cyclists and 262 seriously injured between 2005 and 2009.  There is however no law enabling cyclists to be prosecuted like dangerous drivers.  Drivers convicted of death by dangerous driving face up to 14 years in jail whereas most cyclists would only face a fine. 
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Death by dangerous cycling

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To combat this a private members bill was introduced last month by conservative MP, Mrs Leadsom proposing a new offence of causing death by dangerous driving. This seems to be gathering momentum and whilst I fully support this proposal it would only effect a small number of cases each year.  Surely it would be better to introduce an offence of careless cycling at the same time to cover the 262 who were seriously injured and the many thousand more that suffered less serious injuries?  
 
It would also seem sensible to introduce compulsory insurance for cyclists as well.  Currently, there is no requirement to have insurance so unless an individual has taken out specific insurance or is covered by their house insurance, an individual could be seriously injured and yet have no ability to seek financial redress.  Whilst, they could claim against the individual responsible unless they had money or equity in their home there would be little point pursuing the claim.  Whilst the injured party could be awarded compensation if the negligent cyclists does not have the means to pay it, the award is worthless.
 
I am aware of these issues first hand.  I was involved in a case where a student was knocked over on a pedestrian crossing by a fast moving cyclist.  They sustained head injuries which impacted upon their studies.  Fortunately, they made a good recovery.  They were also fortunate to be struck by a cyclist who was insured and so were able to claim compensation for their injuries, rehabilitation and financial impact upon their life.
 
if you want to read more about this private members bill http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13034162
 
Claire Howard is a Partner in the Personal Injury team.

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