Death by cycling - Road Traffic Offences (Cycling) Bill 2021-22

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13 December, 2021

A Bill has been proposed by the House of Lords to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to create criminal offences relating to dangerous, careless, or inconsiderate cycling. In particular applying to a pedal cycle, an electrically assisted pedal cycle, and an electric scooter.

What is a Bill?

A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change an existing law that is presented for debate before Parliament. Bills are introduced in either the House of Commons or House of Lords for examination, discussion and amendment.

Has this Bill been approved and now Legislation?

The first reading of this Bill took place on 1 December. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords. There will need to be a second reading for general discussion and debate on all aspects of the Bill, however this is yet to be scheduled.

If approved, the Road Traffic Act 1988 will be amended to introduce three new offences:

  • 27A - Causing death by dangerous cycling
  • 27B - Causing serious injury by dangerous cycling
  • 27C - Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, cycling

Penalties will range from up to 5 years, a fine or both up to 14 years.

These changes have come about because of a rise in injuries and deaths caused by cyclists to pedestrians. Whilst both cyclists and pedestrians are considered vulnerable road users, and many of the injuries we hear about involve cyclists being injured by motor vehicles, just as much damage can be caused between a cyclist and a pedestrian. If one or the other is at fault and they are injured or suffer losses, they should be able to recover compensation. Most household insurance policies provide third party cover to the occupants of the property. If not, it is often worth considering getting cover if you are a cyclist. British cycling provide insurance as do other organisations. It's worth checking you are covered.

If you are unfortunate enough to be injured because of another road user error or negligence you may be entitled to make a claim.

For more information contact John Bennett in our Personal Injury department via email or phone on 01254 872111. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Personal Injury department here

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