Cyclists ‘regularly jump at a red light where a pedestrian was killed on a bike’
Ermir Loka, 23, who fled the scene after telling the fatally injured Mr McCombie he was to blame for crossing the road, was jailed for two years, the maximum sentence for causing bodily harm by “reckless and furious” conduct.
Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign, which represents the safety interests of cyclists, said: “All road users, including cyclists, must obey the law at all times. The main obstacle to reducing the risk of death and serious injury on our roads is not inadequate laws and regulations, but inadequate policing.
“The best way to dramatically reduce the loss of life and life-changing injuries on London’s roads is to crack down on dangerous and illegal driving. The police must do more and inform drivers that the routine offenses seen in London will not be tolerated.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: ‘We are exploring changes to allow us to more easily pursue unsafe cyclists and provide more continuous and direct cycling routes in cities that are physically separated from pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
My Wife’s Murderer Was Charged Under Victorian Cavalry Laws
By Matthew Briggs
To say I am shocked and disturbed by these findings is an understatement.
What is most concerning is the astonishing absence of legislation in the face of this type of wrongdoing by cyclists. And I have more reason than most to worry.
On February 12, 2016, my wife, my beautiful wife Kim left for work and never came home.
She was crossing the road at this junction and was hit by an uninsured cyclist riding an illegal bicycle intended only for use in a velodrome. Kim was taken to hospital, but died a week later from catastrophic brain damage.
We had been together for 26 years; 27 if you include the year it took him to date me. She left behind our lovely children who were then 10 and 12 years old.
A week after the collision I was called by the police who informed me that they thought there was a potential illegality, but (surprisingly) they had nothing to charge the cyclist with; the Road Traffic Act simply does not apply to cyclists; in essence, it is currently an illegal activity.
In the end, Kim’s killer was charged under a Victorian law designed for horsemen: “Causing injury by means of wanton or furious conduct.”
The law does not even cover causing death and is punishable by a maximum of two years in prison. For motorists, the offense would result in death by dangerous driving, and the sentence could be 14 years, with a review currently considering raising the maximum sentence to life.
He was also charged with manslaughter, but as we found out in court, that falls short when it comes to traffic offences. The complexity of this archaic law meant that the lawsuit took 18 months to come to court. The cyclist was eventually found guilty of “gratuitous and furious driving” and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
After the trial, I was contacted by a number of other families who had all gone through similar experiences and felt disappointed by the shortcomings of the law.
Since then I have campaigned for cycling to be included in the Highway Traffic Act with the introduction of Causing death or serious injury by careless or unsafe cycling. Although I faced vehement (and baseless) opposition from the most militant parts of the cycling community, I received broad public support and enormous political support from all parties. Indeed, in an unprecedented move, my campaign was also backed by the Defense QC in Kim’s case, Mr Mark Wyeth.
I must add that I am an avid cyclist. I cycle in London almost every day and recognize the personal and societal benefits that increased cycling can bring.
But with this increase in cyclists comes an increased risk to pedestrians and when something goes wrong we certainly need to have consistent laws to ensure that offenders can be prosecuted effectively, consistently and in a timely manner. . Shouldn’t they also face the same penalties as drivers? Because I can tell you that the pain they cause is no different.
What also emerges from this Telegraph investigation is that this complete lack of legal deterrence encourages some (not all) cyclists to behave with blatant disregard for pedestrian safety.
I have made considerable progress with the government and I am grateful to them for the benevolence they have shown me. It was a very long process, but in January Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, announced on LBC that the Department of Transport would indeed seek to introduce this very simple bill and I subsequently received other favorable communications from that department; although no timetable has yet been set.
This important Telegraph investigation demonstrates so clearly that this legislation is now urgent and that it is imperative that it be introduced without delay. The pain and grief my family has gone through since losing Kim that day, compounded by the confusion caused by such a legal black hole, is not something anyone else should have to go through.
I therefore call on the Secretary of State to honor his commitment now, to introduce these new laws and to ensure that cyclists who act dangerously and endanger pedestrians can be prosecuted in the same way as motorists and other road users.