Labour calls the cops over Chris Grayling's latest blunder

Written by Sebastian Whale on 16 December 2016 in Diary

The transport secretary accidentally took out cyclist Jaiqu Liu in Westminster... and then complained about cyclists in London.

A Labour MP has contacted the police after footage emerged of transport secretary hitting a cyclist off the road by opening his car door.

Ian Austin has written to the Metropolitan police and Theresa May, alleging that Grayling may have committed at least one traffic offence in the incident close to the Houses of Parliament on 12 October.

In a video obtained by the Guardian, Grayling can be seen knocking cyclist Jaiqi Liu off his bike before going over to check on his condition.

The World Bank employee said he was in shock and had suffered pain to his back, legs and head since the collision. He said Grayling complained he had been travelling at too high a speed. Transport minister Paul Maynard was also in the car.

Austin believes that Grayling could be in breach of regulation 105 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, which makes it an offence to open the door of any vehicle on any road (or causing or permitting a door to be opened) so as to injure or endanger any person.

A breach of these regulations is said to be an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The former chair of the all-party parliamentary cycling group also cited section 170 of the same act which requires details to be provided in a collision which results in injury to another road user (or to an animal, or damage to another vehicle or other nearby property). 

Under subsection 3, a person is required to report the incident to the police if such details are not provided. Failure to do is reportedly an offence.

In his letter Austin states: “This shows how vulnerable cyclists are and it does show how careful we all have to be.

“Opening a car door in a way that injures someone is an offence and can result in serious injury and even death. Despite this, Mr Grayling didn’t even provide his details so he could pay for the damage, Mr Maynard couldn’t get away quick enough and their adviser tried to hide his identity badge.

“Anyone can make a mistake, but I don’t think you can have a Secretary of State who has injured another road user, could have committed an offence and failed even to provide his details afterwards.

“And then later, after causing this incident, the Secretary of State complained about cyclists and cycle lanes in London.”



A spokesman for the minister said: “This was an unfortunate accident. Mr Grayling got out of the car, checked the cyclist was OK and waited until he was back on his feet.

“Mr Grayling spoke to the cyclist and apologised; they shook hands before he left.”

It marks the second time in 10 days that Labour has put the boot into Grayling, after it emerged the transport secretary sent a letter to then London mayor Boris Johnson in 2013 saying he wanted to keep suburban rail routes "out of Labour's clutches".

Watch the footage below:



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