EditorialFri 7 Sep 2018 17.34 BST
A recent crash has refocused attention on the risks cyclists pose to pedestrians. But bicycles, including electric ones, do far more good than harm
That last week’s collision of an electric bicycle with a pedestrian in London was one of the tiny minority of road crashes to make national news is unsurprising. E-bikes, which have a battery and electric motor to assist with pedalling, remain a relative rarity in the UK, although their popularity is growing. This crash was newsworthy because it was unusual.
The cyclist, who was filmed carrying his bicycle away from the scene, was later arrested. At the time of writing, the 56-year-old woman who was injured remained in hospital. It should go without saying that this is a terrible situation. The violence and suddenness of injuries and deaths caused by road collisions make them hugely distressing. But the incident also attracted attention because a consultation regarding new laws to tackle reckless cyclists is under way.
This follows last year’s conviction of Charlie Alliston for causing bodily harm by “wanton and furious driving” after he collided with Kim Briggs while riding a bicycle that had no front brake. Alliston was jailed for 18 months, but acquitted of manslaughter. The case attracted a high level of public attention, with Briggs’s widower calling for new laws. Politicians responded positively and the consultation is the result.