Make drivers automatically responsible for crashes with cyclists

CYCLING advocates are urging the Victorian Government to consider laws that would make drivers guilty until proven innocent.

Monash University Accident Research Centre researcher Dr Marilyn Johnson said the laws used in some European countries should be examined as part of a review of road rules.

“Responsibility is about whoever’s driving the larger vehicle. It’s about structuring the hierarchy of our vehicles on the road and making drivers of larger vehicles more responsible,” Dr Johnson said.

The rules would mean motorists would be automatically culpable in incidents with more vulnerable road users until proven otherwise.

Comment from the BTA:

I think this is a good approach. But I do not want people to think that this will automatically make riding a bicycle safer. A useful blog to read in this context can be found here http://hembrow.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/campaign-for-sustainable-safety-not.html . The author looks at similar laws in Holland and argues that cycling safety is mainly achieved via infrastructure, and the strict liability concept then become a supporting measure rather than the main driver of change.

Not everybody agrees, see also the Facebook discussion here

About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling