Monday, September 21, 2009

Red sky at night, cyclists' delight

A little while ago, I let off some steam about the dangerous driving of many motorcyclists in the London area, and alluded to the assumed guilt of car drivers.
The only thing that worries me is that car owners are almost always blamed and that they feel in some way guilty for causing accidents.

I have always felt—given how the war on motorists has been progressing—that, sooner or later, the law would be changed to ensure that motorists would be assumed to be automatically responsible for all accidents.

Now, via an appalled Iain Dale, it seems that it is being proposed that motor vehicle drivers would, indeed, be assumed responsible for any accidents.
MINISTERS are considering making motorists legally responsible for accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are not at fault.

Government advisers are pushing for changes in the civil law that will make the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision automatically liable for insurance and compensation purposes.

What the fuck? So, if some idiot runs out in front of me and I am—despite travelling at or below the speed limit—I should be held legally responsible when I hit them? Or when a cyclist whizzes gayly through a red light into a stream of traffic, I should be responsible?

Fuck. Off.

Look, leaving aside any partisan affiliations here, drivers are sometimes careless. But so are cyclists and pedestrians—especially since they often do not obey traffic signals or even behave rationally around roads. In short, everyone does stupid things and sometimes those little stupidities end tragically.

In assigning blame, we have systems like... well... courts, and juries and judges. These oh-so-archaeic institutions, as well as others like them, look at all of the facts and, from the evidence, work out who—if anyone—should be to blame. That is because we have tended to base our legal system on a presumption of innocence (and where we have not, e.g. libel laws, we are able to se just how perverting the assumption of guilt is).
The move, intended to encourage greater take-up of environmentally friendly modes of transport, is likely to anger some drivers, many of whom already perceive themselves to be the victims of moneyspinning speed cameras and overzealous traffic wardens.

And some will think, "wait a fucking minute? Why the fuck should I be held guilty when it wasn't my fucking fault? Isn't there something wrong here?"
Many will argue that it is the risky behaviour of some cyclists—particularly those who jump red lights and ride the wrong way along one-way streets—that is to blame for a significant number of crashes.

Quite. And, combining an "it'll never happen to me" attitude with knowing that they will not be held responsible, cyclists will do these things more and more.

In short, this law will have unintended but entirely foreseeable consequences. And the only people who will get fucked over are the eeeeeevil motorists.

So that's alright then.
However, policy-makers believe radical action is required to get people out of cars and onto bicycles or to walk more. Only 1%-2% of journeys are at present made by bike.

You mean that the prime motivation for this this shit isn't even to reduce the number of crashes—but to get people out of their cars? Just how fucking warped in the head are these cunts?

Perhaps these shit-stick bastards would like to cycle my 27 mile each way commute for me? No? Thought not.

What kind of mad, twisted, evil, monomaniacal little cunt would suggest such a gross distortion of our entire legal principles? Oh, look—it's a fake fucking charity...
Phillip Darnton, chief executive of Cycling England, an agency funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) to promote cycling, said four key policy changes were needed. “I would like to see the legal onus placed on motorists when there are accidents; speed limits reduced to 20mph on suburban and residential roads; cycling taught to all schoolchildren; and cycling provision included in major planning applications,” said Darnton.

Yes, that's right: it's the government handing our hard-earned money over to an "an independent, expert body" so that this absolutely-not-independent-in-any-way organisation can lobby the government for more curbs on our freedom. These bastards make me fucking sick.
Such proposals will be seen by some as part of a battle for control of Britain’s roads between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

One would have thought—since only one of those groups actually pays for the fucking roads—that the battle should be pretty one-sided, eh? Apparently not.

Still, I wonder if there are any other authoritarian authority figures with a vested interest in such a measure?
Last month Harry Wilmers, 25, a mental health support worker, was killed when his bicycle was hit by a lorry in Manchester. Wilmers was the boyfriend of Rebecca Stephenson, the daughter of Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan police commissioner.

Well, that's it: motorists are fucked then.

Even were I not a driver (by necessity), I would be fucking disgusted by this proposal—it should be struck down and the fuckers who proposed it punched repeatedly in the face. But instead it will be made law.

Fucking hellski.

63 comments:

John B said...

