Today, Sunday 12 August, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the opening of a new consultation into whether a new offence, equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving, should be introduced for dangerous cycling.

Living Streets supports the consultation; as the charity for everyday walking our mission is to ensure that all streets are fit for walking and to encourage all generations to enjoy the benefits walking brings.

Joe Irvin, CEO of Living Streets says:

“There is certainly need to think about a change to the law on death by dangerous cycling to bring it into line with motoring offences. However let’s be clear; 99 per cent of road deaths are caused by motor vehicles. Cycles are not the main problem. We need to make our roads safer for everyone including pedestrians, so we look forward to hearing further new proposals from phase two of the CWIS safety review*.”

Living Streets says there is no doubt that streets need to be made safer for pedestrians and wants a Vision Zero safe systems approach to road safety (as adopted by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan). The most recent figures (2016) reveal that pedestrians make up 25% of road user fatalities in Great Britain. This is an increase of 6% on the 2010-2014 average, and a 10% increase since previous year.

Living Streets is jointly holding a conference on 8 November with PACTS the parliamentary road safety body to explore what more can be done to make our streets safer for walking.

 

Joe Irvin continues: “We need to see many more measures which protect pedestrians. We need lower speed limits in urban areas, more time to cross at light-controlled crossings, better street maintenance and constraints on pavement parking. Walking and cycling both have positive benefits to our communities, economy, environment and society.”

As part of the latest DfT announcement, it has said that more is being done to protect cyclists and pedestrians who use the roads safely, including a push for higher standards for cycling and walking infrastructure across the UK.

Separately, the Department for Transport has also announced that it is gathering evidence on the effectiveness of current laws on pavement parking to address safety issues concerning cyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users. 

As a member of the Cycle Proofing Working Group which is developing national guidance and best practice for cycling and walking infrastructure, Living Streets want all road users to benefit from the best facilities – which they believe should look at the most vulnerable road users first - pedestrians.

*The Department’s call for evidence on cycling and walking, which closed at the start of June, gave people the opportunity to share their views and opinions on ways to improve cycling and walking safety from improved infrastructure to education for all road users. The findings of the consultation will be shared in due course.