On Air Now
Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Lucy Horobin 6:30am - 10am
2 December 2011, 06:00
The Bennett family from Buckingham have criticised the way the Department for Transport are handling their campaign. Diana and Michael Bennett have been campaigning for a new law so that dangerous cyclists will serve a prison sentence if they kill someone.
The campaign comes after their 17 year old daughter Rhiannon was killed in 2007 by a person who was cycling dangerously, because there is no legislation against this offence the punishment the cyclist received was a fine.
In March the MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, spoke to the House of Commons and requested that there be new legislation in a Ten Minute Rule Bill. The Bennett family went along to watch in the public gallery.
Michael Bennett says that after the bill was heard the Transport Minister’s secretary approached him:
"He couldn't have been more helpful, he promised to look at it with some urgency and he would put the matter right. Then he asked for a meeting with us some weeks later which we attended and we haven't heard a word since"
Michael is worried that the Government are too pro-cycling to enforce any laws against cyclists. He thinks that 9 months on, the government are not interested but he says the family won't stop campaigning:
"We will campaign for another 10 years because we have got nothing to lose, we have already lost everything so we are not going to go away or be quiet"
Mike Penning has issued Heart with this statement in response to the criticism:
"I have the deepest sympathy for the Bennett family and the utmost respect for the work they are doing to raise awareness on this issue.
“I apologise that my Department has not been in touch with the family following our meeting earlier this year. However, I would like to assure the family that they are not being ignored and that work is going on across Government to establish the best way to ensure justice in these sorts of cases.
“The Bennett family are always welcome to contact me or my Department if they have any questions or concerns and we will be in touch with the family shortly to update them on the work that is being done.”