One would have thought—since only one of those groups actually pays for the fucking roads—that the battle should be pretty one-sided, eh? Apparently not.

Eh? Everyone, in their role as taxpayers, pays for the roads. Taxation in the UK isn't hypothecated.

Anonymous said...

Its a g'uweeeen law think about the ickle polar bears.
I know what i'd do with the fuckers.
Lock 'em in a cage with a lovely 1 ton Polar Bear ,cuddle that you fucker.

Pete said...

Can I just say, that as a driver, cyclist AND pedestrian, this is daft.

Pavlov's Cat said...

From their own web site , Cycling for Englands share of the trough went from £5mio in 2006-7 £10mio in 2007-8 and then £140mio for the next 3 years from Jan 2008.

Trebles all round

wv. hoppit

bella gerens said...

Government advisers are pushing for changes in the civil law that will make the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision automatically liable for insurance and compensation purposes.

Does this mean, then, that every time a cyclist hits a pedestrian, the cyclist is automatically at fault?

More to the point, does it mean that every time a mother runs over my foot with her fucking push-chair, she's automatically liable for compensation? After all, a push-chair is a much more powerful vehicle than my foot.

Gareth said...

"In assigning blame, we have systems like... well... courts, and juries and judges. These oh-so-archaeic institutions, as well as others like them, look at all of the facts and, from the evidence, work out who—if anyone—should be to blame."

The kneejerk, short attention span, hyperactive world our politicians think we all live in demands both instant (in)justice and that someone is always to blame.

They will coo about things being made more 'effective' more 'equitable' more 'responsive' but what it all boils down to is authoritarian summary justice unless you go to some expense to prove otherwise.

This is not the Britain I grew up in and I am under 30.

neil craig said...

Whatever the legalities as a former motorcyclist i have some sympathy with this. Overwhelmingly in crashes between bikes & cars the car driver says "I never saw him" & buke riders are much more observant. This may be partly because cars are bigger & more easily seen but it must also be partly because the car driver is armoured. It is obviously even more unfair that in a clash between metal & flesh the latter comes off worse & while I wouldn't, except in darker moods, wish to see the law fully equalising that but there is a case for at least some movement.

I also assume that the reasoning behind this is that it would save a lot of lawyering & ensure more of the money paid by ensurers largely went to the injured.

James Higham said...

What the fuck? So, if some idiot runs out in front of me and I am—despite travelling at or below the speed limit—I should be held legally responsible when I hit them? Or when a cyclist whizzes gayly through a red light into a stream of traffic, I should be responsible?

Is this to wind up Longrider again, DK?

Wossat? said...

All this is going to do is put more cash into shyster lawyers pockets. People with any sense won't accept responsibility for an accident they didn't cause. The insurance companies won't stand for paying out when they shouldn't have to and this law will end up seeing more cases going to court.

Common sense says any such law won't stand the test. But then, in NuLab Britain, common sense is dead...

Rob said...

As a cyclist and a motorist this is crazy. Why do we have laws which encourage bad or reckless behaviour, and are then astonished when bad and reckless behaviour occurs?

BTW, while many cyclists are injured stupidly jumping red lights, I imagine the number who are injured cycling the wrong way down one-way streets is negligible. Far, far more cyclists are injured or killed by idiots who plough into them when they are cycling perfectly correctly, or by drivers too lazy/arrogant/stupid to leave even the most minimal space when overtaking.

That said, however, is not relevant to the article in question. BTW I saw these proposals a few years ago, fortunately nothing happened then, hopefully the same will happen this time.

Anonymous said...

"...Many will argue that it is the risky behaviour of some cyclists—particularly those who jump red lights and ride the wrong way along one-way streets—that is to blame for a significant number of crashes..."

But IS it? People just anedotally accept that all cyclist jump red lights, therefore they probably all deserve it.

As a regular cycle commuter, I would LOVE to see the statistics of acccidents caused by the cyclist doing something daft vs those caused by the motorist (a) passing too close, (b) "not seeing you mate", (c) overtaking then turning left immediately, (d) squeezing the cyclist in the event of ANY slight trickiness in the road

I bet that by far and away the largest cause of cycle accidents is motorist error.

DK said...

