CTC Road Justice News

Do you do the Dutch Reach?

Fri, 10 Feb 2017, 3:08pm
We all know the Dutch have it pretty sussed when it comes to cycling, but is copying the way they open their car doors going a step too far in our admiration? Campaigns and Communications Coordinator, Sam Jones says not. flickr_cc_amsterdamized.jpg

I’m going to ask a bit of a personal question: do you do the Dutch Reach? If not, why not? 

If you’re one of the many who does not practice the Dutch Reach, I would hazard a guess and assume it is probably because you have never heard of it – yet. 

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Cycling UK's response to the Ministry of Justice consultation on driving offences and penalties

Thu, 9 Feb 2017, 2:54pm
With over 9000 responses to the Government consultation on driving offences and penalties a clear message has been sent - the system needs an overhaul, and just tinkering with it won't do. Here's what Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK's senior road safety officer has told them they should start with - we'll see if, as the Prime Minister promised on day one in office, this is a government that will listen. 3098344728_6393a0b2b0_b.jpg What weight do they give to public opinion?

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Pevensey cyclists celebrate as lorries barred from country lane

Fri, 3 Feb 2017, 2:37pm
Cycling UK action results in regular HGV movements blocked on national cycle network and walking route. rickney_lane.jpg

Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, local cycle groups including the 1066 Cycle Club and Bexhill Wheelers, and local walkers celebrated a return to safer roads and country lanes yesterday (Thursday, 2 February) as Wealden District Council councillors unanimously blocked retrospective planning permission for a heavy goods vehicle operation to operate out of premises at Chilley Farm, Rickney Lane, Pevensey. 

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. For information on 1066 Cycle Club go to: http://1066cycleclub.org.uk/ 
  3. For information on Bexhill Wheelers go to: http://www.bexhillwheelers.org.uk/body_index.html 
  4. For information on Countyclean Environmental Services Ltd go to: https://www.countycleangroup.co.uk/ 

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Cycling and the Justice System

Fri, 27 Jan 2017, 10:10am
The parliamentary inquiry into cycling and the justice system kicks off next week. Those who would like the justice system to do a better job for cyclists can support the inquiry, and make a noise about it. Those who prefer to just complain can join the naysayers. Senior road safety and legal campaigner Duncan Dollimore explains...+ 4984060658_1e2fea3c8a_z.jpg

Whilst cycling is a fun, healthy and comparatively safe activity, many people reading this blog will have a tale to tell about what happened to them, a family member, or someone they know. Their story about how, at some point in the process, they believe that the justice system failed them, or simply that something could have been done better is all too common. 

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6,000 say don't make innocent victims pay

Wed, 11 Jan 2017, 11:27am
Ask yourself, "Who is cheating who?" Is it the pedestrian or cyclist who just wants fair compensation when they're hit by a careless driver, or is someone trying to cheat them out of what's right, and fair? 6,000 of you agreed with us, and have told the government that road victims are real victims who shouldn't have their pockets picked to profit insurers.

Just before Christmas, Cycling UK joined up with walking and road crash victim charities to send a message to the government to think again about changes to civil compensation procedures which restrict vulnerable road users (VRU) access to justice.

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Encouraging car dooring is fine - it's just "heavy irony" says Sunday Times

Thu, 22 Dec 2016, 11:02am
The Sunday Times says it's fine for national newspapers to print articles promoting and encouraging crime, distressing victims families, and with boasts about the columnist's own attempted crimes. You just print it and say you were being heavily ironic - the poorest excuse for lazy journalism ever. rod_liddle_2.jpg Heavy irony and human foibles

It's all about "heavy irony", according to the Executive Editor of The Sunday Times, Bob Tyrer. Besides, he says, the paper's columnist Rod Liddle is merely "a commentator on human foibles, not a diplomat".

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Sunday Times glorifies Transport Secretary’s car-dooring of a cyclist

Wed, 21 Dec 2016, 2:54pm
The injuries suffered by cyclist Jaiqi Liu, hit by Chris Grayling MP’s ministerial car door, has prompted a mocking response from Sunday Times columnist Rod Liddle. Cycling UK Policy Director Roger Geffen reacts. rod_liddle.jpg

When the Guardian released footage of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling 'car-dooring' cyclist Jaiqi Liu, there were were several aspects of the case that concerned us at Cycling UK.

