Presumptive liability

ratherbeintobago
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Presumptive liability

Postby ratherbeintobago » 9 Jun 2019, 2:05pm

Does CUK have a position on changing the law on liability (which would, IIRC bring us into line with the rest of Europe apart from Malta)? If not, why not?

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RickH
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby RickH » 9 Jun 2019, 2:42pm

They are in favour

https://www.cyclinguk.org/campaigning/v ... cyclists-0

I put "Cycling UK presumed liability" into Google & found the above link on the first page of results. :D

PH
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby PH » 9 Jun 2019, 2:43pm

Yes, as above link, it campaigns for it whenever there's the opportunity. We're nowhere near having it accepted in the UK, so it's questionable if it'd be a good use of resources to do more.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby atlas_shrugged » 9 Jun 2019, 6:23pm

This is such a good idea it is astonishing to see that UK does nothing to implement this.

It was very noticeable while cycling in Normandy how careful the French drivers were when overtaking cyclists.

ratherbeintobago
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby ratherbeintobago » 9 Jun 2019, 7:13pm

atlas_shrugged wrote:This is such a good idea it is astonishing to see that UK does nothing to implement this.

It was very noticeable while cycling in Normandy how careful the French drivers were when overtaking cyclists.


It just seems common sense, doesn’t it?

I gather we’ve already got it for when a car runs into the back of another stationary one, so I don’t know why it can’t be extended.

John Holiday
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby John Holiday » 10 Jun 2019, 10:50am

Every time that it has been suggested to fall in line with so many other cycle friendly countries, we get a Daily Mail headline claiming 'Motorists Persecuted,'!

reohn2
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby reohn2 » 10 Jun 2019, 11:09am

atlas_shrugged wrote:This is such a good idea it is astonishing to see that UK does nothing to implement this.

It's because successive UK governments don't give a stuff about cycling,that's the truth of it.

It was very noticeable while cycling in Normandy how careful the French drivers were when overtaking cyclists.

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thirdcrank
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jun 2019, 11:34am

Presumed liability is about compo ie trying to mitigate the injuries and damage resulting from a crash. I can see that it could ease things for the victims of a crash, but I cannot see how, on its own, it does much to improve behaviour, especially among drivers disposed to drive inconsiderately. I fancy that what makes the difference in places like Normandy is a much more robust system of enforcement than is now the norm here. My personal experience of policing in France is not recent and perhaps forum members living there may be able to give some insight, but I think traffic policing there is active and effective eg no loopholes and no messing about. Somebody (Vorpal?) has previously mentioned that after a crash involving injuries, one court hears the criminal and civil cases on the same day, dishing out the punishment and the compo at the same time, although with much smaller payouts for disabling injuries IIRC.

Also, I don't believe that if there's an incident involving a motor vehicle and a vulnerable road user that a payout from the driver is 100% certain. Rather, I believe the driver being assumed to be at fault is the starting point and that's open to change in the light of the evidence. Again, perhaps somebody who really knows might be able to help.

Nor do I think that the criminal system makes that assumption. I believe that in France there are Codes, and not complying with the relevant Code means trouble, which is largely an administrative decision within the police hierarchy. As I often post, it's about discovering what happened, rather than establishing "guilt."

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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby mjr » 10 Jun 2019, 11:45am

thirdcrank wrote:Presumed liability is about compo ie trying to mitigate the injuries and damage resulting from a crash. I can see that it could ease things for the victims of a crash, but I cannot see how, on its own, it does much to improve behaviour, especially among drivers disposed to drive inconsiderately. I fancy that what makes the difference in places like Normandy is a much more robust system of enforcement than is now the norm here. [...]

I suspect that's true, along with a culture where cyclists are not portrayed as subhuman scum. Even in the Netherlands, presumed liability was a relatively late addition to the legal landscape, adopted only in the 1990s. More info in the links at https://cyclingfallacies.com/en/30/liab ... ive-safely

I think presumed liability would be a good thing and doesn't seem to have much drawback, but it's not going to help that many more people cycle and we probably need more people cycling before it has enough political support to pass. By the way, it would also probably mean that many cyclists would need to take more care around walkers (and/or use cameras) because they'd be presumed at fault in any collision.
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby mattheus » 10 Jun 2019, 12:07pm

thirdcrank wrote: I can see that it could ease things for the victims of a crash, but I cannot see how, on its own, it does much to improve behaviour,


So it's a good thing, yes?

Noone's saying it's a magic wand to improve all driver behaviour - how about we give it a go anyway? :)

At worst, it will hugely improve the current compo situation.

thirdcrank
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jun 2019, 12:26pm

mattheus wrote: ... So it's a good thing, yes?