Rob,

I came (relatively) close to hitting a cyclist this morning—and for the same reason as when I have had other close calls...

... the cyclist suddenly swerving further out into the road in order to avoid a pothole or something.

The cyclist did not look—in fact, this one was wearing an iPod so probably did not even know that I was anywhere near him—but just suddenly swerved a couple of feet out into the road and into path of my car (it’s a narrow, and busy, road).

It's a good thing that I have excellent reactions or the fucking idiot would be nursing a glorious set of bruises—at the very least.

DK

talwin said...

Government advisers are pushing for changes that will make 'the most powerful vehicle' automatically responsible for insurance and compensation purposes, are they?

So one of, say, a million one-litre or one-and-a-bit litres cars emerges from a side road into the path of a motor cycle being ridden nicely, well within the speed limit, by a sensible 50-year-old and skelps him off the road. But the motor-cyclist will be at fault will he? For, do not these poxy government advisers realise that umpteen models of motor cycle are 1,300, 1,500, even 2.3 litres; and, therefore, masy well be the most powerful vehicle, etc., etc. .

Oh, and these biggies invariably are not super-duper, fuck-off, sports bikes: rather they often drive like combine harvesters.

Government advisers! Fucktards!

Frank Davis said...

I'm surprised at you, DK. I thought it would have been obvious by now, particularly given your name.

Look, cyclists and cycling is GOOD, and motorists and motoring is EVIL. So when Good and Evil come into collision, you don't really need to ask who's in the right. It's going to be Good Cyclists, of course. Every single time.

Somebody asked what happens when cyclists and pedestrians come into collision. This is quite easy. We already know that cyclists are GOOD, so it follows that pedestrians are EVIL. So it will always be the pedestrians' fault if they ever run into each other.

I can imagine that some bright spark will be asking whose fault it will be when one cyclist runs into another cyclist. This is what's called An Unfortunate Accident, and it's nobody's fault.

Clear now?

Bristol Traffic said...

As someone who saw what happens in a bike/lorry collision last month, I can assure you that no cyclist wants to end up in a collision with a motor vehicle just to claim something against your car insurance. Believe me, it isn't worth having your leg crushed by someone's wheel just to claim for a bit of damages.

The problem we have on our bikes is that there are some incompetent people who should not be on the road. such as the driver of WU57KJF on the school run this morning. However, I managed to avoid being knocked off my bike, it has just left me pretty shaken up. WTF am I meant to do now though? Sue the idiot for "near miss"? Report them to the police for incompetence and stupidity?

Constantly Furious said...

We're singing from the same hymn sheet here, DK.

Only I get the nutter in the comment who thinks that this all good, because

"The reason the law has to change to protect the cyclist is that every accident *is* the motorists fault"

..and asks..

"How could a cyclist cause a car to crash?"

Give me strength.

john in cheshire said...

The solution to this is to make sure that if you are involved in an accident involving a cyclist, make sure you kill him, so that he is unable to contest the case.

Anonymous said...

Pavlov's Cat
140 million !
Im going to fit scythe's on the wheels of my car .

JuliaM said...

"The cyclist did not look—in fact, this one was wearing an iPod so probably did not even know that I was anywhere near him..."

Ahh, the Little White Buds of Death.

Did they pass some new law that said you had to wear these things while riding a bike in the UK? Because I've lost count of the number of cyclists that I've sen with them in.

NickM said...

Too right Devil!

My wife recently had a woman on a pedestrian crossing in front of her essentially wandering. By the grace of God she didn't hit her but would it have been her fault or the daft bitch on the black and whites who seemed to be playing chicken on the A6?

The deranged fuckers.

Anonymous said...

New Labour getting voted out of office is not enough. The structures that are giving birth to these ideas need to be understood and destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Just wait for the "professionals" to get involved and start cycling into cars on purpose to get compensation.

Fucking Hellski....Quite!

Angry Exile said...

"How could a cyclist cause a car to crash?"

Well, there was the dim bitch on a pushie that caused the crash she had with my car. I was stopped at a junction when she came flying off the pavement and Starsky & Hutch'd her way across the bonnet and windscreen. Bye bye insurance excess for the wing and bonnet repairs and spray + new windscreen because once I'd helped her up and made sure she was okay she repaid me by fucking off and changing her phone number. Lovely girl. My only consolation is that her bike was fucked. Yet despite being stationary it'd be my fault under these proposed rules and I'd be forced to buy her a new bike? I'm so fucking glad I left that island asylum.

