News from Brake
Friday, 9 March 2018
The Department for Transport has published a report that finds there is a strong case for changing the law to tackle the issue of dangerous and careless cycling that causes injury or death. If this were to be introduced, it would bring cycling in line with driving offences.
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “Delivering justice for those who have lost a loved one on our roads is vitally important. Whether a crash was caused by a bike or a car makes no difference to the families devastated by such loss and so we welcome the move by the Government to provide parity in the law.”
The publication of the report comes alongside a call for evidence on the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. This is part of the Government’s drive to make cycling and walking safer, while encouraging more people to take up cycling at all ages.
Mr Harris said: “Getting more journeys to be taken by bike or by foot, rather than by car, can deliver significant personal and public health benefits. Brake welcomes this opportunity to improve the road environment for cyclists and pedestrians and urges the Government to not shy away from the big decisions, such as implementing and enforcing safer speed limits.”
A Brake and Direct Line report , published yesterday (Thursday 8 March), found that drivers are deterred from choosing to cycle by the nature of the current road environment. Drivers stated that the 60mph speed limit on single-carriageway A roads is too fast to assure the safety of cyclists and that both the warning signs and space available for cyclists are inadequate.
Drivers have called on the Government to address these concerns by investing in building segregated, tarmacked cycle paths alongside the single-carriageway A road network, prioritising this above any expansion of the road itself. Brake and Direct Line’s report finds that such investment would significantly increase the numbers of those cycling, as whilst 70 per cent of drivers state that they currently never cycle on single-carriageway A roads, more than half state that they would be persuaded to if there was a demarcated space for cyclists.
Mr Harris said: “Contrary to popular opinion, drivers have told us that they are willing to switch modes and cycle if safe facilities are available. We echo this call and urge the Government to prioritise investment in safe, segregated cycle routes.”
Notes to editors
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.