Cycling and the Justice System

inquiry

During early 2017 we conducted an inquiry called ‘Cycling and the Justice System’.

The select committee styled enquiry took evidence from cycling organisations, lawyers, road safety campaigners, the police and members of the general public on whether the current judicial system is serving all cyclists.

There were five oral evidence sessions in January, February and March 2017 on the following issues:

  1. Road users and victims – 31st January
  2. Victim testimony – 7th February
  3. Police investigation and intiatives – 21st February
  4. Driver awareness and civil justice – 28th February
  5. Criminal Law – 21st March

The report made 14 recommendations:

* The Highway Code should be revised

* The driving test must be changed to help improve driver behaviour towards cyclists

* Professional drivers should be retested more frequently

* Roads policing should be given a higher priority

* The Government and other local authorities should adopt similar partnerships to the ones in London in other parts of the country, to counter the risk posed by illegal freight operations

* The Department for Transport and Ministry of Justice should research the growing discrepancy between road casualty figures

* More police forces should adopt close passing enforcement practice on a wider scale

* The police must ensure that a higher standard of investigation is maintained in all cases where serious injury has resulted

* All police forces should ensure that evidence of common offences submitted by cyclists, or other witnesses, using bike or person mounted cameras or smart phones is put to use, and not ignored

* The length of time required by the Police to serve a Notice of Intended Prosecution for a road traffic offence is currently just 14 days and must be extended

* Confusion and overlap between ‘careless’ and ‘dangerous’ driving means that often bad driving does not receive the level of punishment that the public feel it should, the MoJ should investigate how these offences are being used

* The police and CPS should ensure that victims and bereaved families are always kept adequately informed throughout the process of deciding charges

* The Ministry of Justice should examine the reasons behind the decline in the use of the penalty of disqualification

* The Soft Tissue Injury Reforms – the ‘whiplash reforms’ – should not include injuries to cyclists or pedestrians

The full report can be found here: APPCG Justice Report 2017