Friday, 9 September 2011

Stricter Liability Laws should apply to motorists in UK: call from Brighton and Hove cycle camapign group, Bricycles

In the most recent edition of Bricycles Newsletter, Tony Green calls for local politicians to introduce stricter liability laws in the UK (click here to download Bricycles news no 88).

This edition also contains a detailed report on the inquest into the death of cyclist Joanna Walters last year (inquest held in January 2011), and a call for barriers to segregate cyclists from motorists on such main roads.

So what is involved in stricter liability? Here is a handy little explanation and a video follows.

With Strict Liability, it's always the motorist at fault when they collide with vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

In the film, Hans Voerknecht, international coordinator of the Dutch Fietsberaad explains how this works in practice.

Basically, cars kill. Those who drive cars and kill or injure people are liable, simply because of the responsibility involved in operating a 2000 kg machine.

- The UK is only one of four Western European countries that doesnt have 'strict liability' to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
- Strict liability entitles a crash victim to compensation unless the driver can prove the cyclist or pedestrian was at fault.
- Strict liability encourages more careful driving (and cycling, because a cyclist would be deemed to be at fault for crashing into a pedestrian).
- Strict liability would be a matter of civil rather than criminal law so would not affect criminal prosecutions.

The explanation above comes from Copenhagenise website:

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