In August this year, the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation which examines the possibility of creating a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving for cyclists. The DfT has said the consultation seeks views on the scope and penalties for new and existing offences and aims to achieve parity of sentencing. The DfT consultation on cycling offences is expected to run until November 5 this year. I will continue to follow developments on this and monitor the Government’s findings.
A number of constituents have called for the remit of this review to be broadened to consider how the law deals with and defines irresponsible and dangerous behaviour by all road users.
I appreciate that this is an important issue and I am aware that in 2016, a total of 550 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads, making up nearly one-third of fatalities. At the 2017 General Election I stood on a manifesto which pledged to reset the UK’s road safety vision and strive for a transport network with zero deaths. We must reintroduce road-safety targets and set out bold measures that will continuously improve safety standards.
The government published its Cycling and Walking Strategy in April last year. This long-awaited strategy offers almost no investment and no meaningful policies, targets or timetables. Action is needed now to support sustainable transport. Cycling and walking can holistically address air pollution, congestion and public health issues, which is why we need to boost investment in cycling and walking.
I will continue to support efforts to improve road safety in our area and across the UK.