Published: 25 May 2012
Report: Eddie Allen
Image: Guy Swarbrick
Saturday 26 May marks one year since British Cycling employee and well known track and time trial cyclist Rob Jefferies was struck from behind by a car and killed while out training near his home in Dorset.
Rob was a hugely significant figure in the cycling community - a prominent track rider, time triallist, event organiser, British Cycling Volunteer Support Officer and great friend to many people in British Cycling and the wider cycling community.
The news of Rob’s death caused widespread shock and grief in the cycling community. On the eve of the anniversary, British Cycling Policy and Legal Affairs Director Martin Gibbs looked back on the tragic events of 26 May 2011, the critical issues which followed as the case progressed, and outlined the steps British Cycling has taken since the incident to change sentencing guidelines in these cases:
“Rob Jefferies, a colleague of ours at British Cycling, was killed a year ago this coming Saturday. He was hit from behind, in daylight, by a car on an open stretch of road in Dorset. His family, friends and colleagues felt let down by a justice system that delivered a short driving ban and a community service sentence to the 18-year-old who was responsible. Outcomes like this send the wrong message out about how society values human life and how we expect people to behave on the roads.
“British Cycling has appealed to the Sentencing Council to review sentencing guidelines and we will be stepping up our work in this area. The London Mayor agrees – before he was elected, Boris Johnson pledged to Rob’s brother Will that he would use his new Sentencing Unit to monitor cases like these, and make representations to the government where justice has not been done. We’ll be working with him to make sure that promise is delivered on.”
A year later we remain in close contact with Rob's family and his brother Will has been a strong and effective advocate for improving conditions for people riding bikes. In the year since Rob's death we have been campaigning for fairer sentencing guidelines, together with ongoing work on influencing government on a broad range of cycling safety issues including HGV safety, infrastructure improvements, cyclist awareness, driver training, urban speed limits and law enforcement.