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Sunday Times told: apologise for "inflammatory and dangerous" anti-cycling article

Wed, 21 Dec 2016, 1:11pm
Cycling UK demands retraction after columnist Rod Liddle supports ‘car dooring’ grayling.jpg

Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, today (21 December) has written to demand a retraction and apology from The Sunday Times following columnist Rod Liddle’s anti-cycling piece published on 18 December.

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Cycling UK’s letter of complaint is available to download below.
  3. A similar letter of complaint has been sent by May Hamilton, husband to Robert Hamilton, who was killed in a “car dooring” incident in January 2014, http://road.cc/content/news/129686-woman-who-caused-cyclist-fall-his-bik.... This is available for download below. 
  4. 'Car dooring' is a criminal offence under Regulation 105 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and Section 42 Road Traffic Act 1988. However this offence is only punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 and no penalty points can be imposed on the offender’s licence. It is dealt with by the magistrate’s court and the defendant can plead guilty by letter. 
  5. Teacher Sam Boulton died on his 26th birthday, July 27 this year, as he was cycling outside the railway station on London Road in Leicester http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/popular-cyclist-killed-26th-birthda...
  6. The Ministry of Justice launched its review into road traffic offences and sentencing in December 2016, which omitted calls from Cycling UK for the inclusion of offences such as “car dooring” https://www.cyclinguk.org/press-release/2016-12-04/government%E2%80%99s-...

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Cycling UK statement on Transport Secretary "car dooring" of cyclist

Fri, 16 Dec 2016, 12:16pm
Cycling UK's today (Friday 16 December) reacted to the news of the car dooring incident involving Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP and cyclist Jaiqi Liu, touching upon the criminal and civil legal implications of the incident, and how it highlights the need for national design standards to create Space for Cycling. grayling.jpg

On the criminal implications of the Transport Secretary’s 'dooring', Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns Officer said:
 
“Mr Grayling as a former Justice, and the current Transport, Secretary should know it’s a criminal offence to open any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger anyone. Currently, it’s treated as a minor offence with a maximum £1,000 fine, despite the fact that people have been killed and seriously injured by car dooring.
 

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

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Cheating victims - a sledgehammer to cyclists' compensation

Thu, 15 Dec 2016, 10:07am
Hit by a car whilst cycling or crossing the road - snapped collarbone - forget fair compensation - the Ministry of Injustice thinks you're a whiplash fraudster! Cycling UK, RoadPeace and Living Streets value road crash victims - and that's why we've launched our "Road victims are real victims" action today. Take part now! Baldric's cunning plan to please the insurers

Pandering to the insurance industry lobbyists, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has dreamt up a cunning plan to reduce whiplash compensation claims by car occupants. "I know", said Baldric, "we'll stop those pesky pedestrians and cyclists claiming compensation for fractures after car drivers hit them, that's bound to solve the whiplash problem."

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Whiplash claim plans cause backlash from cycling community

Mon, 5 Dec 2016, 5:04pm
Plans to reform the claims process used by motorists seeking compensation for whiplash injuries are set to leave cyclists and pedestrians with legal bills if they need to make a claim that’s under £5,000. credit_caroline_flickrcc.jpg

A Ministry of Justice consultation seeking to reform the process used by motorists claiming compensation for whiplash injuries is set to affect the pockets of cyclists and pedestrians. While we agree that compensation claims for whiplash do need to be reviewed, we are horrified at the Government’s apparent sledgehammer approach outlined in its whiplash claims consultation.

For more information, contact Duncan Dollimore on duncan.dollimore@cyclinguk.org, 01483 238309 or David Murray on 07786 320 713, david.murray@cyclinguk.org.

