POLITICS

Dangerous Driving Laws Could Be Extended To Cyclists, Theresa May Says

PM pledged to look at legislation after death of mum Kim Briggs.

06/09/2017 13:16 | Updated 06 September 2017

Dangerous driving laws could be extended to apply to cyclists, Theresa May has said. 

The PM was quizzed on the “outdated” current legislation during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday by Labour MP Heidi Alexander, whose constituent died after being knocked down by a cyclist in central London.

Mum-of-two Kim Briggs suffered “non-survivable brain injuries” when she was hit by Charlie Alliston, who was riding an Olympic-style track bike with no front brakes, in 2016.

Alexander, who served as shadow health secretary until June last year, said: “Does the prime minister agree with me that the law around dangerous driving should be extended to include cyclists, and does she also agree with me that the 1861 offence of ‘wanton and furious driving’, which the prosecution had to rely on in this case, is hopelessly outdated and wholly inadequate?”

PA Wire/PA Images
Kim Briggs, 44, died after being knocked down by a cyclist.

Alliston was found guilty of wanton and furious driving after being cleared of manslaughter - thought to be the first time such a prosecution had been brought against a cyclist for the death a pedestrian.

The 20-year-old will be sentenced later this month.

May told the Commons transport secretary would examine the possibility of updating the law.  Current dangerous driving legislation only applies to “mechanically propelled vehicles”.

“We should welcome the fact the prosecution were able to find legislation under which they were able to take a prosecution,” she added.

“But the point she [Alexander] makes is a general one about ensuring that our legislation keeps up to date with developments that take place, and I am sure this is an issue that the secretary of state for transport will look at.”

Briggs’ widower Matthew is pushing for new laws to tackle “irresponsible and reckless” riders so other families are spared having to endure the “absolutely dreadful” situation his family had. 

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