Published: 5 October 2012
On 17th October MPs will debate how victims are treated by the criminal justice system. This links perfectly to British Cycling’s call for a comprehensive review of how the justice system operates when people are hurt on the roads.
Led by Tony Lloyd MP, a cyclist and advocate for better justice for victims and their families, MPs will take turns to discuss what the government should to do improve the justice system in a 90 minute debate at Westminster. A Government Minister will then conclude the debate.
The debate follows the Early Day Motion tabled in July in support of British Cycling’s call for a review of the justice system, which 56 MPs from all the major political parties have already signed so far. More are expected to sign when MPs return from recess on 15th October. MPs signed in response to our members writing to them urging them to sign the EDM. Others have written to the Lord Chancellor in support of the justice review.
Write or email your MP asking them to attend the debate on 17th October and speak up for cyclists.
Even MPs that don’t sign EDMs can go to debates.
We are calling on members and anyone interested and concerned about this issue to write or email their MPs asking them to intervene in the debate and speak up for cyclists. Only MPs can speak, but the more people that are watching the debate on the 17th October, the more pressure will be put on government to act. Ministers from the government and the shadow cabinet have to attend and respond to the debate.
Through our campaign, we are calling for the Government to undertake a full, joined up review of the way in which incidents where cyclists are killed or injured are investigated and prosecuted and then make the changes needed to give all road users confidence that the justice system is playing the role it should do to protect them. Find out more about the justice review campaign here.
Martin Gibbs, Policy and Legal Affairs Director said “This is an issue which concerns everyone who cycles, whether they are a world champion or someone who rides their bike to work occasionally. Our call for a review is supported by the CTC, Sustrans, the London Cycling Campaign, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, The Times, RoadPeace, Brake, Leigh Day & Co solicitors, the Road Danger Reduction Forum and many others.
"The creation of a safe and welcoming environment for cycling has many elements. One of those elements is how adequately people feel they are protected by the law. It is clear to us that the current justice system often delivers results which send the wrong message about the right of people to ride safely on the roads. We need to take action now to make the government take this issue seriously.”
We know of many cases where it seems justice hasn’t been served for people hurt on the roads. For example, Rob Jefferies, a British Cycling colleague and volunteer co-ordinator was killed cycling, by an 18 year old driver who had recently passed his test and had previously been caught speeding. The driver received 200 hours community sentence and an 18 month driving ban. Another example is Karl Austin, a club cyclist, was killed in Derbyshire by a speeding lorry. The driver received a 24 week suspended sentence. And Tom Barratt, an RAF officer and father of 2 was killed by a delivery van driver who received a 12 month ban and 100 hours community service.
The Westminster Hall adjournment debate has been tabled by Tony Lloyd MP for 2.30pm on 17th October for 90minutes on the subject of ‘Victims and the Criminal Justice System’. Westminster Hall is adjacent to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. If you are attending, please get there early to allow for security checks. For more information on Westminster Hall debates, click here.
If you want to find out who your MP is and write to them, please click here.