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone
2. The Ministry of Justice consultation on “Reforming the soft tissue injury (whiplash) claims process” is open until 6 January 2017 and is available at
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-the-soft-tissue-injury-whiplash-claims-process
3. According to the law firms Slater + Gordon and Leigh Day (both firms support Cycling UK’s position on this consultation), 70% of cyclists’ compensation claims are for less than £5,000.
4. Andrew Bradley at Leigh Day set out in his recent article the range of injuries that could potentially be classified as small claims may include (depending on the severity):

  • fractures to the nose or cheekbone;
  • hernia;
  • collapsed lung;
  • fractured ankle or foot;
  • fractured clavicle, elbow or wrist;
  • neck, back and shoulder injuries with symptoms persisting for up to 2 years;
  • facial scarring;
  • loss of teeth;
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Government’s motoring offences review falls short of what’s needed to truly tackle driving standards

Sun, 4 Dec 2016, 11:14pm
Cycling UK expresses both relief and dismay at the Government’s long-awaited review of road traffic offences and penalties. ministry_of_justice_photo_flckr_cc_dun_can.jpg

The Government's consultation on motoring offences and sentencing, first promised in May 2014 in response to Cycling UK’s Road Justice campaign, plans to increase sentences for the most serious offenders but falls short of what is needed to tackle driving standards on Britain’s roads.

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

2. The consultation, which runs until 1 February 2017, is due to be published on Monday 5 December at https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/driving-offences-causing-death-or-serious-injury

3. For Cycling UK’s briefing on common driving offences, visit https://www.cyclinguk.org/campaigning/views-and-briefings/common-driving-offences

4. Motorist Christopher Gard, 30, of Linnet Way, Alton, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Lee Martin in a collision in August 2015 on the A31 near Bentley. Sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on 5 September 2016, Gard was jailed for nine years after admitting causing Lee Martin’s death.

5. It has taken the Government over two and a half years from making the announcement for a review of motoring offences and penalties to today’s consultation. Here is a summary timeline of Cycling UK’s lobbying on this issue since May 2014:

May 2014 – After campaigning from Cycling UK, Government announces a full review of motoring offences and penalties to take place over the next few months.
December 2014 – Cycling UK met with Mike Penning MP, Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims to set out our concerns and proposals. Penning said review could take up to a year.
May 2015 – Michael Gove MP replaced as Justice Secretary by Christopher Grayling MP. Following Cycling UK intervention, review is promised "in due course".
September 2015 – Cycling UK briefed MPs raising questions regarding the delay in progressing the review during a Westminster Hall debate on dangerous driving. Review promised "soon".
July 2016 – Cycling UK briefed Peers to raising questions at a House of Lords debate regarding the delay in progressing the review. A consultation, but not the remit, was promised to commence before the end of the year. 
July 2016 – Christopher Grayling replaced by Elizabeth Truss MP as Justice Secretary (with Grayling becoming Transport Secretary).
July 2016 – Cycling UK wrote directly to Elizabeth Truss regarding the delayed review.
September 2016 - Cycling UK met with MOJ officials, who indicated the public consultation would commence before Christmas into serious driving offences.

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Cyclists' behaviour and the law

