Widower of pedestrian killed by cyclist to urge change in law
Matthew Briggs will discuss his wife’s case with transport minister Jesse Norman.
The widower of a woman killed as she crossed a road by a cyclist riding an illegal bike is to meet a Government minister, after the Prime Minister announced that new laws could be introduced.
Matthew Briggs, whose wife Kim, 44, was knocked down as she walked across a London street in February last year, will discuss her case with transport minister Jesse Norman on Thursday.
Charlie Alliston, 20, was convicted last month over the pedestrian’s death, prompting Mr Briggs to brand the laws covering cycling as “outdated” and urge ministers to introduce an offence of “causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling”.
The meeting comes the day after Theresa May told the Commons the Government will consider updating legislation, after she was asked about the case at Prime Minister’s Questions
In raising the issue in the Commons, Labour MP Heidi Alexander described the law which the prosecution relied on as “hopelessly outdated”.
Mrs May replied: “She’s raised an important issue. I think we should welcome the fact that the prosecution were able to find legislation under which they were able to take a prosecution.
“But the point she makes is a general one about ensuring that our legislation keeps up to date with developments that take place.
“I’m sure this is an issue that the Secretary of State for Transport will look at.”
Alliston, then 18, was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes when he hit Mrs Briggs.
Dangerous driving laws only apply to mechanically propelled vehicles, meaning Alliston was prosecuted and convicted under a little-used 150-year-old law of causing bodily harm by “wanton or furious driving”.
This carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment, compared with 14 years for death by dangerous driving.
Alliston is due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on September 18.
Following his conviction, Mr Briggs said: “The current law is outdated and has not kept pace with the huge increase in the number of people cycling and the associated increased risk of collisions, nor the attitude of some cyclists.
“We need to change the way the law deals with this.
“I am calling for an introduction of laws of causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling, thereby bringing cycling laws into line with the Road Traffic Act.”
Between 2005 and 2015, some 32 pedestrians died and 820 suffered serious injuries after colliding with cyclists, according to a report by charity Cycling UK.
Separate Department for Transport figures show that 351 pedestrians were killed after being hit by motorised vehicles in 2015 alone.
The Department for Transport said in a statement that “protecting pedestrians and all road users is a top priority”.