Anonymous said...

This happens quite often already, but with HGVs.

Alan Douglas said...

Devil, did you not see last week's reports that cyclists will be ALLOWED to go down one-ways against the flow ?

Alan Douglas

Diogenes said...

So if I am knocked off my motorbike by a Ford Focus 1.8l it's my fault, but if it's a 2.0l it's the car driver's fault.

Even in the New Labour encyclopaedia of stupidity that is grade A(*) work.

four wheels on my wagon said...

It's pretty obvious why this is much needed.

First, by automatically blaming the car driver you are reducing the potential number of expensive court cases. A swift letter of blame with a fixed penalty demand cuts down on lawyers, court time and coincidentally feeds the Treasury (after all, a court case might just find no blame and no fines... anyway, some people simply never pay fines after the first 'installment') so money – the life-blood of our corrupt government - comes rolling in.

Secondly, and equally importantly, these cyclists will all be full-on socializts with solid green credentials. Blaming the nasty motor car for all ills ticks numerous boxes on the "I'm a leftie so I hate everything I don't have" list.

So it's brilliant. A steady income from fines (uncontested as what's the point, after all?) and greenies feeling extra smug. It's what they call win-win in Liebour circles.

Mark Brentano said...

I've never driven in my life, and I see some rare old antics from London car drivers, but this is one of the most brain-dead proposals I have ever heard. It's more Socialist posing; look at us, aren't we green?

Friday Night Smoke said...

My brain is incapable of coming up with the words to describe just what a stupid fucking idea this is.
To go off on a tangent, I would recommend that anybody interested in these matters reads "Road Accidents- Prevent Or Punish" by JJ Leeming.
It raises the interesting point that if in all accidents there is a hunt for "someone to blame" then the true cause is rarely revealed, the authorities are looking for a lawbreaker and the people involved in the accident are covering their backs. Because the true (and often subtle) cause is never revealed, road safety as a whole suffers.
This book was written in 1969, its a shame that those in power haven't read it.

Kim said...

'the most powerful vehicle' [would be] automatically responsible for insurance and compensation purposes

Is this only for accidents involving cyclists, or would it include car/truck accidents too?

Just curious to see if the logic can be applied uniformly... only to reduce truck congestion on highways, of course.

Anonymous said...

I hear the same rule would apply to cyclists hitting pedestrians. Excellent. I was knocked down by a bike once and I was more or less unharmed (slightly bruised). Now I can have a second income by leaping in front of passing cyclists and then claiming compo!

Mark said...

How could a bike cause a car to crash? One time I saw the archetypal ubercunt in lycra weaving in and out of traffic which was waiting at lights which he naturally went through on red. One irate drive blew his horn and said ubercunt looked over his shoulder with a sneer and raised middle finger - riding straight into a bollard and going over the handlebars to land very heavily on pleasingly unyielding tarmac.

Laugh? I nearly had a fucking miscarriage. Had I been in motion who knows where I might have ended up.

Andrew said...

So, then, if a cyclist collides with a pedestrian, is the cyclist automatically to blame?

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, just a thought - mucho higher insurance premiums (to cover the *ahem* trauma *ahem* of cycling into a car.

What doe higher premiums mean kids...

All together....

"Higher taxes"

Remember kids, you head it here first!

Anonymous said...

Jeez, why can't I type after 2 glasses?
Hic

stevie said...

What a rancid fuckawful pile of shite this country is becoming

Jiks said...

I confess, I'm one of those eviiil cyclists. I don't drive. So you might think I like this idea. Umm, no.

I've been involved in two serious accidents. In one case the car did the classic pull along side then turn left on top of me trick. In the other, in spite of my mobile christmas lights impression the driver somehow failed to see me, ploughed straight into me at an island sending me airbourne some distance. So in both those cases it was certainly the drivers fault.