Wed, 30 Nov 2016, 11:47am
Cyclists should behave responsibly and legally, but the law should recognise that they do little harm and should not have to choose between keeping safe and obeying rules. cyclists-and-law.jpg Headline Messages: 
  • Cyclists should behave responsibly and within the law. They pose little risk to others, however.
  • Cyclists are often faced with the difficult choice of either acting legally or keeping safe. Children, for example, may feel safer cycling on the pavement alongside a busy, hostile road, but are in breach of the law if it hasn’t been converted to shared use. It is important that the law and those applying it take this into account. The planners and designers of the road network need to be mindful of this too.
  • Whilst Cycling UK encourages cyclists to undertake cycle training and to have insurance cover, making training or licences compulsory for cyclists is unworkable and would deter people from cycling occasionally or giving it a try. It would not solve any problems and the running costs would be prohibitive.
Key facts: 
  • In collisions involving cyclists and other vehicles (GB), cyclists are more likely to have no ‘contributory factor’ recorded in comparison to the others – 50% compared to only 27% in 2013;
  • In 2015 (GB), the police decided that, out of the 12,714 pedal cyclists involved in incidents where contributory factors were assigned to one or more of the vehicles involved, 178 of them had ‘Disobeyed automatic traffic signal’, i.e. just over 1%. ‘Not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility’ was assigned to 230 pedal cycles (2%). 
  • With around 25 million children and adults aged 5+ owning a bicycle in Great Britain, a licensing and compulsory training system for cyclists/cycles would be complex and very costly – not much less so than the current system for drivers (almost 38.5 million) and private cars (over 29 million);
  • Mile-for-mile in urban areas (exc. motorways) from 2011-15 (GB), motor vehicles were more likely than a cycle to seriously injure a pedestrian, and over twice as likely to kill them;
  • Very nearly all the pedestrian fatalities (c98.5%) and serious injuries (c96%) that happen in collisions on a pavement/verge involve a motor vehicle, not a cycle;
  • Collisions between cycles and pedestrians are more likely to happen in the roadway than on the pavement/verge. From 2005-15, the roadway was the location for around four fifths of pedestrian fatalities and almost three quarters of pedestrian serious injuries, where a cycle was involved;
  • From 2005-14, no pedestrians were killed by red light jumping cyclists, while around five a year were killed by red light jumping drivers..
Cycling UK View (formal statement of Cycling UK's policy): 
  • Cyclists, like all road users, should behave responsibly and within the law.
  • The enforcement of road traffic rules, and penalties for breaching them, should be proportionate to the potential danger imposed on other people, especially vulnerable road users. This principle also applies to off-road rights of way.
  • Road traffic rules should not put cyclists in situations where they feel they must choose between acting legally and protecting their own safety. Those responsible for making and enforcing the rules must take into account the reasons behind cyclists’ offending behaviour.
  • Cycling UK does not condone unlawful cycling on pavements (footway). However, the police should exercise discretion in the use of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for pavement cycling and discriminate between those whose behaviour is dangerous and antisocial and those who are acting out of concern for their own safety without presenting any threat to others.
  • The police and others charged with applying the law should be able to send offending cyclists on training programmes as an alternative to prosecution or fixed penalty notices (FPNs).
  • Highway authorities should tackle any hazardous road conditions or poor design that may explain illegal behaviour by cyclists in certain locations.
  • A system of compulsory licensing and cycle training is unworkable and unjustifiable, not least because children have the same legal rights to cycle as adults and expecting them to hold licences is impractical. While the running costs would be high (i.e. similar to schemes that apply to motor vehicles and drivers), the benefits would be negligible, and the bureaucracy involved likely to seriously deter newcomers and occasional cyclists.
  • Cycling UK does not actively support Critical Mass, but recognises the motivation of those involved.
Download full campaigns briefing:  Cyclists' behaviour and the law Publication Date:  November 2016

Distracted texting drivers must be targeted say the AA and Cycling UK

Tue, 29 Nov 2016, 10:24pm
Driving disqualifications must be made the norm for new drivers and repeat offenders to end the mobile madness, say The AA and Cycling UK ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on road safety. textdriving_credit_lordjim_flickr_cc.png

Later today (Wednesday 30 November 2016), parliamentarians will gather for the Westminster Hall Debate, sponsored by labour MP for Clwyd South, Susan Elan Jones MP, to discuss road safety and the long awaited Ministry of Justice’s motoring offences and sentencing review.

The leading motoring and cycling charities, the AA and Cycling UK, have joined forces to impress on the Government the need to close an ‘exceptional hardship’ loophole exploited by many of the 8,600 motorists still driving with 12 points on their licence this year.

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

2. The AA is the UK’s favourite breakdown service with more dedicated roadside patrols than anyone else. It also provides driver training through the AA Driving School; British School of Motoring (BSM) and AA DriveTech for commercial drivers.

3. Autoexpress reported earlier this summer on the shocking statistics that some 8,600 motorists in Great Britain who have 12 or more penalty points on their licence still remain behind the wheel. That’s up from 2015 figures of 6,887. The law currently stipulates that if a driver gets 12 points over a three-year period they must attend court and face a minimum six-month driving ban. However, magistrates are allowed to be lenient with motorists if the ban is found to cause ‘exceptional hardship’, like the loss of a job.

4. The Wesminster Hall Debate will take place at 4.00 pm - 4.30 pm on Wednesday 30 November 2016. “Road safety and the Government's proposed sentencing review”: To be moved by Susan Elan Jones, MP for Clwyd South.

