Stricter liability – the call for a fairer system for all

The road justice debate rumbles on. Here’s the latest Early Day Motion EDM407 http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/407 – please contact your MP to take action and sign it. Or if they have shadow cabinet responsibility to write to the relevant minister for a statement.

This is part of a British Cycling initiative in collaboration with cycling advocacy groups http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/campaigning/article/cam20120828-Get-your-MP-to-support-our-campaign-for-a-justice-review-0 – there’s a suggested template (also replicated below) which you can personalise as much as you can and then send it to your MP.

Not sure who your MP is? Check here http://www.writetothem.com/.

TEMPLATE / SAMPLE LETTER

MP Name
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

August 2012

Dear MP [inserting their real name here will more likely gain a response]

Re: Early Day Motion in support of British Cycling and Cycling Weekly’s Campaign for a review of the criminal justice system and how it should be changed to better protect road users

I am writing to you as a constituent and concerned member of public, asking you to sign the Early Day Motion 407 “Victims of Road Accidents”. As a cyclist it is clear to me that the current justice system often delivers results which send the wrong message about how we value life and the right of people to travel and cycle safely on the road.

For example earlier this year the man who killed a former British Cycling employee was given a sentence of 200 hours community service, a fine and 18 months driving disqualification. Other cases don’t even make it to court, for example in November last year the coroner decided that “no-one is to blame” when a woman was killed on her cycle home at Bow roundabout in London by a tipper truck which didn’t indicate and was being driven by a man talking on his hands free mobile at the time.

[if you add your own examples of incidents you know about or experiences you’ve had on the road this will help to make it more personal. You can replace our examples with yours too].

After the success of our cyclists at the Olympic Games in London more people are being inspired to take up cycling and creating a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, from elite athletes to people riding again for the first time in years is essential if we are to build the cycling legacy this country deserves. That’s why signing this EDM is really important right now. The justice system needs to be reviewed to ensure it is properly taking account of the consequences upon victims and their families when something goes wrong and is creating the right culture of care and responsibility on the roads.

British Cycling are calling on the Lord Chancellor to undertake a full review of the process in conjunction with his colleagues at the Home Office and Department for Transport and this EDM is in support of that call. There’s more information here: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/campaigning” http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/campaigning on the British Cycling Website.

The EDM was tabled by Julian Huppert MP before the summer recess and has already received 16 signatures across all the main political parties. It says:

“That this House notes that many victims of road accidents do not feel that the criminal justice system adequately protects or supports them in the aftermath of their case; further notes that it is important that those who have suffered traumatic incidents are given effective and sympathetic support as they attempt to rebuild their lives; welcomes the work of British Cycling and other groups, including CTC, Sustrans, London Cycling Campaign, The Times, Cycling Weekly, RoadPeace and Brake to raise the profile of the issue; and calls on the Ministry of Justice to review carefully the evidence they have submitted and undertake a comprehensive review of each part of the criminal justice system, from crash investigation standards through to sentencing guidelines, to ensure that it is fairer for cyclists, pedestrians and other road users who are hurt or seriously injured on the country’s roads.”

As you can see, many organisations are in support of the review, as well as MPs. I hope you will consider my request and sign the Early Day Motion.

Your support of this issue would mean a lot to me as your constituent. I would appreciate a response to know how you’ve considered my request.

Yours sincerely,

INSERT Your Name

INSERT Your contact details