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Government considering new laws to tackle dangerous cycling, says minister

New legislation to address dangerous cycling offences is being considered by the Department for Transport, a justice minister has said.

Last year, then-transport secretary Grant Shapps pledged to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law, which would have seen cyclists who killed people prosecuted in a similar way to motorists who caused death by dangerous driving.

The announcement came four years after the Government ran a consultation on proposals for new offences of causing death or serious injury while cycling.

Speaking during justice questions, Edward Argar acknowledged current laws were “old” and that it could be “difficult to successfully prosecute offences”.

He told MPs that Department for Transport (DfT) colleagues were considering bringing forward fresh legal provisions focused on addressing dangerous cycling behaviour.

But he did not provide a time frame or reveal when such legislation would be introduced.

Mr Argar’s comments came after Tory former Cabinet minister Dame Andrea Leadsom said: “Can I ask him what conversations he has had across Government to make sure that the sentencing for those convicted of dangerous cycling is equalised with the sentencing guidelines for those convicted of dangerous driving?”

Tory former cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Tory former Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom quizzed the justice minister in the House of Commons (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The justice minister replied: “Well, I’m grateful to her, who I know takes a keen interest in this issue.

“The safety of our roads is a key objective for the Government. Protecting all road users is a priority.

“Like all road users, cyclists have a duty to behave in a safe and responsible manner. While laws are in place for cyclists, the current laws are old and it can be difficult to successfully prosecute offences.

“That’s why DfT colleagues are considering bringing forward legislation to introduce new offences concerning dangerous cycling to tackle those rare instances where victims have been killed or seriously injured by irresponsible cycling behaviour.”

A DfT spokesperson said: “Dangerous cycling puts lives at risk and is completely unacceptable.

“That’s why there are already strict laws in place for cyclists, and police have the power to prosecute if these are broken.”