A proposed law change designed to give cyclists greater protection could have wider legal consequences if it comes to fruition.
That is according to Labour parliamentary candidate Sir Keir Starmer, former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, who warns against introducing presumed liability in civil cases for cycling traffic accidents.
He says presumptions that view somebody as in the wrong before establishing the facts are a very dangerous concept.
Sir Keir, standing for election in Holborn and St Pancras, admits he is in favour of any scheme that protects cyclists.
But in this case, which would see the onus fall on the driver of the bigger vehicle – such as a car or a lorry – to prove they were not to blame for the accident involving a cyclist, he claims the problem lies with presumed liability.
“I think we should do whatever we can within the law to protect cyclists, but presumptions in the law that somebody’s in the wrong before you’ve even started to work out what the facts are and what’s right are a very dangerous concept,” he said.
“And believe you me, once you’ve got them you can borrow them into whatever is the favoured area for everybody else.”
The director of public prosecutions between 2008 and 2013 warns that the wider legal consequences of the law could include tweaking the issue of welfare benefits at some point in the future.
He believes it is better to have a legal system that starts from a neutral position between the parties before any court or tribunal.
Bicycle injury compensation
Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users, so unfortunately accidents involving them are all too frequent.
Anyone injured riding their bike in an incident that was not their fault could be entitled to make a bicycle injury compensation claim. You will need to collect as much information as possible, such as names, contact information and insurance details of those involved, to ensure your claim is a success.
Source: The Northern Echo
Date Published: April 10, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown