Published: 28 August 2013
The government’s announcement today that it will conduct a review of sentencing guidelines for dangerous driving offences is a victory for British Cycling and its 80,000 strong membership, the sports governing body announced today.
The Department for Transport today announced that a sentencing review will be launched early next year as part of its response to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s report Get Britain Cycling, published in April.
Commenting on the news, British Cycling’s Director of Policy and Legal Affairs, Martin Gibbs, said: "We need everybody to feel properly protected by the criminal justice system when travelling on the road. The lenient sentence handed out to the driver responsible for the death of our colleague Rob Jeffries was a glaring example of the failure of the system.
"We’ve been asking the government for months for a review of sentencing guidelines so I’m glad to see that confirmed, though it should form part of a comprehensive review of the criminal justice process, which all too often fails people on bikes by not prosecuting or by returning sentences which don’t reflect the seriousness of the crime.
"We have been meeting with Ministry of Justice and the Department of Transport to push for improvements but progress has been slow. This announcement means that positive steps are being taken and is a victory for British Cycling and its members.”
British Cycling employee and well known track and time trial cyclist Rob Jefferies was killed in 2011 while out on a training ride near his home in Dorset. He was hit from behind in broad daylight by a 17 year-old driver who had only held his licence for six months and already had a speeding conviction.
The driver received a 12-month community order, 200 hours of community service, an 18 month driving ban and was ordered to pay £85 costs. On the first anniversary of Rob’s death in May 2012, British Cycling and Cycling Weekly launched a joint campaign to get the government to conduct a comprehensive review of the justice system.
The government also announced today that it is considering introducing priority traffic lights and filter signals as a way of giving cyclists a head start at traffic lights. The measures would be introduced from 2015.