Sunday, September 20, 2009

Labour's Maddest Idea Yet: Find All Motorists Guilty!

Have you ever heard a crazier idea than THIS?Apparently Labour Ministers are intending to pass laws to ensure that all motorists are found to be the guilty parties when involved with accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Unbebloodylievable.

I always thought justice involved proof of guilt, not arbitary judgement.

The behaviour of cyclists can be incredibly dangerous sometimes, and to say a cyclist can never be at fault in an accident involving a car is incredible and goes against every single law of natural justice. What about an accident involving a cyclist and a pedestrian? The warped logic of this government will no doubt find some reason to find an absent motorist guilty of that too.

This demonising of the motorist has to stop.

112 comments:

Mirtha Tidville said...

oooh yes please...this should be a surefire winner eh?..one day these Liebour clowns will wake up and realise motorists have a vote (lets hope they wake up too late though).....As for bloody cyclists dont get me going or we will be here all day!!!!!!

Simon said...

I am sure that Harriet and the Sisters will insist on a caveat exempting all female drivers from this!

Kay Tie said...

Slightly more complex:

1. Civil cases only, not criminal (they couldn't do that to criminal law because of the Human Rights Act).

2. With the civil cases, the default will be with the more powerful vehicle, and then it's up to them to prove otherwise.

These proposals also make a Ferrari driver automatically liable for an accident with a bus, and for a cyclist liable when hitting a pedestrian who walked into the road without looking.

Bloody stupid idea all round. But what do you expect for the fag end of this Government?

Anonymous said...

Please Dave, don't miss this open goal as well!

gunteesl said...

You obviously have not read the article you have linked to.

...a cyclist would automatically be blamed if he or she knocked down a pedestrian

Anonymous said...

Iain, I have absolutely no idea why you are making such a fuss - I thought this already was the law ??

Or if not, it bloody well should be ! Surely the 'burden of proof' should be on the motorist to prove their innocence ??

After all, the whole point of learning to drive is to 'expect the unexpected' and drive at such a speed and with 'due care and attention' that if a child runs in front of the car, one can pull up in time. Surely this is the point of putting this in the driving test ??

Pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way. Just look at all the 'amber gamblers' in cars at pedestrian crossings. The drivers should be aware that if someone hasn't finished crossing or steps out, and the pedestrian is killed, then THEY THE DRIVER are at fault for not anticipating this risk.

How on earth can you ask the poor pedestrian to be a witness in that case, when they may be dead ?

Typically bloody Audi driver, who thinks he owns the road and like Mr Toad thinks other people should jump out of the way when he honks his horn.

Anonymous said...

Mirtha Tidville - What, pray tell, is the point of your handle when it does not sound anything like the phonetic pronunciation of Merthyr Tydfil ? Maybe it is the actual name you were christened with ?

Simon Gardner said...

Well forgive my ignorance but I thought that was already the case.

Can’t stand b***** cyclists.

dutch said...

This is the law that already applies in several northern European countries -- it works fine there...

AP said...

Absolute nutters.

I had a cyclist run into my car causing £1000 worth of damage. I a) called him an ambulance, b) called the police, c) gathered all the witnesses I could, and d) rang my lawyer.

I said nothing when the police arrived as advised and let the cyclist speak first, he implicated himself with his very first sentence and ultimately received a caution for his behaviour and had to pay for the damage.

Under this law, I would have to pay for the damage he did, his bike and probably got sued into the bargain even though I was the victim of his behaviour.

The very first case presented will get thrown out as a breach of human rights.

Labour are just scumbags. They have no respect or understanding of basic human rights.

Jimmy said...

Sometimes right wing blogs resemble a giant game of Chinese whispers. Assuming that you read the article you linked, you'll see that the cycling lobby has made this proposal. the Times therefore squeezes "ministers are considering" out of this, which here becomes an actual government intention. and of course Labour's idea to boot.

Nice work.

"Please Dave, don't miss this open goal as well!"

What about cyclists hit from behind by their own drivers?

Alan Douglas said...

Iain, how dare you oppose Broon's Great Idea to handle the National Debt ? Cars don't vote, do they ?

AND they've got lots of money anyway, look at the way we've been ripping them off for years - you get taxed if you buy a car, use the car, don't use the car, move, stand still, park, insure it, and in some cases you get taxed on already taxed money.

Alan Douglas
Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

I detect the hand of Common Purpose.

Frank said...

I loath motor cars and all that goes with them, many years ago there was an advert on the the tele: "Don't drink and drive", so I stopped driving. But even I say that this idea is preposterous; on the other hand it is a brilliant vote loser.

AMW said...

Sorry Iain but i agree with Labour on this one.

I drive just as much as i cycle but i sympathise with cyclists and pedestrians.

How many times do drivers cut in front of cyclists, how many times do cyclist mount pavements etc..?

Its about changing peoples attitudes and its long over due. Car drivers in the UK (Mind im one) have this weird notion that they own the roads and cyclists should not be on them.

Well most cyclists over the age of 18 are in fact car driving licence holders and have every right to be on the road even if the fat obese car driver who cant even walk the length of his own fat stomach doesn't think so.

Whats more, i have often watched people cross the road only for some idiot in a car to put his foot down as if to say get off the road and how many people have been killed as a result.

