Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Proper Protection for Cyclists

The focus on cycling in the media continues but the police and criminal courts still show little appetite to stand behind cyclists. Last week a driver in Solihull was given three penalty points and a £35 fine after he was found guilty of driving without due care and attention after killing a cyclist. That he received no ban from driving is simply astonishing:

Britain’s attitude to is seen as a right that should not be curtailed or impeded at any cost – even when the cost is the loss of life. Sadly, parallels can be drawn in this regard with America’s attitude to guns. This protectiveness towards driving can approach hysteria and safety measures that restrict drivers are seen as mounting evidence of the ‘war on motorists’.

The motor insurance lobby has managed to taint the victims of injury as fraudsters and they have encouraged the government to reduce the victim's rights through the rushed and poorly thought out Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.  From 1st April 2013 this act will have the effect of putting cyclists in a worse position than they were in before the accident, financially, as up to 25% of their damages will be used to pay their legal fees which had previously been paid by the driver's insurers.

Tomorrow the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) will start taking evidence for an inquiry entitled 'Get Britain Cycling'. I hope that this will draw attention to genuine improvements that can be made to properly protect the rights of cyclists.

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