Presumed Liability Campaign by RoadPeace
At present, our civil compensation system for personal injury is fault based. Thus, in a collision, driver error must be proven. Because the default assumption is that the driver has not contributed to the crash, their insurance company is not automatically liable for compensation. Often what will follow is a lengthy and stressful fight for compensation by the victim.
Guilt and liability aren't the same thing. Guilt is a criminal matter and liability a civil one. No-one is proposing a presumption of guilt. Presumed liability means that unless a driver can show that the behaviour of the pedestrian or cyclist was the direct cause of the accident, it is presumed that the driver bears the civil liability for the damages caused. It follows from the fact that the driver brings the danger to the scene by operating a piece of heavy machinery around people. They get the benefit of doing so but bear the liability if things go wrong - unless they can show that the other party wasn't even taking the care that they should reasonably have been expected to.
Unfortunately, in the UK the prevailing culture is that the roads belong to cars and everyone is expected to conform to their rules. Which is very bad news for vulnerable road users and why we kill and maim a disproportionate number of them (compared to civilised countries) despite frightening most of them off the road.
In cases of civil compensation, RoadPeace is calling for the reversal of the burden of proof in collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists. More details here .
Bike Week 2015 (13th – 21st June)
From the Bike Week 2015 Web site www.bikeweek.org.uk
“Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to work or school, the local shops or just to visit friends. The 2015 event will take place 13-21st June but events still take place through until September and beyond!”
“This year’s Bike Week has a special focus and will encourage people to use their bikes to cycle to work. Many people will use the events to ride and take part in ‘buddy’ rides with colleagues, scope out the easiest route to their place of work or take part in work place challenges.”