driver at fault petition

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by hubgearfreak, 16 Sep 2007.

  1. hubgearfreak

    hubgearfreak Über Member

  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    At least put an overview without forcing us to click the link to find out!

    "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to improve road
    safety by introducing strict liability for motorists in

    Youngsters are being asked to walk or cycle to school to be
    green and reduce jams.

    Walking and cycling are generally safe but parents will worry -
    if they are brave enough to let youngsters be independent.

    The perception of safety has to be improved.

    Lower speeds and extra road education will play a part but this
    petition is calling for a change to strict liability laws on
    drivers’ insurance policies.

    At present, in a car - bike/pedestrian collision, the cyclist
    or pedestrian (probably the worst injured) has to prove the
    motorist was reckless.

    We want that burden of proof switched so the motorist –
    choosing to use a ton of metal at speed – has to prove the
    cyclist or pedestrian was at fault.

    This only applies to insurance claims. In criminal law, drivers
    in collisions remain innocent until proven guilty.

    This rule exists in many EU countries with more walking and
    cycling, and a better child road safety record, Let’s raise
    driving standards and create better road user attitudes."
  4. spen666

    spen666 Guru

    The petition contradicts itself

    It is either a call for a strict liability situation OR it is as it suggests at the end a change in the burden of proof.

    Until the position is clear, then I will not sign a petition that can be used in differing ways.
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Yes I could have, but where would the fun in that be though, eh?
  6. LLB

    LLB Guest

    This is doomed to failure !
  7. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Why dont' insurance companies do this anyway - because surely if a driver had to prove he wasn't at fault, then there'd be less payouts?
  8. OP

    hubgearfreak Über Member

    very good point
  9. KitsuneAndy

    KitsuneAndy New Member

    Because it's virtually impossible to prove that you didn't do something. It could even carry over to home insurance, when claiming for accidental damage you have to prove you didn't break it deliberately.

    Prove you weren't speeding, prove you didn't see the cyclist/pedestrian pull out...

    I won't sign the petition in it's current form because I don't agree with that stance at all, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. The majority of accidents might well be the drivers fault, but saying that it is definitely their fault, unless they can prove it wasn't is going too far, in my opinion.
  10. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    My opinion too.
  11. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    I thought currently in a rear end shunt, there was a liability supposition of blame?

    I know in the case of my brother a few years ago, he stopped to help a hit cyclist. Because of the low sun, he got rear ended as did about 5 cars behind him. About 3 cars back the guy reckoned he'd stopped in time and got his hand brake on. His insurance paid out.
  12. spen666

    spen666 Guru

    What does this mean?
  13. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    I'm saying there is already a precedent used by insurance companies, involving cars.

    If one car runs into the back of another, in the absence of any other evidence, the rear car is judged to be 'at fault'.

    Thats what is being asked for here, but thro legislation. In the case of a car/bike incident, in the absence of other evidence, the car is judged to be at fault.

    Apologies if my English wasn't particularly good (up at 05:30, 2 young kids and it was 23:00. Shouldn't really have been typing, but catching some 'Z's)
  14. KitsuneAndy

    KitsuneAndy New Member

    That is true, but it's also fair. You are supposed to be a 'safe stopping distance' behind the car infront. This is so that if the driver in front needs to do an emergency stop, you will also be able to stop in time.

    If you fail to stop in time and smash into the back of said driver (no matter how hardly they have hit their brakes) then you are at fault as you were not a safe stopping distance behind. This is where the '2 seconds behind' rule comes from.

    However, what this petition would do, is automatically make the driver at fault unless he could prove he wasn't. So, even if the cyclist was at fault, or it was a genuine accident, the driver is still to blame. Totally unfair and unreasonable.
  15. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    But a situation may occur where no other evidence is present and the 1st car caused the accident (e.g. rolled backwards).

    In such an incident, without witnesses etc this could also be abused.

    The rear driver is at fault - unless he can prove he wasn't
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