Killer cyclists face tougher jail sentences under crackdown proposed by Grant Shapps 

Killer cyclists face harder jail sentences underneath a crackdown proposed by the Transport Secretary.

Grant Shapps needs to shut an ‘archaic’ authorized gap which suggests riders who kill pedestrians will be jailed for a most of solely two years.

Mr Shapps needs reckless cyclists to be handled the identical as reckless motorists, and hit out at ‘a selfish minority’ of aggressive riders. He stated an overhaul was wanted to ‘impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care’.

Under his proposal, a brand new regulation of inflicting loss of life by harmful biking can be included within the forthcoming Transport Bill, due earlier than Parliament within the autumn.

Grieving family of victims of killer cyclists have ‘waited too long for this straightforward measure’, he informed The Mail+.

In February 2016, Kim Briggs was killed by reckless cyclist Charlie Alliston (pictured) after sufferring 'catastrophic injuries' when he hit her as she crossed OId Street in East London

In February 2016, Kim Briggs was killed by reckless bicycle owner Charlie Alliston (pictured) after sufferring ‘catastrophic accidents’ when he hit her as she crossed OId Street in East London

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says he wants to close an ‘archaic’ legal loophole which means reckless cyclists who kill pedestrians can only be jailed for a maximum of two years

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says he needs to shut an ‘archaic’ authorized loophole which suggests reckless cyclists who kill pedestrians can solely be jailed for a most of two years

Campaigners have been calling for cyclists to be handled the identical as drivers since mother-of-two Kim Briggs, 44, was killed as she crossed a street in east London in February 2016. She was hit by Charlie Alliston, then 18, who was illegally using a fixed-wheel bike with no entrance brakes at 18mph.

He was jailed for simply 18 months as a result of no regulation existed to cost him with the equal of inflicting loss of life by harmful driving.

Prosecutors needed to depend on the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, designed to cowl offences with horse-drawn carriages, to safe a conviction of inflicting bodily hurt by ‘wanton or furious driving’. By distinction, motorists will be sentenced to life in jail for inflicting loss of life by harmful driving.

Mr Shapps stated the present ‘archaic law’ means prosecutions of killer cyclists should depend on ‘a legal relic of the horse-drawn era or invoke manslaughter, a draconian option’.

He added: ‘We need the cycling equivalent of death by dangerous driving to close a gap in the law and impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care.

‘For example, traffic lights are there to regulate all traffic. But a selfish minority of cyclists appear to believe that they are somehow immune to red lights.

‘We need to crack down on this disregard for road safety. Relatives of victims have waited too long for this straightforward measure.’

Mr Shapps hits out at ‘a selfish minority’ of aggressive riders and says the overhaul is needed to ‘impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care’

Mr Shapps hits out at ‘a selfish minority’ of aggressive riders and says the overhaul is required to ‘impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care’

He added: ‘As we move into an era of sustained mass cycling, a thoroughly good thing, we must bring home to cyclists – too often themselves the victims of careless or reckless motoring – that the obligation to put safety first applies equally to every road user.

‘There can be no exceptions.’

Mr Shapps could now not be Transport Secretary when the brand new prime minister, introduced on September 5, reshuffles the Cabinet.

But it’s understood he’ll urge any successor to press forward with the proposal. The change would even be depending on the brand new PM backing it.

Mrs Briggs’s husband Matthew, who has been campaigning for the change, stated the overhaul would scale back the struggling endured by households of victims. He added: ‘Nothing’s ever going to take that grief away and the big ache a tragedy like a street collision brings.

‘But at the moment, when they are trying to prosecute, the law is so archaic and that just compounds your grief because you want simplicity, clarity and efficiency to the process. It’s not simply concerning the punishment – certainly there needs to be an equivalence within the sentence out there to judges whether or not it’s a automobile, lorry or bicycle owner that’s killed somebody. The mode of transport shouldn’t matter.’

In 2019, 470 pedestrians had been killed on the nation’s roads. This dropped to 346 in 2020 through the pandemic. Only a handful of instances lately have concerned bicycles, however Mr Shapps stated even ‘one life [lost] is too many’.

Prominent street legal guidelines solicitor Nick Freeman, also called Mr Loophole, stated manslaughter laws was not geared in the direction of prosecuting street deaths attributable to cyclists and juries had been unlikely to search out folks responsible of this, strengthening the necessity for recent legal guidelines.

He stated: ‘I’ve been petitioning the Government to do that for a very long time. There needs to be parity between all street customers – motorists, cyclists, e-scooter customers.

‘How perverse is it that at the moment there is no speed limit for cyclists? You can have a 20mph limit but many fit cyclists can go faster than that – but there is nothing to stop or deter them.

‘There’s additionally no drink-drive restrict for cyclists. The regulation in relation to motorists is transferring swiftly, however the regulation in relation to cyclists stays within the Dark Ages.’

In January, Mr Shapps’s division introduced controversial modifications to the Highway Code which gave cyclists precedence over drivers.

It means drivers should give strategy to cyclists at junctions. Cyclists are additionally inspired to journey in the midst of the street on sure roads to be extra seen.

Groups of cyclists ought to pedal two abreast underneath the modifications, with overtaking motorists having to depart no less than 5ft (1.5m) between the automobile and the closest bike.