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2013-08-21 08:47

DRIVERS ALWAYS AT FAULT? A proposal by Britain’s Liberal Democrats calls for “proportionate liability rules” so that in the event of a collision the “larger vehicle” is always at fault. Image: AP

LONDON, England - Drivers should always be blamed after colliding with a bicycle – even if the cyclist caused it the incident by, for instance, running a red traffic light.

That's the latest idea, according to the London Daily Mail, from the UK's Liberal Democrats to protect cyclists from the big, bad car driver.

The proposal says that "to ensure justice for victims of accidents on the roads" it is calling for a consultation on the introduction of "proportionate liability rules so that the default assumption after a collision is that the larger vehicle is at fault".

BATTLING LYCRA LOUTS

Critics, however, say the plan fails to take account of "Lycra louts" – cyclists who run red lights or ride on pavements, as well as cyclists who make a mistake on the road.

The policy, to be debated at a conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in September 2013, also calls for more priority traffic lights for cyclists.

Motoring groups countered, the Mail said, by saying the default blame idea went against natural justice and presumption of innocence which underpin British justice.

The UK's Automobile Association said: "The Highway Code is clear that drivers and cyclists must watch out for each other. If a driver does something wrong then a court case should follow – the same goes for cyclists.

"And does this mean that cyclists will be presumed to be at fault whenever there’s an incident involving a pedestrian?"

The cycling motion has been put forward by Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert as part of a wider package to encourage more cycling.

Do you agree with the proposed "proportionate liability" rules? Use the Readers' Comments section below or email us and we’ll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.
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