This change in law brings the maximum sentence for causing death or serious injury by dangerous cycling in line with the sentencing guidelines for dangerous drivers.

According to an article published in The Telegraph, nine people died following a collision with a bicycle during the four-year period between 2018 and 2022. Meanwhile Chris Boardman, Olympic cyclist and Commissioner of Active Travel England, highlighted that more people are killed by cows or lightning every year than by cyclists.

Every day, five people are killed on UK roads. In 2022 alone, 1,766 people died – a 10% increase on 2021 figures – and almost 29,000 people were seriously injured. One of the main causes of road crashes and harm is vehicles being driven faster than the speed limit or too fast for the road conditions. Despite this, the Government has suggested that measures to reduce road death, for example by lowering speed limits on roads in built-up areas to 20mph, are part of a ‘war on motorists’.

In 2022, 4,935 people were killed or seriously injured in a crash involving a young driver – and yet the Government continues to push back on opportunities to safeguard young and newly qualified drivers through a Graduated Driver Licensing system, calling it restrictive to young people’s freedom.

Three years ago, the Government committed to publishing a Road Safety Strategy with measures to reduce the number of deaths on our roads and promote safe and healthy travel for everyone. As we write this, in May 2024, there has still been no such strategy published.

Responding to the changes in sentencing for dangerous cycling, Brake's CEO Ross Moorlock said: “Every road death and injury is devastating for the families involved, and we welcome robust and fair sentencing for any road user who kills or harms through reckless behaviour.

"However, it feels that the focus being given to this announcement – by both Government and the media – is disproportionate given the true extent of road casualties across the UK, and the lack of commitment from this Government to address road safety at a strategic level.

"If the aviation or rail industry had the safety record that roads do, planes would be grounded, and trains would be stopped.

"Given the Government is so eager to act on dangerous cycling, we ask that they now continue this trend, by introducing further legislation that ensures that we see a significant and sustained reduction in road death and injury both this year and in the years to come."