5.According to officials, currently the MoJ do not propose to review the use of disqualification for non-imprisonable offences, or the exceptional hardship legislation, which enables drivers who have acquired 12 or more penalty points on their licence within three years to avoid losing their licence under the totting up provisions.

6. According to Populus’ latest research for the AA Charitable Trust, over two million car passengers would not do anything if their driver used a hand-held phone while driving. The research also unearthed the shocking statistic that one-fifth (20%) claim to see other drivers on hand-held mobiles on every journey they make, with a further fifth (22%) saying that they see this on most journeys and over half (56%) on some journeys. 

7. The AA Charitable Trust’s latest campaign video, Cadence, can be viewed online at

​8. Motorist Christopher Gard, 30, of Linnet Way, Alton, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Lee Martin in a collision in August 2015 on the A31 near Bentley. Sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on 5 September 2016, Gard was jailed for nine years after admitting causing Lee Martin’s death.

9. Cycling UK published a blog including a timeline of the consultation on the Ministry of Justice’s motoring offences review.

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Why we are backing the AA's latest drive for motorists to #NeverTextDrive

Fri, 25 Nov 2016, 11:39am
A powerful new short film and social media campaign produced by the AA Charitable Trust and a young London-based musician is gaining a lot of attention and support.

Cycling UK has today (25 November) welcomed the AA Charitable Trust's latest #NeverTextDrive campaign. Illustrating how one bad choice permanently alters the lives of a young couple, the 11-minute video tells the story of Alice and Billy, a talented couple attempting to break into the music industry. The story unfolds with Billy facing a tough decision when he is approached by a large record label, while his partner Alice makes an unexpected discovery, but all of this unravels during one fateful car journey.

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Jake's bereaved parents seek justice with CDF help

Tue, 22 Nov 2016, 1:01pm
Twelve year old Jake was with his mates cycling to the local water park, looking over his shoulder at the tractor behind him. Three drivers saw the boys and decided it was unsafe to overtake. Maurice King didn't want to wait, so he overtook the queue at 60mph, hitting Jake after passing the tractor. Jake's parents' fight for justice continues following the Coroner's criticism of King's driving. Fatal four vehicle overtake

28 months after their 12 year old son Jake died whilst cycling to Bosworth Water Park, his parents are asking Leicestershire Police to re-consider the case in light of the evidence given last week at the inquest into his death.

The inquest heard that on 29 July 2014, Jake was cycling along Bosworth Road in Wellesborough, behind two of his mates. Following Jake was a large tractor which filled the lane. As the boys rode towards the water park, a number of cars joined a queue behind the tractor.

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Road safety and cycling: Overview

