Dangerous cyclists could face tougher prison sentences under new proposals

Cyclists who kill or injure pedestrians could face tougher punishments under new government plans, as ITV News Reporter Natasha Potts explains

Dangerous cyclists could face tougher sentences similar those enforced on motorists, under new proposals being debated in Parliament on Wednesday.

The move would close a loophole which has been campaigned against for years, that only allows a cyclist to be jailed for a maximum of two years for "wanton and furious driving".

The Victorian law introduced in 1861 means cyclists aren't subject to the same rules as car drivers, because the current law only appplies to "mechanically propelled" vehicles.

Motorists can face a life sentence if they're convicted of causing death by dangerous or reckless driving.

Former leader of the Conservative Party Sir Iain Duncan Smith has put forward a number of amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill being debated on Wednesday afternoon, which would mean people riding bikes would face tougher penalties if they injure of kill pedestrians.

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The amendments would cover people riding pedal bikes, e-bikes, electric scooters, unicycles and "personal transporters".

Posting on X, Sir Iain said: "Ministers have repeatedly promised to update laws but have repeatedly failed to do so."

"These amendments would see the creation of an “offence of causing death or serious injury by dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling”, as well as an offence of killing someone through “inconsiderate” cycling. The amendments would also require a bike to be “equipped and maintained” to standards set out in the Act."

Under the current rules, the maximum two-year sentence for "wanton and furious driving" by a cyclist is reduced by a third if the defendant pleads guilty.

The changes put forward by Sir Iain are also backed by a number of senior Conservatives, including Suella Braverman, Sir Robert Buckland, and Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

A Westminster source told the Telegraph newspaper: "There is general acceptance around the House of Commons that this should be done: the only question is how it should be done."

Speaking to the newspaper, motoring lawyer Nick Freeman, who is nicknamed "Mr Loophole", has urgently called for the amendments to become law.

After the debate on Wednesday afternoon, the Commons' Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will then chose which amendments can be voted on and sent to the House of Lords to be looked at further.

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