Government ministers are drawing up new plans in the hope that motorists will take more care around vulnerable cyclists on the road.
If the proposals were to go ahead then the most powerful vehicle would always be considered at fault in the event of a collision between a car and cycle. This would mean any road traffic accident compensation claim would fall on the shoulders of the motorist, even if they were not the one at fault.
The government also hope that the plans will persuade people to take alternative, greener methods of transport rather than jumping straight into their cars. They suggest that these latest radical ideas are the only way forward in reducing the volume of traffic on our roads. Currently only 1-2% of journeys are made by bike.
There is no doubt that the proposals will anger many motorists, who feel that cyclists are a danger to themselves by the way some act on the road. However, statistics show that cyclists are the most vulnerable of all road users. 115 deaths were recorded last year alone, whilst in 2007 136 cyclists were killed with nearly 2,500 seriously injured. This is in addition to the 13,000 who were slightly injured, whilst it is believed that between 60% and 90% of cyclist casualties are not even reported, especially if it is a bike-only accident.
The government plan to introduce more 20mph speed limits in residential areas, which are considered to be the most dangerous for cyclists, whilst £100million is being spent on building cycle routes in 18 towns across the country.
Cycling enthusiasts will welcome to proposals, which give them extra protection if they are injured in a road traffic accident and wish to make a cycle accident claim for compensation.
The plans included in the government’s National Cycling Plan and Active Transport Strategy are due to be published soon.