Been involved in a cycle accident?
This article may come as welcome news.
In a recent interview, the UK’s Transport Secretary – Grant Shapps – vowed to introduce new cyclist laws, in which dangerous cyclists would face the same fines and penalties as motorists.
Speeding. Running red lights. Travelling the wrong way down a one-way street.
Under the new proposals, cyclists would no longer be ‘immune’ to these offences. Instead, they would be held just as accountable for their actions as someone driving a car, motorbike or any other type of vehicle – and prosecuted in the same way.
According to Shapps, we need to ‘impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care’. And as leading personal injury solicitors, we’re inclined to agree.
Over the years, we’ve assisted with countless road traffic accident claims, and seen first-hand the harm that careless cycling can cause. As such, we believe the new cycling rules could be a positive change – helping to improve safety for everyone on the road.
What are the new cycling rules proposed?
The proposed changes focus, primarily, on speeding restrictions.
Many new 20mph zones have now been introduced throughout the country – a speed which, in his interview, Shapps claimed can be ‘easily exceeded’ by the average bicycle rider.
Currently, if a cyclist exceeds a speed limit, they are not technically breaking the law. They have no legal obligation to observe the restriction in the same way that motorists do. And whilst local authorities can impose speed limits on cyclists, it’s very rarely done.
If the suggested cycling rules were to be introduced, however, speed limits would then apply to everyone. Not just motor vehicles and their drivers, but also those riding a bicycle too.
Cyclists would no longer be able to speed or run red lights and simply ‘get away with it’. They would be subject to the exact same fines and penalties as any other vehicle on the road.
Of course, to enforce these rules, cyclists would need to have a number plate for identification. Insurance would also become mandatory – therefore allowing other road users, who have perhaps been affected or injured by their careless riding, to claim compensation.
As part of the same review, Shapps has also proposed the introduction of a ‘death by dangerous cycling’ law. This would close a legal loophole, which currently means that cyclists who kill a pedestrian can only be jailed for 2 years – whereas motorists can be jailed for life.
A controversial topic
The public reaction to the prospective laws is divided.
For some, it’s a step in the wrong direction. In the interest of the environment, the use of eco-friendly modes of transport needs to be actively encouraged. But introducing barriers – such as the new cycling rules – is likely to slow the uptake of cycling and serve only to put people off.
Some also argue that it’s a pointless change – as not only is it difficult to reach 20mph on a pedal bike, but statistically, very few cyclists cause a fatal or serious collision each year.
On the flip side, many other road users are in favour of the review.
A large number agree that cyclists should have a licence, registration number and valid insurance and need to face the same consequences as motorists for ignoring the rules of the road.
As controversial as the new laws may be, there’s no denying, they’re likely to improve road safety for everyone using the road – including cyclists themselves, pedestrians and motorists. And if less people are getting hurt in avoidable road traffic accidents, that can only be a good thing.
Start your cycle accident claim today
Whether the proposed cyclist rules are introduced or not, if you’ve been hurt by a reckless cyclist – in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault – you can still hold them accountable.
Perhaps they were speeding on a 20mph road? Riding the wrong way? Didn’t signal correctly? Or ignored a red light? Whether you were another cyclist, a motorist, a pedestrian or public transport passenger – it doesn’t matter. You have a right to seek financial justice for any physical injuries or psychological effects sustained. And here at Injury Lawyers Direct, we can help.
We have many years of experience in successfully settling road traffic accident claims – particularly cycle accident claims. And whatever the circumstances of your case, we can guide you step-by-step through the claims process, and secure the fair level of compensation (and the apology!) that you deserve.
All of our work is completed on a completely ‘no win no fee’ basis. So why not get in touch and arrange a free initial consultation with our personal injury solicitors?
Simply fill out our online contact form and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible. Or if you have any questions – about the new cyclist laws discussed, how we can assist with your road traffic accident claim or anything else – please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can give us a call any time on 0800 110 5888.