Tue, 15 Nov 2016, 1:32pm
'More' as well as 'safer' cycling can and should go hand-in-hand. dsc_0092crop.jpg Headline Messages: 
  • Cycling is essentially a safe activity, causing little risk either to cyclists themselves or to other road users. Moreover, there is good evidence that cyclists gain from ‘safety in numbers’, with cycling becoming safer as cycle use increases.
  • However, fear of road traffic is a major deterrent, despite the health, environmental and other benefits of cycling.
  • Actual cycle safety in the UK lags behind many of our continental neighbours, because of poorly designed roads and junctions, traffic volumes and speeds, irresponsible driving, and a legal system that fails to respond adequately to road danger.
  • National and local government should therefore aim for more as well as safer cycling. These two aims can and should go hand-in-hand.
Key facts: 
  • The life years gained due to the health and fitness benefits of cycling in Britain outweigh the life-years lost through injuries by a factor of around 20:1;
  • From 2011-2015, one cyclist was killed on Britain’s roads for every 29 million miles travelled by cycle. This equates to well over 1,000 times around the world;
  • You are about as unlikely to be killed in a mile of cycling as in a mile of walking.
  • According to academic research, doubling cycle use would result in only a 25-30% increase in cycle fatalities - a 35-40% reduction in risk per cyclist. 
  • In 2014, around 64% people in Britain agreed that “it is too dangerous for me to cycle on the road”. Non-cyclists were significantly more worried than cyclists (70% compared with 51%), while women and older people also entertained higher levels of concern.
  • Overall, the UK has a good road safety record - but for cycle safety in particular, it is one of the poorer performing countries in Europe.
  • By and large, the number of seriously injured cyclists has been going up since 2004. However, although 2015 saw a 5% drop from 2014 (3,239 down from 3,401), it is still the second highest year since 1997. Moreover, the KSI (killed or seriously injured) rate per billion miles for cyclists has grown significantly over the last 10 years.
Cycling UK View (formal statement of Cycling UK's policy): 
  • Road safety strategies, nationally and locally, should recognise that:
    • Cycling is a safe activity, posing little risk either to cyclists themselves or to other road users
    • The health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks involved 
    • Combined with good provision, cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are: the ‘safety in numbers’ effect 
    • The aim of cycle safety policies and initiatives should be to encourage more as well as safer cycling, in order to maximise its health, environmental and other benefits, and to improve overall safety for all road users
  • Encouraging more as well as safer cycling involves tackling factors that deter cycle use. These include high traffic volumes and speeds; irresponsible driver behaviour; the unfriendly design of many roads and junctions; and lorries. 
  • The provision of cycle training to the national standard can also help people to cycle more, to ride more safely, and to feel safer and more confident while doing so. It can also help parents feel more confident about allowing their children to cycle. 
  • Increases in cyclist casualties may still mean cycle safety is improving if cycle use is increasing more steeply than cyclist casualties. Therefore targets and indicators for the effectiveness of road safety strategies should adopt ‘rate-based’ measures for improvements in cycle safety, e.g. cycle casualties (or fatal and serious injuries) per million km cycled, or per million trips. Simple casualty reduction targets should be avoided. 
  • ‘Perception-based’ indicators, which show whether public perceptions of cycle safety in a given area are getting better, can be used alongside ‘rate-based’ indicators, or as an interim substitute for the latter if necessary. 
  • Care should be taken to avoid cycle safety awareness campaigns that ‘dangerise’ cycling. These deter people from cycling or allowing their children to cycle and are counter-productive because they erode the ‘safety in numbers’ effect, as well as undermining the activity’s wider health and other benefits.
Download full campaigns briefing:  Road safety strategies: overview Publication Date:  November 2016

Groundhog day as Gard the texting driver pleads for leniency - again

Tue, 15 Nov 2016, 9:32am
Caught eight times for using his mobile whilst driving, Christopher Gard convinced the Magistrates he wouldn't do it again, and that banning him would cause him hardship. Cyclist Lee Martin paid the price six weeks later when Gard drove into and killed him, whilst texting his mate about walking his dog. Nine chances for Gard before he took a life. Now he wants to appeal his sentence. I promised to lock my phone up, but please don't lock me up

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Traffic police and other enforcement agencies

