Margaret McCartney: Doctors should care about cycling


Charlie Alliston was recently convicted of “wanton and furious driving” and jailed for 18 months. A pedestrian, Kim Briggs, was killed when Alliston, riding a bicycle that was not fitted with a front brake, collided with her in London in 2016.1

In the wake of his conviction we’ve heard significant murmurings from the media that cyclists, as part of a “minority activity,” have had it too easy. Some suggest that cyclists not only require some form of regulation but are responsible for causing car congestion, as bike lanes are allegedly underused.2 A police and crime commissioner in England has called for cyclists to have some kind of registration display.3

The government, in the meantime, has responded by accelerating a review of the law (pending since 2014) to “consider whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for cyclists.” This review will have two phases. The first will consider whether a new cycling offence should be placed into statute. The second is a consultation about road safety and “the different ways in which safety can be further improved between cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.”4

Doctors should care about cycling, as it’s one of the best preventive health interventions we have. Active commuting, including…