'Strict Liability' laws

ratherbeintobago
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'Strict Liability' laws

Postby ratherbeintobago » 7 Aug 2012, 7:36pm

From road.cc

Along with the AA and British Cycling, Ms Gartside is backing 'strict liability' laws, which are already used in a number of European countries.

Under these laws, cyclists and pedestrians involved in collisions with other road users are considered to be the innocent party unless proven otherwise.

A motorist will be liable for a crash with a cyclist unless the motorist can show that the cyclist was at fault. This could include disregarding the Highway Code or cycling dangerously or without due care.

The UK is only one of four Western European countries that doesnt have strict liability to protect cyclists and pedestrians.


Sounds like a good move to me; what's the CTC position, and what do people think?

Andy
Last edited by ratherbeintobago on 7 Aug 2012, 8:30pm, edited 1 time in total.

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meic
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby meic » 7 Aug 2012, 7:39pm

I think that we prefer to call it "presumed liability" which scares the willies out of Daily Mail readers a little less.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Aug 2012, 8:08pm

Interesting that the AA are also in favour.

Maybe we'll encourage motorists to carry camears :)
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ratherbeintobago
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby ratherbeintobago » 7 Aug 2012, 8:30pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Interesting that the AA are also in favour.


It is, isn't it? UK, Ireland, Malta & Cyprus appear to be the exceptions, and Cav is in favour. I wonder whether there's any mileage in a concerted writing-to-MPs campaign on this?

Andy

Mark1978
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'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Mark1978 » 7 Aug 2012, 8:32pm

All left hand driving countries. Coincidence. Probably not.

ratherbeintobago
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby ratherbeintobago » 7 Aug 2012, 8:35pm

Mark1978 wrote:All left hand driving countries. Coincidence. Probably not.


No; and apart from the UK, traffic law in the other three probably owes a lot to ours as we used to govern them.

Andy

thirdcrank
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2012, 8:43pm

This has come up on here before and I've never heard a coherent explanation of what is being sought. It seems to me that the most that can be hoped for is a presumption in civil cases that the user of a motor vehicle has a greater duty of care than has another (non-motorised) road user.

ratherbeintobago
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby ratherbeintobago » 7 Aug 2012, 8:52pm

thirdcrank wrote:This has come up on here before and I've never heard a coherent explanation of what is being sought. It seems to me that the most that can be hoped for is a presumption in civil cases that the user of a motor vehicle has a greater duty of care than has another (non-motorised) road user.


There is a good explanation here - I note there was an unsuccessful attempt, involving the CTC, to submit a Driver Liability amendment to the Road Safety Bill 2006 but perhaps public support is moving towards cycling?

Andy

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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2012, 9:11pm

ratherbeintobago wrote: There is a good explanation here -


Speaking as somebody not known for brevity, that looks like a more detailed version of what I said in my previous post. It looks as though at last, an experienced lawyer has grasped it, which is to be applauded.

For this to get anywhere, it needs prolonged and articulate advocacy of a clear message. In the past we've had vague proposals about strict liability, presumed liability and similar, presented by people who meant well but without a grounding in the law, which have been ridiculed and shouted down by the tabloids etc as beleaguered drivers being presumed guilty until proven innocent.

ratherbeintobago
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby ratherbeintobago » 7 Aug 2012, 9:29pm

thirdcrank wrote:For this to get anywhere, it needs prolonged and articulate advocacy of a clear message.


The Times might be able to help (they've been running a 'Cities Fir for Cycling' campaign for a while now). I shall do some digging.

Andy

iviehoff
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby iviehoff » 8 Aug 2012, 11:01am

If you have strict liability laws, pedestrians may think they can just step out into the road, and it's everyone's job to avoid them. I've had altercations with pedestrians behaving like that who think it is already the case. One pedestrian was exceedingly upset I gave him a loud verbal warning that he was stepping into my path without looking: he really thought he was within his rights to step out without looking, it was completely my job to avoid him, and not to inconvenience him with loud warnings of likely impending collision.

But you refer only to the motorist vs non-motorist interaction. What about the cyclist/pedestrian interaction, of which the above case is an example? In my experience in central London, to the extent that collisions do not occur during pavement cycling, red light jumping and zebra crossing non-observance, it seems to me that it is mainly pedestrians that put cyclists at risk - and the cyclists generally have more momentum when we strike the ground.

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meic
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby meic » 8 Aug 2012, 11:06am

Yes, you may have to cycle a bit slower when pedestrians are about!

Though that is why the term presumed liability is preferred as it does allow the "they leapt out in front of me" excuse.
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Aug 2012, 3:08pm

iviehoff

At the risk of turning this into a thread about RLJing, the jaywalking case you put forward is real and also applies to "honorary pedestrian" style cycling.

I suppoe the main thing is that we want everybody to be more careful on the roads: "no collision" is better than fancy compensation systems afterwards. Attitudes are the key. To the extent that the law can change anything, it needs to be applied with more vigour and rigour. On the civil side, a lot could be achieved by rewriting the Highway Code to put the onus on the right shoulders. IMO.

kwackers
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby kwackers » 8 Aug 2012, 3:36pm

From my few visits to the big smoke, I'd reckon most London drivers (and presumably cyclists) would do well to realise that when pedestrians are already crossing they have right of way. Driving/riding at them hand on horn/shouting most definitely isn't the answer.
I'd also add I was taught that pedestrians are notoriously unreliable, hence I give them space - even when I'm on the road and they're on the pavement.

There's definitely a 'might is right' attitude at work and I'd think that presumed liability would go some way to addressing that.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 Aug 2012, 4:22pm

Basically it seeks to redress the might is right attitude people seem to have with a "might is meek" attitude, which would make our roads a safer place to be.

By requiring evidence of negligence by a "less mighty" party you ensure that "might" has to think a little bit harder.

Yes it should also apply to cyclists/pedestrians - but if someone steps out without looking then that is at least contributory...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.