A driver ran over Sarah-Charlotte and her bike on a roundabout, leaving her with severe leg injuries that have changed her life. The driver, who said in court that she ‘didn’t look’, pleaded guilty to careless driving.
Cycling UK's Road Justice Campaign
Sarah-Charlotte cannot walk without assistance after having her legs driven over. The driver that hit her received a £110 fine and 9 points.
Paul suffered a complete fracture to his leg after being hit by a car driver. Rather than the driver being charged, Paul was charged with careless cycling.
Elaine’s jaw was broken in 3 places after being hit by a driver making a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre. The driver was fined £66 and received 5 penalty points.
Cycling UK has long campaigned for the rights of cyclists to use the roads safely. Our Safety in Numbers research found that the more cyclists there are in a given area, the lower the risk of cycling. We also found that fear is one of the main reasons that people don’t cycle. Therefore, to get more cyclists on our roads, we need to make our roads safer by putting an end to bad driving.
How we’re campaigning to stop bad driving
The Road Justice campaign aims to improve the way the justice system handles bad driving in order to actively discourage irresponsible driving and raise driving standards. Safer roads will not only benefit cyclists, but all road users.
The police, prosecutors and the courts all contribute to protecting us from criminal behaviour on the roads. Much of the time they are effective and many bad drivers are prosecuted and receive the appropriate penalties. Yet, unfortunately, some bad drivers are treated leniently due to what Cycling UK perceives as occasional failings of these institutions. This can send out the message that driving inconsiderately or in a way that puts others at risk is tolerated.
The campaign’s objectives
1. To ensure thorough police investigations of all road traffic collisions involving injury and death, including appropriate support and information for road crash victims.
2. To ensure the police and prosecution make appropriate charging and prosecution decisions.
3. To ensure sentences reflect the severity of an offence and discourage bad driving, with an emphasis on more and longer driving bans.
How we are going to achieve the objectives
By collecting evidence of the problem
We have collected, and continue to collect, evidence of how the justice system has let cyclists down. On this website you can read numerous stories of people whose lives have been ruined by a road collision and who have been let down by the legal bodies meant to protect and support them. If you have an experience you want to share with us, please use our incident reporting tool
By recommending improvements
We have published three reports for the campaign which contain recommendations for improving the justice system’s response to driving that endangers others. We are in the process of disseminating these reports to decision makers within the judicial system and working with them to implement the recommendations. The reports can be downloaded here.
The first report ‘Road Justice: the role of the police’ was delivered to every police force in England and Wales in July 2013. We have mapped out how each force has responded to the report so far. Check out how your local force has responded.
By working with the police
We engage with the police at the national level and are in the process of setting up working groups at the local level between local Road Justice campaigners and police forces to ensure the campaign’s recommendations are implemented.
By raising political awareness and support
We are working with other organisations to raise political awareness of the issues and to increase political support for change through meetings with influential individuals and decision makers.
We are active members on the Justice Review working group, alongside British Cycling and RoadPeace, which is seeking a review of the entire justice system. Other members of the working group include representatives of the Ministry of Justice; the CPS; the Department for Transport; the Home Office; and the Association of Chief Police Officers.
We held a debate on sentencing for driving offences in June 2014, in order to influence the Sentencing Council’s forthcoming review of sentencing guidelines for serious driving offences.
We contributed to the Government’s driving offences and penalties review in April 2015.
How you can get involved with Road Justice
If you’re passionate about cycling and safer roads you can get involved in the Road Justice campaign in many ways: from making a donation to keep the campaign running to becoming a local campaigner.
Cycling UK is putting on campaigns training to anyone interested in either the Road Justice or Space for Cycling campaigns. More information about the training can be found here