UK cyclists: is the justice system failing you?

Deadline fast approaching for parliament’s all-party inquiry

How safe do you feel cycling on Britain’s roads? Ever had a close pass or been involved in a road traffic incident? The UK government is running an all-party inquiry to find out how cyclists are treated by the police and its courts, but you don’t have long left to take part, the deadline to is 16 January.

The inquiry, called ‘Cycling and the Justice System’, is calling for cyclists who have been involved in road traffic incidents or friends and families who have sought justice in their absence. The inquiry runs until 28 February and could be a useful step towards making existing roads safer and getting more people riding.

A common complaint is that cyclists are more likely to be injured in collisions with other road users and yet the legal system does not proportionally afford more protection to them to account for this vulnerability. Many cyclists also feel that the police aren’t as effective as they could be at detecting crimes on the roads and that the Highway Code does not provide enough guidance on how to behave around cyclists.

How the inquiry will work

Submissions are welcome from the public, but must be sent by 16 January
Submissions are welcome from the public, but must be sent by 16 January

Parliament’s all-party cycling committee will run four oral evidence sessions in January and February 2017 on the following issues: road users and victims; enforcement and investigation; criminal law; and driver awareness and civil justice.

Issues that could be covered include:

  • Should there be greater priority of traffic law enforcement and ‘road crime’ for all police forces?
  • Should police forces enforce 20mph speed limits and speed reduction?
  • Should there be a revision of careless and dangerous driving charging standards?
  • Should the ‘presumed liability’ civil compensation system be introduced?
  • Do police investigation, criminal prosecution, sentencing and inquests need reviewing?
  • How are prosecutors trained on the distinction between “careless” and “dangerous” driving?
  • Should there be more use of lengthy driving bans and resisting hardship pleas by the courts?
  • Should the DfT, Home Office and MOJ collaborate on collision and conviction data?
  • Should the Police and CPS be required to report on how they deal with road collisions?
  • Should road crash victims be covered by the Victims’ Code?
  • Does the Highway Code need updating to reflect an increased duty of care on drivers?
  • Should there be a clearer definition of what is the standard of the competent and careful driver?

Submitting evidence

If you would like to submit evidence to the inquiry, you can email your comments or experiences to coffmana@parliament.uk. Please submit a maximum of two pages of A4 and choose no more than five issues that you consider are the most important to consider in this inquiry. Please use ‘APPCG Justice Inquiry’ as the subject of the email.

To repeat — the deadline for submitting evidence is 16 January 2017. Get involved!

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