HOWEVER this law is absolute insanity. I see at least as many cyclists behaving like drug crazed lemmings as there are reckless drivers. How many of them are still alive I have no clue. Like the idiot riding at speed down a hill on the wrong side of the dual carriage way I had to dodge just last week. If a driver had hit the cretin, how could that be the drivers fault?

Then theres the idiots cycling back from the pub blind drunk with no lights wearing dark clothing, basically asking to be hit. Again, how can they not be at fault.

Like so much of Labour moves this goes totally against natural justice and common sense. I find it particulary rage inducing as this will only make a certain (thankfully small)percentage of drivers more likely to take chances with my safety because I am the enemy.

So, yes, another classic Labour divide and conquer ploy.

steveshark said...

@JuliaM

Anyone who uses the white buds supplied with iPods deserves a car up their rear mudguard.
They're crap.
Get some decent Sennheisers instead.

Lola said...

My grandmother, God rest her, had the most priceless pedestrian crossing technique.

She use to walk quite quickly and at the alst minute swerve left or right as appropriate, stick one foot in the gutter with the appearance of every intention of keeping on going and all the time looking the wrong way.

Cyclists would get into epic skids, often slamming their knackers into the cross bar. Car drivers would bend their brake pedals and screech to stop with eyes out on stalks like organ stops. Motor cyclists saw their lives pass in front of them. Once all the noise had stopped she'd turn round smile sweetly at the sweaty shaking pilotes and cross the road.

She lived to 103. And was never run down.

Junican said...

Another damn good reason for terminating ALL special interest quangos.

Edgar said...

Eliminate the cyclists before the law comes in. Simples.

Barbara Gifty said...

There's already too much antagonism between cyclists and motorists - this proposal would only make things worse by winding the motorists.

Ritchie said...

I'm sorry to say but I'm one of those people who HATES cyclists.

I'm sure most of you are lovely people but where I live the road to the main area of work is a 60mph windy back road with many blind summits.

The amount of times I have seen a car come over a blind summat doing the LEGAL speed limit to find some stupid f*****g p****k doing 20mph and almost going off the road or into on coming traffic is amazing.

If you can't do at least say, 70% of the speed limit for the road you shouldn't be allowed on it.

Ugo said...

The more powerful vehicle puts other road users at risk just by coming out onto the road.

This is the point at which the onus of driving carefully arrives with the driver of that vehicle.

The proposal is just trying to align the law with what is naturally just. And it actually does no more than place the burden of proof on the more powerful vehicle, it does not mean that the driver cannot discharge it and prove they were not liable.

The basic principle is that you created the risk by coming out in your car, there was an injury: let's start off by seeing if you were taking enough care.

And, DK, getting surprised by a cyclist moving his line by only two feet while you were overtaking suggests you might have been going too fast for the conditions: were you allowing him less than a metre?

Anonymous said...

Ritchie, you are an arse.

If it is a windy back road with many blind summits, then it clearly isn't safe to do 60mph along it.

The fact that you are having difficulty controlling your vehicle should be sufficient proof of this.

The maximum speed limit is neither here nor there; you are driving dangerously and should be prosecuted.

Brian, follower of Deornoth

ENGLISHMAN said...

All of this is very shaky legal ground,if we are now to be found guilty for some-one elses oversight,the basis of English common law breaks down altogether.Riding a bycycle on the pavement is illegal,attracting a thirty pound fine,and yet these invertibrates are allowed to do what ever they please,one is obliged to have lights on a bike ,front and rear,yet how many have you come across at night only picked up by your headlights?If i am obliged to observe the highway code why are sections of society exempt from it?It seems that cyclists have all of the rights and none of the responsibilities regarding thier actions,like children in general.

Bob Doney said...

So when the night express to Glasgow hits the weaving drunk on a level crossing, it's the train's fucking fault?

Yep, I've got it now.

Jiks said...

Englishman,

As usual we have a bunch of laws that are not enforced except when it suits them. For example the pack of feral youths on bikes riding accross the square screaming abuse at all are mysteriously invisble to the many faux police standing around doing nothing decernable. However the octogenarian riding far slower than I walk who is far safer for all concerned there than in road is immediately swooped on.

So a bad law was introduced, cycling on the pavement being illegal. Cycling dangerously or recklessly or even carelessly there or indeed anywhere else should and no doubt was illegal before.

