A widower has blasted the Government’s failure to deal with killer cyclists after the illegal bike rider who mowed down his wife was jailed for just 18 months.
Matthew Briggs, whose wife Kim was killed by a cyclist riding an ‘Olympic-style’ bike with no front breaks in 2016, claimed the Government had been ‘utterly cowed and captured’ by cycling lobby groups.
An archaic law which was introduced for horse carriages, The Offences Against The Person Act 1861, means that a cyclist who kills someone while riding dangerously will only be jailed for a maximum sentence of two years for ‘wanton or furious driving.’
If they were to be charged under the same legislation as dangerous drivers, they would receive a maximum sentence of 14 years.
But now the Department for Transport has admitted to relatives of victims of killer cyclists that they will struggle to change the law due to a lack of parliamentary time before the next General Election, the Daily Telegraph reports.
It comes as Freedom of Information requests carried out by TalkTV to 40 police forces found that six forces had not issued a single fine to a cyclist last year – and four more had issued just one fixed penalty notice, meaning a quarter had issued one or fewer.
Speaking to the channel this morning, Mr Briggs said: ‘Last year twice Grant Shapps announced that this law would be passed – Mark Spencer who was then Leader of the House backed this up by saying yes legislative time is going to be made to pass this law but still nothing has happened,’ Mr Briggs told .
Ministers, including former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, had previously pledged that they would rectify the issue and introduce new legislation to increase the sentences.
Mr Briggs continued: ‘I can only conclude that despite the protestations of the PM, this government is utterly cowed and captured by the cycling lobby or by various elements of the cycling lobby.
‘More and more people are cycling and that’s fantastic but what’s happening is that there’s a concomitant increase in people being injured and there is no law to deal with this.’
Mr Briggs’ wife Kim was killed in east London in 2016 when she was hit by Charlie Alliston, who was jailed for 18 months in 2017.
The then 18-year-old was travelling at 18mph on an illegal Olympic-style bike with no front brakes when he crashed into 44-year-old Kim as she crossed the road on her lunch break.
Mr Briggs continued: ‘I think they’re hoping I’ll go away. I think they’re hoping that the other families I’m in touch with will go away and we simply won’t.
‘We won’t go away because what is stopping this? Why was a Transport Secretary going on the record to say he would introduce this law and then not.
‘What is happening? Who is influencing this government because this law is written, it has broad cross-party support, it has support across the media and it has support from the public.
‘I think the idea that a Transport Secretary could grab headlines by announcing something that was not going to be done – this is quite riling.’
Justice Minister Argar responded to the TV channel’s investigation, saying the laws are ‘old and it can be difficult to prosecute offences’.
He said the Department for Transport are considering bringing forward new legislation bringing forward fresh offences to deal with dangerous cycling.
Responding to the statement host Jeremy Kyle said: ‘I’d be looking at that if I had suffered as you had done and your kids had suffered and I would be thinking: “You’re just reading from a piece of paper, mate.”
‘”I lost my wife – can you give me some emotion, can you make me believe that you’re going to pass a law that anybody with a braincell understands needs doing?”‘
The Department for Transport has been contacted for comment.