A law unto themselves?

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4 Responses

  1. Alexander Baines-Buffery says:

    What does it matter that the law they prosecuted him under is from 1861?

    • Diana says:

      The world and the roads have changed a great deal since 1861. The fact that this as the only law which applied would suggest that updates are needed.

  2. Simon says:

    Interesting points. You say that Charlie Alliston had no brakes, which isn’t true, as he could brake by slowing down his pedalling. His stopping distance was roughly equal to a car’s (according to the dodgy figures from the prosecution), and he was much lighter than a car. So in most respects he was safer than a car on the road. And if a car had been going 18mph and a pedestrian had walked out in front of them and been hit, then we all know the driver would not have been prosecuted, and the blame firmly placed on the pedestrian. Not saying that what he did was fine: just that he ended up in jail, whereas a driver would not have been.

    In my opinion there isn’t a great need for a review into laws for cycling. Why does it matter when a law was written? It still works. Alliston was sent to prison. Yes it would be nice to have a shiny new law, but it’s a matter of priorities.

    There is so little time that the government hasn’t completed its review of how driving offences are treated: something that has been promised for three years. Given what caused the majority of the death and destruction on the roads, it’s there that the focus should lie.

  3. John MacInnes says:

    Not sure that just because a law is old, that it is needs to be reviewed. The courts also rely on sections of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 when charging someone with Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) or Actual Bodily Harm (ABH), both of which are common offences.

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