New driving law changes needed to deal with 'kamikaze' cyclists as 'Mr Loophole' slams 20mph speed limits

New driving law changes needed to deal with 'kamikaze' cyclists as 'Mr Loophole' slams 20mph speed limits

WATCH: 'Mr Loophole' Nick Freeman on 20mph speed limit roads

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 09/03/2024

- 10:00

A growing number of roads are having their speed limits slashed to 20mph

Britain’s leading road traffic lawyer has called for measures to be introduced to crack down on cyclists speeding and weaving in and out of vehicles on 20mph speed limit roads.

Nick Freeman says a “loophole” in the current legislation means there is no speed limit for cycling, meaning those riding bikes can go as fast as they want.

This is despite a growing number of roads across the country having their speed limits cut to 20mph, something Freeman has identified as an issue.

He has warned that because vehicles are going at an “unnaturally slow” pace on these roads, it is giving rise to “kamikaze cycling”, which the expert said puts all road users at risk.

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Nick Freeman and a cyclist on a 20mph road

Nick Freeman has criticised 'kamikaze' cyclists


Freeman, who is also known as Mr Loophole thanks to his celebrity clients including Jeremy Clarkson and David Beckham, said the introduction of 20mph zones won’t make a difference for safety unless restrictions apply to cyclists.

The criminal defence lawyer added: “But how on earth can cyclists safely share road space with cars on 20mph roads when those on bikes don’t have to observe the limit?

“How can you have a speed limit which claims to protect all yet doesn't apply to certain road users? It is a contradiction in terms.

“Because of this disparity, we see legally compliant cars crawling along at 20mph while kamikaze cyclists dangerously undertake and overtake these vehicles with impunity – because there is no law to stop them from doing so.”

The 68-year-old questioned how the 20mph speed limits and speeding cyclists “advance the cause of road safety”.

A growing number of areas are introducing 20mph speed limits, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan rolling them out across the capital and the Welsh Government passing laws to implement a blanket restriction on residential roads.

Road safety experts have supported the 20mph schemes for helping to slash speeding rates, protect other road users and limit the number of accidents.

Freeman, who is known for using legal loopholes to win cases for his clients, highlighted how police forces have handed out 216,000 fines for travelling between 20mph and 30mph across the UK in 2023 - quadruple the number issued compared to 2018.

The lawyer believes the absence of a law which obliges cyclists to stick to a designated speed limit could also be a contributing factor to the increased number of pedestrians being injured by those riding bikes.

There have been concerns recently that the true extent of cyclists who break the law is unknown because of a lack of accurate collision data.

It has been reported that some people who were killed in accidents have not been logged as fatalities because the data excludes those killed in public spaces like cycle paths and parks.

Highway Code guidance has been updated in recent years to ensure that all road users are aware of their responsibility when travelling.


20mph sign

Wales rolled out 20mph speed limits on residential roads in September


This included updated guidance for people cycling, allowing them to ride in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions.

They should keep at least 50 centimetres – or just over 1.5 feet – away from the kerb edge when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them.

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