Cyclists defense league petition
Dan Black’s story
Dan was left tri-plegic at the age of 22, following a collision with a car driver.
As if these life-shattering injuries weren’t enough, the police then spectacularly failed to deliver justice. Their report made no mention of the driver’s illegal manoeuvre immediately before the collision. Nor had they tested the driver’s eyesight at the crash scene, despite telling Dan’s parents they had done so. Instead, they made out that Dan himself was at fault for having inadequate lighting, even though his bike lights were fully compliant with British standards.
Their report also omitted any mention of Dan’s reflective clothing. This key piece of evidence had been cut off him at the crash scene by the paramedics, but was then disposed of by the hospital after the police failed to collect it.
In the end, the case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service because it was deemed not to be ‘in the public interest’ and due to Dan’s ‘poor lighting’. This left Dan having to do all the evidence-gathering to demonstrate the driver’s negligence, before he could claim the compensation he now depends on for his long-term care.
Demand justice for injured cyclists – sign the Road Justice petition
Today, campaigners and victims of cycling incidents are meeting with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales to hand in CTC’s first in a series of Road Justice reports. This one focuses on the role of roads policing in keeping cyclists safe and in ensuring injured cyclists get access to justice.
Every police force, serious collision investigation unit and road safety partnership has also been sent the report. Further Road Justice reports are planned, looking at the roles of prosecutors and the courts respectively, and a further report on Scottish justice issues.
Today’s report contains 8 case studies of cyclists who suffered serious injuries, including Dan's story. Their personal stories exemplify some of the all-too-common failings of roads policing in the aftermath of road collisions. These include: failure to attend a crash scene; automatically assuming an injured cyclist is at fault; failing to take timely witness statements; and failing to keep victims informed of case progress. Many more case studies, highlighting additional problems, are available on the Road Justice website.
Take action: Sign the petition demanding that all police forces implement the report’s recommendations.
The Road Justice report contains 10 recommendations to ensure that roads policing is properly resourced and carried out to high standards. This is vital both for reducing the dangers caused by irresponsible driving and to ensure that justice is done when it occurs. The legal system must signal clearly that any incident involving death or injury to a cyclist will be treated with the utmost severity.
Let’s make sure the police hear our demands and make changes that will effectively discourage bad driving and bring about real justice.
Take action: Sign the petition and visit the Road Justice website.
CTC Road Justice Coordinator