's like Trainspotting?  In the movie version: "Begbie's fuckin' psycho, man! But... he's a mate, so what can you do?"

Obviously those in the centre could join Labour no trouble, if they're happy to take Natalie Elphicke.

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eburtthebike replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
8 likes

Boopop wrote:

Clearly the tories towards the centre that are still sitting MPs are holding their nose so tightly I'm surprised it hasn't been chopped off however.

Coincidentally, my tory MP's rag dropped through the letterbox yesterday.  In four pages, he mentions the Conservatives once, and just glancing at it, you'd be hard pressed to say which party it was from.  Blue is conspicuously absent.

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Patrick9-32 replied to eburtthebike | 1 month ago
6 likes

eburtthebike wrote:

Coincidentally, my tory MP's rag dropped through the letterbox yesterday.  In four pages, he mentions the Conservatives once, and just glancing at it, you'd be hard pressed to say which party it was from.  Blue is conspicuously absent.

They might pretend not to be tories to win votes but you can be sure they won't hesitate to vote for whatever vile policy the latest cryptid they put forward to lead them has decided will froth up their base enought to be worth hurting the british public for. 

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festina replied to eburtthebike | 4 weeks ago
1 like

My local Tory MP is known to be one of the laziest. His pamphlet is all about what Sunak and the Tories have done and can do you good, honest, hardworking families but nothing about what he has actually done or would do.

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hawkinspeter replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
2 likes

Boopop wrote:

Now now, let's not tar all tories with the same brush, otherwise we start following the same track as those who think all cyclists are law breakers etc. Clearly the tories towards the centre that are still sitting MPs are holding their nose so tightly I'm surprised it hasn't been chopped off however.

It's a self-selected group, so they're all agreeing with the party's policies.

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Simon E replied to Boopop | 1 month ago
11 likes

Boopop wrote:

Now now, let's not tar all tories with the same brush

I haven't seen much evidence that there are many (if any) Conservative MPs with a conscience or sense of public duty.

I'm sure there could be a few but they've kept quiet and almost always voted to support the Government's crazy antics so I'd not rush to piss on any of them if they were on fire... well, maybe a little bit but not enough to put the fire out.

After what the Tories have pushed through parliament and (via their influence on the right wing press and the BBC) during the last 14 years - if you start looking you might realise that it's a lot of nasty, shitty stuff while lining their own pockets and f**k-all that actually benefits the general population - I really despise them even more than I did before.

The premise of this 'dangerous cycling' thing is that people on bicycles are a menace. Yet EVERY SINGLE TIME I step out of my front door to walk down the street there are drivers speeding, doing 40, 50 or more in a 30 down an arterial road past the local shops. I ride to work and see them accelerating through red lights, cutting people up and worse. There are man-child jerks with popping exhausts and tinted windows on their spoiler-clad shopping trolleys, SUV drivers barrelling along country lanes like it's their private driveway... the list is endless.

The standard of driving for many has slipped while the volume of traffic is higher than ever. It's not a good mix. You only have to check the Car crashes into building thread in the forum to see examples of the daily wreckage by idiots in cars. I find this attack on cyclists disingenuous and potentially a prompt for driver aggression. I cannot see how it could make the roads any safer.

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Carior replied to Simon E | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

I think there are some great examples of decent Tories, Grieve, Gauke, Clarke, Stewart, Greening, Hammond - there's a good list of the 21 Tory MPs that stood up to Bozo in 2019 to, you know let Parliament actually scrutinize Brexit - but most of them were forced out of the Conservative party - which tells you all you need to know about the decency of those that remain.

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Hivizalways replied to Patrick9-32 | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

What makes you think this is political? If the Green Party got in we'd be back to using horses, even though their exhaust punches holes in the atmosphere.

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hawkinspeter replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
9 likes

Hivizalways wrote:

What makes you think this is political? If the Green Party got in we'd be back to using horses, even though their exhaust punches holes in the atmosphere.

Well, that doesn't appear in any of their literature - I think you're constructing a straw man and not even a very good one.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

I think they were aiming for a straw doll.  Or maybe even a wicker man...

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chrisonabike replied to Hivizalways | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

As HP says, I must have missed that in the (now dead) Bute House agreements.  Shurely it's the trans / gender dogwhistle you're looking for?

I think you've also gone for the wrong emission from the horse - the real problem (in the last major urban environmental crisis) was the solid emissions (and dead horses).

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