Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

40 Cyclists Killed ...4 Drivers Jailed; MOTORISTS 'LET OFF WITH LENIENT SENTENCES' OVER TWO-YEAR PERIOD .'Soft Justice System Has Different Set of Rules for Deaths by vehicle'AND NO CHARGES . OVER TWO DEATHS INVOLVING LORRIES'Soft Justice System Has Different Set of Rules for Deaths by vehicle'EXCLUSIVE'Soft Justice System Has Different Set of Rules for Deaths by Vehicle'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

40 Cyclists Killed ...4 Drivers Jailed; MOTORISTS 'LET OFF WITH LENIENT SENTENCES' OVER TWO-YEAR PERIOD .'Soft Justice System Has Different Set of Rules for Deaths by vehicle'AND NO CHARGES . OVER TWO DEATHS INVOLVING LORRIES'Soft Justice System Has Different Set of Rules for Deaths by vehicle'EXCLUSIVE'Soft Justice System Has Different Set of Rules for Deaths by Vehicle'

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Chief News Correspondent

DRIVERS involved in the death of a cyclist have only a one in 10 chance of being sent to jail, an Evening Standard investigation reveals today.

An analysis of police data on the 40 cyclists killed in London between 2010 and 2012 found that drivers had been imprisoned on just four occasions.

There were seven further cases where minor or suspended sentences were imposed -- allowing motorists to walk free. In at least 24 further cases, the Metropolitan or City of London Police and the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to press charges or discontinued criminal proceedings. On four occasions the driver was cleared by a jury.

The revelations come as it emerged there will be no prosecutions in two cyclist deaths involving HGVs last year -- Dr Katharine Giles at Victoria and Alan Neve in Holborn. Their respective inquests are tomorrow and on Monday.

Today politicians and campaigners warned that the criminal justice system was failing to offer sufficient protection to cyclists by letting convicted motorists escape with "lenient" sentences. Cycling campaigner Martin Porter, QC, who has represented families of dead riders, said: "The chances are that if you run down a cyclist you will not be prosecuted.

"Not one insured driver convicted of causing death by careless driving was jailed in London in this period. Large numbers will not get on bicycles while driving behaviour that endangers them continues to go almost wholly undeterred." Baroness Jones, the Green member of the House of Lords and London Assembly, said: "It seems the criminal justice system goes soft and applies completely different rules to death and injury once you get behind the wheel of a vehicle."

Caroline Pidgeon, Lib-Dem transport spokeswoman on the London Assembly, said: "All the evidence does suggest that far too often lenient sentences are being handed down to motorists and lorry drivers who have been convicted for careless driving which has contributed to the death of a cyclist." A total of 54 cyclists have been killed in London since 2010, including 2013.

Police data obtained under freedom of information laws revealed the longest sentence on a driver was four years. …

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