Wed, 9 Nov 2016, 4:18pm
More effective traffic policing is crucial for cyclists, and also helps tackle one of the biggest fears that many others have about taking up cycling in the first place - namely, bad driving. policecropped.jpg Headline Messages: 
  • A commitment from the police to tackle road crime plays a crucial role in protecting the public from bad driving.
  • The more traffic police there are and the more resources they have, the stronger the chance that bad drivers will be caught and brought to justice.
  • Well-trained traffic officers who investigate road collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians thoroughly can make all the difference to the likelihood of a successful prosecution. This, backed up by well-designed incident reporting systems and appropriate charging decisions, acts as a powerful deterrent against bad driving. 
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other agencies with road safety responsibilities also have an important part to play in enforcing road traffic law, and are as reliant as the police on adequate resourcing and good training.
Key facts: 
  • Fear of detection and prosecution is a highly effective deterrent: a report from ETSC (European Transport Safety Council) concluded that drivers are more willing to comply with the rules if they feel that they are likely to be caught and punished if they don’t, and thus recommends that police controls should be sufficiently publicised, regular and long-term, unpredictable and difficult to avoid, and combine both highly visible and less visible activities.
  • In France, a ‘zero tolerance’ policy over speeding offences, and substantial investment in safety cameras and road traffic policing, saw road deaths drop by 43% (2001–2007). 45% of French drivers have said that ‘fear of punishment’ made them change their behaviour.
  • Fewer breath tests lead to more drink-drive casualties and more people driving over the limit.
  • In England and Wales (outside the Metropolitan Police area), roads police levels dropped by around 48% between 2004/5 and 2015/16. This drop is significantly higher than that seen in the police officer workforce as a whole.
  • The overall number of ‘dangerous driving’ offences recorded by the police in England and Wales dropped by 47% from April to March 2002/03 and April to March 2015/16. This is unlikely to represent an improvement in driving standards given that the number of offences which the police are bound to record (e.g. causing death by driving offences) have risen.
  • Evidence suggests that offence history and being at fault in a road crash is clearly linked.
  • The Health and Safety Executive’s role extends to work-related road travel; around a quarter of all GB road casualties involve a driver/rider who is at work at the time (or their passenger(s)).
Cycling UK View (formal statement of Cycling UK's policy): 
  • Investing in roads policing is highly effective, not only for promoting road safety, but also in tackling other forms of crime.
  • Roads policing should be prioritised by national government and included in all overarching policing strategies and plans (e.g. the Strategic Policing Requirement in England and Wales). This would strengthen the case for individual police forces throughout the UK and Police and Crime Commissioners (England and Wales) to give it the priority it deserves.    
  • Police and Crime Commissioners and local authority crime reduction/safety partnerships must prioritise speeding, dangerous driving and other road traffic offences as key issues to address.
  • The police should always refer serious injury collisions up to the prosecution service for a charging decision, not just those that result in a fatality. If they do not charge or decide not to refer the case, the police should be required to justify their decision.
  • The police should avoid simply sending offending drivers on speed awareness or other remedial courses instead of prosecuting them. Such courses should be available as court sanctions, but not as an alternative to prosecution.
  • The police should be trained so that they understand the practical and legal issues facing cyclists and other non-motorised users.
  • Wherever possible, the police should respond to any reported collision involving a cyclist or pedestrian by:
    • Attending  the scene, taking statements and gathering evidence from witnesses and any camera footage;
    • Investigating incidents that result in very serious injury as thoroughly as those that result in death. As such, the title of the College of Policing’s Investigating Road Deaths manual should be changed, e.g. to Investigating Road Crashes, to reflect the fact that it covers serious as well as fatal injuries;
    • Investigating reports of seriously bad or aggressive driving even when no injury occurs and allocating sufficient resources to do so. After all, such drivers are often involved in other criminal activity;
    • Investigating and where possible charging motorists who leave the scene with ‘failing to stop after an accident’.
  • The police should facilitate collision and ‘near miss’ reporting (e.g. via online systems)
  • The victims of road crashes involving unlawful driving should be entitled to the same support services that other victims of crime receive.
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should take a more proactive line over work-related road safety and should receive adequate funds to do so.
Download full campaigns briefing:  Traffic police and other enforcement agencies Publication Date:  November 2016

Goods vehicles (lorries, HGVs, vans etc)

