Road rule proposals 'could make motorists automatically liable'

Suggested changes to road law would make the driver of the most powerful vehicle automatically liable for compensation in the event of a collision.

If implemented, this would mean a car driver would be blamed if involved in an incident with a cyclist, and a cyclist would automatically be at fault if they hit a pedestrian.

The proposals have been made with the aim of encouraging more people to cycle as part of the government’s National Cycling Plan and Active Transport Strategy.

"I would like to see the legal onus placed on motorists when there are accidents," said Phillip Darnton, chief executive of Cycling England.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport however said the proposals were not being considered.

"They [cyclists] are responsible for their own actions and whether insured or not are liable for the consequences of their actions," he commented.

The most recent figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show that 16,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents each year.ADNFCR-2070-ID-19374071-ADNFCR

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