Cycling without lights in the dark or other such idiocies I suspect wouls also have been covered by old prelabour laws and in any case are covered very well by Darwin's laws.

This latest bollocks has every button pressed, the fake charity claiming to respresent a special interest group, the assumption of guilt by one party, the new irrational laws. As I said before its the classic divide and conquer ploy. Labour love that one as it works so well.

One thing cyclists do have the right to is die a hell of a lot more frequently than drivers so, sorry, we do have responsibility, a responsibility to ride sensibly and indeed defensively or we greatly increase the chances of, again, flying through the air wondering what bits will get broken this time.

Oh and DK, this law is not a cyclists delight, its a another nightmare act by those bastards that will increase the liklihood that I will be left bleeding in a ditch while the other party sensibly legs it for fear of the law and also increases chance of an accident judging by all the " I keeel yoo" comments.

jonathan said...

Re: JohnB
Actually we motorists pay "Road Fund License" i.e Tax Disc- the money is supposed to be spent on the roads, but isn't of course.
However, this is just more left- wing authoritarianism, they discriminate against any group they don't like and everyone knows motorists are evil- and easily traceable,therefore taxable, unlike cyclists or pedestrians.
Anyhoo, the last cycle courier that tried to barge me off the pavement ended up on his arse in the road.

Anonymous said...

Re Jonathan,

Actually, it's Vehicle Excise Duty you retard, and as Cycles are essentially CO2 emission free, they are exempt.

Wearysider said...

One thing no one seems to have mentioned but technically is quite important.
IF the more powerful vehicle is automatically at fault (or assumed to be at fault) how the fuck do they measure 'more powerful'?

Engine size? Break Horse Power? BHP per ton? Torque? Vehicle Mass?

Anonymous said...

"Actually, it's Vehicle Excise Duty you retard, and as Cycles are essentially CO2 emission free, they are exempt."

I think all those flies caught between your teeth have affected your ability to think straight.
Vehicle Excise Duty is it's most common name though it's also known commonly as road tax, car tax and road fund licence (the later being the predeceasing title to VED).

Cycles are exempt from traffic regulations too? common decency? common sense? and paying their own way!
Motorists are taxed through the aforementioned and Fuel Duty which more than pays for the roads that are being converted to cycle and bus lanes all over our great land.

g1lgam3sh said...

Insurrection my friend...you know it makes sense...revolutions eat their own/others cheeeeldren...Insurrections eat some tossers lunch...in a completely green, no fur flying way of course...bring it on...ooh I don't half get a little irritated at this shit sometimes.

w/v stedio...I kid you not :-)

g1lgam3sh said...

"Anonymous Bristol Traffic said...

As someone who saw what happens in a bike/lorry collision last month, I can assure you that no cyclist wants to end up in a collision with a motor vehicle just to claim something against your car insurance. Believe me, it isn't worth having your leg crushed by someone's wheel just to claim for a bit of damages.

The problem we have on our bikes is that there are some incompetent people who should not be on the road. such as the driver of WU57KJF on the school run this morning. However, I managed to avoid being knocked off my bike, it has just left me pretty shaken up. WTF am I meant to do now though? Sue the idiot for "near miss"? Report them to the police for incompetence and stupidity?

9/21/2009 02:07:00 PM"

Cultivate a hungry PCSO...slip 'em a quid innit...they'll give you drivers address...pop round and discourage them...take the Plod 15 years to call round...if they do call round, do a bit of the old Ali G innit...bollocks, I think I'm starting to feel a little cynical right about now.

w/v untmi...if it had been an i it would have served as a potted history of the last decade

Vicola said...

"MINISTERS are considering making motorists legally responsible for accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are not at fault."

How can you 'assume' someone is at fault without looking at each individual case? Wasn't that a fundamental pillar of our justice system, innocent until proven guilty? Not 'assumed guilty because the government doesn't like people in cars'. And anyway, it isn't going to get people out of cars because what the twats in power and the environmental wankers haven't considered is that we don't all live in London. Most of us live in an area where public transport has been underinvested and is therefore unutterably crap, unreliable, infrequent and expensive. So no, the threat of being nicked if a cyclist embeds himself in my bonnet is not going to make me want to pay £50 a week and get up at 5am in order to use public transport to commute. Not that I can at the moment because there's no bus goes near my work at that time and the Metrolink is currently not running past Victoria in the centre of town...

