Scape­goat­ing cy­clists

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Si­mon Richard­son Editor

So the gov­ern­ment is to hold a re­view into whether or not there should be new road laws cov­er­ing dan­ger­ous cy­cling. This comes in the wake of the death of a pedes­trian in Lon­don killed by teenager Char­lie Al­lis­ton, rid­ing a fixie which wasn’t fit for road use. This was a sad, and avoid­able in­ci­dent in which some­one has trag­i­cally lost their life.

A change in law, how­ever, is even more dan­ger­ous for lev­els of cy­cling and what the re­sult­ing re­duced in­ac­tiv­ity means for life­styles and the re­lated ill­nesses that cause death (see Aus­tralia’s hel­met law).

The gov­ern­ment should con­sider a few other stats be­fore spend­ing any time on this re­view.

In 2016, 448 pedes­tri­ans were killed in the UK; that’s 25 per cent of all road deaths. The av­er­age num­ber of pedes­tri­ans killed each year by a cy­clist is two. That’s two out of 448. That’s 0.44 per cent.

Of those two deaths each year, Al­lis­ton is the first cy­clist to be pros­e­cuted; in all other in­ci­dents there was no case for prose­cu­tion.

With a bit of luck, some­one in gov­ern­ment will take a look at their own statis­tics and re­alise where the real dan­gers lie on our roads, and do some­thing about that in­stead.

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