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  • Writer's pictureChrissy O'Connor

Cycling and the Law: Potential New Offences and What They Mean


Road Traffic Offences

More cyclists than ever now use our roads and in recent years, particularly since changes to the Highway Code introduced a hierarchy of road users, the responsibility and accountability of cyclists has become a somewhat controversial topic.



Existing Offences:


The offences of Dangerous Cycling and Careless or Inconsiderate Cycling have been in force under the Road Traffic Act 1988 for some time but are, in my experience, rarely considered for investigation by the police and even more rarely prosecuted.


Currently, cyclists who cause injury or death to another road user can only be convicted under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which covers “wanton and furious driving”.



The New Offences:


The introduction of the new offences would perhaps bring more clarity to what is presently a somewhat grey area and bring the accountability of cyclists in line with that of other road users.


The proposal suggests that the punishment for cyclists convicted of the new offences would be the same as those for drivers, including the possibility of a prison sentence.


However, drivers convicted of these offences also face a disqualification from driving, for a minimum of 12 months. It remains to be seen whether cyclists would face a similar penalty, bearing in mind a licence is not required to cycle on the roads.



Cyclist Insurance?


Drivers must also hold valid insurance to drive on the roads. Whilst some household or other legal expenses insurance may cover damage or injury caused by a cyclist, it also remains to be seen whether some sort of additional insurance will be required, or indeed be sensible, for cyclists in the future.



If you or someone you know is facing legal issues related to driving cycling offences, don't hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process. Reach out to LMP Legal today for a consultation and let us provide the support and guidance you need. 




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