Scotland wants Drivers to be responsible for cyclist accidents

If you are involved in an accident in your car there are certain situations where you are automatically held responsible unless you can definitively prove it was someone else’s fault. For example, if you crash into the back of the car in front of you or if you hit someone whilst in reverse gear. Now, a new campaign in Scotland is urging for the rules to be changed so that if a driver collides with a cyclist they will automatically be held responsible too.

Now there are reports that a fleet of Scottish driving instructors have backed this campaign as they feel it would improve safety for cyclists on the road and teach drivers how to share the road and be more responsible when driving. Ian McIntosh from the Red Driving School said that he believes the Cycle Law Scotland is a good idea and that when learning how to drive there should be more information on cyclists and how to drive safely around them. He said: ““If car drivers knew that the approach from the legal system was this, they’d be a lot more cautious around cyclists. That’s the ultimate benefit – it’s not to speed up the compensation process.

“We did a survey of our instructors a few months ago and a high percentage of them said that cycling should be part of that awareness training for our customers.” However, there have been some that have claimed that the new legislation would be unfair on motorists, as there is not currently a suitable infrastructure when it comes to cyclists and motorists sharing the roads. Furthermore, if drivers are automatically held responsible for any type of accident with a cyclist then car insurance quotes could start to increase dramatically in Scotland in order to compensate for the increase in pay outs.

Neil Greig, director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists said: “Our view is that we don’t have the same road environment that they do in places like Holland that would make this all work. In Holland, they have shared space, lots of cycle lanes – it’s obvious that you should be giving way to cyclists and obvious in many areas that the cyclists and pedestrians have priority. My fear is that in Scotland we don’t yet have the infrastructure in place that would then justify this kind of a law.”

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