Wed, 9 Nov 2016, 12:03pm
Lorries pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists. There is a range of measures that should be introduced to reduce the hazard as a matter or urgency. goods-vehicles.jpg Headline Messages: 
  • Although lorries are involved in relatively few collisions with cyclists, those that do occur are disproportionately likely to prove fatal.
  • National and local government should take steps to restrict the use of lorries on the busiest roads at the busiest times. Exemptions should be made only for specific journeys that clearly cannot be made in other ways or at other times, and should require the use of safe lorry designs, fleets and drivers.
  • National and local government, lorry manufacturers and operators should collaborate to promote safe lorry designs and equipment, notably the use of ‘direct vision’ cabs - which enable drivers to see what is around them as easily as bus drivers can - as well as sensors and cameras.
  • Enforcement processes should be strengthened to take unsafe drivers and operators off the roads. 
Key facts: 
  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) account for only around 3.6% of non-motorway motor traffic mileage on British roads, yet are involved in around 18% of cyclist fatalities. HGVs were also involved in almost 14% of pedestrian fatalities, so pose a serious threat to them too.
  • HGVs on average account for around 2% of urban and 5% of rural motor traffic, yet are involved in almost a quarter of cyclist urban fatalities and just over 12% of cyclist rural fatalities.
  • A very significant proportion of cyclist fatalities involving lorries happen in London, where traffic density and cycle traffic specifically is much higher than average. In 2014, HGVs accounted for 4% of all the capital’s traffic, but 55% of cyclist and 12% of pedestrian deaths. Twenty-one of the 44 cyclist fatalities between 2011-13 (inclusive) were as a result of a collision with a lorry, and ten of these involved a collision with a left-turning lorry.
  • Cyclists’ collisions with HGVs are far more likely to prove fatal than those involving cars: the cyclist is killed in about a fifth of serious injury cyclists/HGV collisions; this figure is around 2% for cyclists/cars.
Cycling UK View (formal statement of Cycling UK's policy): 
  • Lorries pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists. To tackle it, action must be taken by national and local government, hauliers and fleet operators, the police, the Health and Safety Executive and other enforcement agencies, as well as by individual lorry drivers and cyclists.
  • The most important measure is to eliminate the source of danger in areas where people cycle or want to cycle as far as possible, principally by restricting the use of lorries on the busiest roads at the busiest times.
  • Exemptions to these restrictions should apply only for specific journeys that clearly cannot be made in other ways or at other times, and should require lorries and their drivers and operators to conform to ‘CLoCS’ (Construction Logistics and Community Safety standard), or the equivalent.  
  • To help reduce the demand for lorry movements in urban areas:
    • loads from the largest lorries should be transferred to smaller vans, e.g. through transhipment depots on the edges of towns/cities;
    • as much freight movement as possible should be shifted to rail and/or waterborne transport; and, where practical, to cargo cycles;
    • councils and operators should work together on safe lorry routing strategies.
  • CLoCS should be adopted as a national standard for safer lorry equipment, driver training and fleet management. Local authorities should also make it a condition of planning permission.
  • CLoCS should be extended to cover a requirement for lorry cabs to give the driver ‘direct vision’, allowing them to see outside the cab as easily as a bus driver can.
  • Designing ‘direct vision’ into lorry cabs is one of the most effective ways of protecting cyclists and pedestrians on the outside. Other safety features that may be of benefit are mirrors, cameras, sensors, sideguards, intelligent speed adaptation and warning stickers.
  • For lorry drivers, cycle awareness and practical cycle training should become a fully integrated and compulsory element of the professional training/qualifying process.
  • For cyclists, training on how to interact with goods vehicles as safely as possible is beneficial. Publicity campaigns and educational events for drivers and cyclists alike also help highlight the hazards and how to avoid them.
  • Cycling UK opposes both moves to introduce longer and/or heavier lorries, and allowing lorries to travel at more than 40 mph on single carriageways and more than 50 mph on dual carriageways.
  • All the responsible agencies (e.g. the police, The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), local authorities, Traffic Commissioners and the Health and Safety Executive, should promote and enforce safe driving and vehicle standards for lorries.
  • Individual haulage companies and the associations that represent them should develop, publish, maintain and monitor strategies, action plans and fleet management practices that minimise the risks goods vehicles pose to cyclists. Where appropriate, these should be produced jointly with local authorities and enforcement agencies and be based on consultation with cyclists’ representatives. 
  • Procurement policies, especially from public authorities, should stipulate that the supply and delivery of goods and services takes safety of vulnerable road users’ safety into account; and that the operators comply with set, high standards (e.g. CLoCs for construction-related activities, or the equivalent for other operations such as waste disposal).
  • To make it easier to check that haulage companies are reputable, their Operator Compliance Risk Scores (OCRS) should be made public.
  • Cyclists benefit from road layouts and street furniture (e.g. ‘Trixi’ mirrors) that facilitate safe interaction between them and lorries.
  • Research into the efficacy of all the above measures needs to be done, with the DfT, TfL, other local authorities and operators all collaborating EU-wide, as required. This should result in clear, consistent guidance for all operators and authorities.
Download full campaigns briefing:  Goods vehicles (lorries, vans etc) Publication Date:  November 2016
In collaboration with
  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cycling UK is a trading name of Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no: 25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales charity no: 1147607 and in Scotland charity no: sco42541. Registered office: Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 9JX.