Noone's saying it's a magic wand to improve all driver behaviour - how about we give it a go anyway? :)

At worst, it will hugely improve the current compo situation.


As I've described it, it cannot be a bad thing, but it has limitations. It's just that some people think it's a "good thing" without really having much idea what they are rooting for. It's not a panacea, especially in isolation. At the simplest level, if nobody is really doing much about investigating crashes, there will be an increasing number where there's nobody identified to be presumed liable. Overall, I believe that in those places where it's a formal part of the legal system, it's only one element of a much bigger picture.

I think it's also worth noting that while our criminal law is increasingly in the form of Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments, with judge-made law playing less of a role, in the civil courts, it tends to be the other way round and judges change things in line with changes in society. I think the Cycling Silk, Martin Porter has written that we already have a form of presumed liability in that the duty of care placed on drivers is greater than that generally expected of cyclists and pedestrians.

I'm not sure why it matters what I think. I've no power to change anything. I just try to add a bit of info to discussions. Others will be harder to convince, especially if they stray onto some cycling forums for enlightenment.

mattheus
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby mattheus » 10 Jun 2019, 12:49pm

thirdcrank wrote:As I've described it, it cannot be a bad thing, but it has limitations.
<snip>
....
.... I just try to add a bit of info to discussions. Others will be harder to convince, especially if they stray onto some cycling forums for enlightenment.


When others come here, wouldn't it be nice if they got the message that it's a good thing?

Would it really kill you to admit it's a good thing? Go on, you can do it, it won't hurt a bit. Just type those 4 little words :)

(You can copy-n-paste mine if you want - you have my full permission.)

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby Wanlock Dod » 10 Jun 2019, 2:20pm

mjr wrote:I think presumed liability would be a good thing and doesn't seem to have much drawback, but it's not going to help that many more people cycle and we probably need more people cycling before it has enough political support to pass. By the way, it would also probably mean that many cyclists would need to take more care around walkers (and/or use cameras) because they'd be presumed at fault in any collision.

Perhaps the issue of the safety of pedestrians is something that might realistically increase the likelihood of such a system being adopted. The dangers of cyclists riding in close proximity to pedestrians seems to be something that gets complained about regularly, and whilst one might feel that these incidents are not resulting in many serious injuries it would probably be necessary to acknowledge that if it were not adopted. We, as cyclists, might see it as providing some additional incentive to motorists to look where they are going, and they would need to look out for pedestrians too, but it is probably pedestrians who collectively have the most to gain from it. Given that I am not sure why there are never calls for it from those that complain about dangerous cyclists on shared use paths and pavements, unless they are not really motivated by safety at all.

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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby Farrina » 10 Jun 2019, 2:49pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think the Cycling Silk, Martin Porter has written that we already have a form of presumed liability in that the duty of care placed on drivers is greater than that generally expected of cyclists and pedestrians.

I think the key point (IMHO) is that currently recalcitrant drivers only potentially discover this when/if they end up facing a civil claim in court, whereas if presumed liability (which I strongly favour) became “mainstream” it will hopefully influence drivers behaviour before they get to the point of injuring a cyclist/pedestrian.

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Re: Presumptive liability

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jun 2019, 4:08pm

mattheus wrote: ...
When others come here, wouldn't it be nice if they got the message that it's a good thing?

Would it really kill you to admit it's a good thing? Go on, you can do it, it won't hurt a bit. Just type those 4 little words :)

(You can copy-n-paste mine if you want - you have my full permission.)


Let's remember that this discussion started on a thread with the subject "Intimidating motorists?"
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=130170
There was some quite forceful opposition to a presumption of liability in which I didn't participate except to ask you a straightforward question which you avoided answering.

If it somehow makes you feel better, I'm happy to say that it's an excellent thing, but not in isolation.

In terms of the message that others who come here get, a celebration of vandalism and worse does us no favours, even if some of it is perhaps bravado.

Farrina wrote: ... I think the key point (IMHO) is that currently recalcitrant drivers only potentially discover this when/if they end up facing a civil claim in court, whereas if presumed liability (which I strongly favour) became “mainstream” it will hopefully influence drivers behaviour before they get to the point of injuring a cyclist/pedestrian.

As I've just said, this was covered in the "Intimidating motorits? thread and while I agree that perception is very important, I think you are putting too much weight on this in isolation. In general, I don't think the type of driver who worries about their no claims bonus is the type of driver who plays dodgems with road safety, but I've explained my thinking there.

If somebody is injured or killed, then the matter of getting compo for them or the bereaved is really important, and the fewer artificial obstacles the better. I suspect that the effect of this in terms of deterring bad driving is unknown. (See other thread.)