Fairness and liability on the roads: part 2

Fairness and liability on the roads: part 2

Having written to my Westminster MP about Fairness and liability on the roads and received a reply that justice is devolved to the jurisdiction of the Scottish Parliament. I decided to follow up with a similar letter to my MSPs. So far I have had a number of replies, mostly along the lines of “I will forward the matter to my colleague Keith Brown, Minister for Transport, for his consideration” and one “I have written to the Minister for Justice asking him to respond”. So far I have had response from neither Keith Brown or Kenny MacAskill, and I am not holding my breath in anticipation a response either. There were a couple of MSPs who didn’t bother to reply, so I won’t bother voting for them come May.

The most interesting reply so far has come from Robin Harper MSP (Scottish Green Party), he has suggested that I to lodge a petition with the Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament. This is something which I intend to look in to doing. Robin also suggested that this was something he would like to include in the Green Party manifesto. Well, Robin, if you are reading this, here are a few more manifesto suggestions

Addendum: Following my reply to Amoeba (see comments below), I noticed that in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland has the following statement under the section labeled “Legal Powers“:

Liability Issues

In most Western European countries, the liability in any collision involving a motor vehicle and a cycle (or a pedestrian) lies with the driver of the vehicle, other than in the case of an adult cyclist who is shown to have been responsible for the accident. In the UK, this is not the case. As the majority of cycling accidents involve a motor vehicle, and given the vulnerability of cyclists and pedestrians, the Scottish Government will undertake to explore a “Hierarchy of Care for Road Users”. This consultation document is asking whether the liability should always lie with the vehicle driver, until proven otherwise.

Liability and insurance issues are a UK wide matter and if feedback from this consultation document highlighted a public desire to research this area further, the Scottish Government would undertake to write to the UK Government about this.

So there is some recognition that there is a problem, but there is a need to stiffen backbone of our elected representatives and push them to actually do something about it! I urge to to contact your elected representative and encourage them to stop being so spineless and do the right thing.

6 thoughts on “Fairness and liability on the roads: part 2

  1. Keep fighting: It does make a difference. In Germany the car lobby hate this law (and anything else that impinges the rights of motorists). There’s a new loophole in Germany being annoubced with much joy by the German car clubs: A cyclist who does not dismount but cycles across a road on a pedestrian crossing equally liable in the event of a car hitting him.
    Of course this has nothing to do with making life more difficult for children and older people who need to use a bike for transport but don’t want to tangle with Mercedes Man in his attampt to shave 30 seconds of his Very Important Journey, and nor is it to make sure that Mercedes Man has a chance to get away with hitting a vulnerable road user on a crossing. It’s all about ‘pedestrian safety’ because as we all know, if you are hit by a bike at at 7km/h is far more dangerous than a ton of Mrecedes travelling at 30-60km/h.
    Obvious really.

    1. Thanks Andy! I am just in the middle of writing part 3 which give the latest up date. We need to vigilant in closing these loopholes, which provide a very real threat to life and limb.

  2. I’m a bit confused. Weren’t you originally told that it was a devolved issue, but now the “Cycling action plan” says “Liability and insurance issues are a UK wide matter”.

    Anyway, a good campaign: I’ve already written to my MSPs on this issue.

    Thank you,


    1. You are not alone in being confused, there is a lot of it about. However, it appeases that this is an issue where Scotland could lead the way, when the smoking ban in the work place was introduced, it was said that it could be applied to driver (i.e. delivery drivers) who cross the border while working. The law was passed and applied, then the rest of the UK followed suit…

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