The Liberal Democrats say motorists should be presumed at fault if they’re in a collision with a cyclist or pedestrian. The party have unveiled a plan for so-called 'presumed liability', already in place across most EU countries.
The plan would would mean drivers would automatically shoulder blame for accidents in civil cases unless they could prove the cyclist or walker was at fault, and that more vulnerable road users would have to spend less time in court fighting for compensation after an accident.
The proposal is contained in a Lib Dem party policy paper on creating more jobs in the sustainability sector. Other suggestions in the Green Growth and Green Jobs paper include laws to make planners address walking and cycling when drawing up new building projects, as well as a 20mph 'standard speed' for residential streets, and the provision of Bikeability Level 1 and 2 cycle proficiency training for school pupils who ask for it.
The call for presumed liability in England follows a campaign set up in Scotland for the introduction of strict liability into civil law, which, in April, Cycle Law Scotland said would streamline the legal pathway to compensation for cyclists.