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

NewLab - New Laws - every day! So the solution is simple: make a new law forcing cyclists to carry insurance, like everyone else on the roads.

Moreover, since cycling is an anachronistic and institutionally-dangerous pursuit and quite un-necessary (just they was newLab sees smoking in fact), other measures can be appplied.

These "cycle-ists" can be also

(a) made to buy their own private health insurance and third-party-liability cover, and

(b) the NHS can refule to treat them, putting them on a "care pathway" instead.

I do NOT advocate the "2008 Clarkson Solutions" for cyclism, at least not yet.

Of course, in a libertarian State os something even vaguely approaching a Free Market in transport, and liberty on the Queeen's Highways, insurers would long ago have insisted on some form of cover for cyclists - indeed, cyclists would have demanded to buy it for themselves.

Rob said...

DK

"the cyclist suddenly swerving further out into the road in order to avoid a pothole or something."

You are meant to allow enough room when overtaking to take account of things like this. The roads where I live are so bad that if I hit a pothole I am likely to be off the bike and in the road, where if I don't suffer injury from the fall I'm going to get hit by a car.

You often don't see potholes until they are very close, e.g. about ten yards away. Turning your head around to look unbalances a cyclist, I am an experienced road rider and I know this. If you turn around suddenly to check for a car it is likely that you will swerve into the road anyway.

And if you look and there is a car coming, what do you do? Do you hit the pothole or slam on the brakes? Say you are driving a car, and there is a parked car in front of you. Would you consider it reasonable to have to stop because another car driver is attempting to overtake you? Of course not!

His wearing of an ipod, while stupid and dangerous, isn't relevant in this instance.

Rob said...

"The amount of times I have seen a car come over a blind summat doing the LEGAL speed limit to find some stupid f*****g p****k doing 20mph and almost going off the road or into on coming traffic is amazing."

Ritchie, you are an utter knobend. What happens on the day when you fly over one of these blind summits and another knobend just like you has done the same but crashed his car? You go into the back of him, then maybe no more Ritchie.

If the sign said 100mph would you drive on that road at 100mph? Actually, I think you might.

Ritchie said...

Please read what I wrote.

These are things I have SEEN!

I PERSONALLY DO NOT drive in such a fashion as I know this can, and does happen.

However, that does not mean that a certain level of responsibility does not reside with the cyclist.

They are putting everyones lives in danger by cycling on a road that is extremely busy and completely unsuitable.

The f*****g P***k bit was a bit much perhaps, so I do apologise. I had just seen the incident happen that morning.

Anonymous said...

Try riding your bike in front of the attorney general's car and see who gets the blame......... (technical breach of course)

Boy on a bike said...

I once watched a purse snatcher run across a busy four lane road against a red light to get away from his pursuers. He was hit by a taxi that he didn't spot (too complicated to explain the mechanics of the collision).

Should the taxi driver be automatically at fault because an idiot thief pelted out in front of him?

Every day, on my ride to and from work, I see a cyclist do something stupid. I am sure that one day, I will witness a collision between a law breaking jackass on a bike and a law abiding sensible person in a car. And I will happily bear witness against my fellow cyclist if they were in the wrong, and push for the Police to prosecute them if they were doing something like skipping a red light.

johnpickworth said...

The perfect defence...

You hit a cyclist with your car but... and here's the clever part... you claim in Court that you were distracted by the massively polluting (and thus automatically guilty) Boeing 727 flying overhead at 30,000 on its way to Cyprus. Simples.

good grief said...

There are twats who drive cars.

There are twats who ride bicycles.

Down my road we get approximately 40 motoring twats a day, doing 30 down a narrow road with cars parked down one side. Outside a primary school. But the speed limit is 30, so they do 30. Twats.

On the other hand I meet at least 1 cycling twat a day on the pavement. Could seriously hurt a child or old person also walking on said pavement. Twat.

Accidents happen. But it doesn't help if someone habitually drives/rides like a twat.

Ergo, the new law should be about prosecuting twats, whatever their mode of transport.