MINISTERS are considering making motorists legally responsible for
accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are not at
Government advisers are pushing for changes in the civil law that
will make the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision
automatically liable for insurance and compensation purposes.
The move, intended to encourage greater take-up of environmentally
friendly modes of transport, is likely to anger some drivers, many of
whom already perceive themselves to be the victims of moneyspinning
speed cameras and overzealous traffic wardens.
Many will argue that it is the risky behaviour of some cyclists —
particularly those who jump red lights and ride the wrong way along
one-way streets — that is to blame for a significant number of crashes.
However, policy-makers believe radical action is required to get people
out of cars and onto bicycles or to walk more. Only 1%-2% of journeys
are at present made by bike.
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