A radical proposal for cycling awareness has been unveiled by the government. The plans include a series of measures to improve safety for vulnerable road users, and to encourage and support cycling. The aim is to reduce the significant number of serious and fatal accidents suffered by cyclists.
The two-year plan proposed by the Department of Transport will include the appointment of a cycling and walking “champion” to ensure policies meet the needs of road users, as well as 50 new measures ranging from education schemes for drivers, to greater powers of enforcement.
Some of the proposed measures include; the possibility of discounted insurance premiums for motorists who pass a cycling awareness course; a new dedicated police unit to analyse dash and helmet-cam footage of dangerous driving; and new powers for councils to tackle issues such as car users parking in cycle lanes. Under the new plan, local authorities will be encouraged to spend 15% of their local transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling, and there may also be a review of the Highway Code in relation to drivers’ behaviour towards vulnerable road users.
With 100 cycling fatalities on UK roads last year alone, the Department of Transport cycling awareness strategy is welcomed by many as an attempt to better support and protect vulnerable road users. It has not, however, been fully endorsed by all; some cycling organisations are frustrated at the lack of emphasis placed on speed reduction, and the Chief Executive of Cycling UK, Paul Tuohy, has said that “While the Department Of Transport’s proposals for amendments to the Highway Code will help save lives, ignoring the threat and dangers of speeding is disappointing.”
Paul Keown, personal injury partner at Healys LLP in London commented, “These proposals are long overdue; sadly all too often death and carnage occur where commuters in London and other major cities are competing for road space on an overcrowded network. We have successfully represented many families who have suffered the loss of a loved one, or survivors who have sustained horrific injuries and need to rebuild their life.”
If you have suffered injury in a cycling accident then our team of dedicated solicitors are available to provide expert assistance and advice. Contact us today on 0207 822 4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org