Yes predestines and cyclists can act stupid, but against 2 tone of tin on 4 wheels they stand little chance.

Im no fan of Labour but i hope they push this through.

Vroon Vroom, oh aye maybe it will stop Mr Cameron from jumping red lights on that bike of his, mind he was caught jumping lights ? Ha ha...

Its about changing all our attitudes, that's all..

Old Holborn said...

Just for that, I intend to run over the next cyclist I see

Anonymous said...

Anyone who bothers to read the article can see that this isn't something ministers intend to enact at all. Just because one idiot advisor in a quango wants to change the law doesn't mean it is government policy.

Get a grip.

Not a sheep said...

And me with a powerful sports car, I may as well just get off the road now and walk.

Unsworth said...

Yes, the customary NuLab presumption of guilt until proved otherwise. The whole concept of innocence in law until proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt is, of course, so inconvenient for this control freak 'Government'.

We have simply given away all of our freedoms. We are all the enslaved servants of The State.

Demetrius said...

It is not quite the "maddest" idea, but is certainly one that deserves an award of the "Mouldy Fruitcake Prize". There are just too many possibilities of either cyclist or pedestrian error possible. This is crude politics at it's worste with all sorts of nasty consequences. And I spend more time walking than driving.

AMW said...

Mirtha Tidville said...
As for bloody cyclists dont get me going or we will be here all day...
...

I take it that you don't get much exercise ? Why do you hate cyclists ? hold you up do they when your doing the School run in your polluting 4x4 or is it that the time you get back home your cheap 99p Farm Foods frozen mince has defrosted because of the pesky cyclist ?

Anonymous said...

Sounds absolutely bonkers.

In REALITY it works. Ace to Base.

Anonymous said...

Next time I see one of these NuLabour numpties out campaigning I'm going to mount the pavement and run the &%$&$ over. And then reverse if the first go didn't do the job properly.

Then' I'll calmly park up, apply the handbrake, turn off the engine, ring the Police and say "I'm happy to report that was entirely my fault".

Roll on May 2010...

LabourReallyAreVeryEvil said...

I think this Government is clinically insane.

It is pointless discussing the details of all these schemes.

You don't discuss anything with insane people.

When do we march on Downing Street and physically kick them out?

They could not arrest 50,000 of us.

Ajax said...

@ AMW

Having seen your weird comment, I looked up your profile. Do you really follow all those blogs? How do you get time to do anything else?

Whatever nonsense someone spouts there is always a complete loophead who will agree with them.

Javelin said...

Casual Criminality is rife by New Labour.

Whether is casual acusations of racism or employing illegal immigrants, or finding people guilty without trial - for New Labour the law is just another tool in their thirst for power.

When we are encouraged to be criminals by the actions of Ministers there are no laws. When there are no laws there is anarchy.

Average Joe said...

... but not if you're female, gay, non-christian ,non-white etc.

Only white middle class men becasue they hold all the power and abuse the rest of the population.

Vienna Woods said...

We more or less already have this crazy situation in Austria, despite there being a law against jay-walking by pedestrians for which they can receive an on-the-spot fixed penalty. Even crazier is a newish law regarding cycle tracks which usually run parallel to some main roads in Vienna - cyclists have priority on junctions and are not even obliged to slow down or stop. In my view it's easier for a cyclist to slow down and observe traffic than a car driver who usually sits lower and has restricted visibility. Of course this is another bloody socialist regime - what more can one expect?

Anonymous said...

My favorite ever wacky idea was Tory Island - you must remember that? It's when the Tory Island where going to hold all asylum seekers on an offshore island. Crazy bunch these politicians.

Lola said...

True story. I used to drive a low Lotus 7 type sports car. One day I turned right out of one way street onto another one way street and a bloke stepped off the pavement and tripped over the o/s REAR wheel arch of my car. Try explaining that in court. Even the police couldn't work it out and didn't prosecute. Mind you I still had a bust fibreglass wheel cover which I could not claim for.

JPT said...

Their maddest idea yet?!
Oh come on it's tame by their standards.

byron9 said...

I seem to recall this was proposed quite some time ago. It's the natural follow on from fixed penalty tickets.
'They say that in Britain once even the most evildoer , namely a taxpaying motorist, was innocent until proven guilty.'
'Surely that's just a fairy story, great grandmother?'
TWO WHEELS GOOD FOUR WHEELS BAD!!!

Man in a Shed said...

Maybe they are worried about being run down when they all become pedestrians in 2010 ?

PS Iain the real story of vindictive Labour madness is they're attempt to wreck the school system in their last 6 months - so that all must suffer just a Hitler insisted that Berlin be burnt and destroyed.

Maybe that German uniform of Ed Ball's in his student days wasn't just for parties ?

Indy said...

You are actually calling many north western European countries crazy because that is the system they operate.

Bit rude! You may not agree with it but it doesn't make it mad. After all countries like Holland, which I believe first introduced the system, actually have a far higher proportion of their population who are cyclists than the UK. So they can't be completely mad can they?

Most people I know would not cycle on roads themselves here, never mind let their kids do it, because it is too dangerous. What makes it safe for kids to cycle in Holland but not here?

charles said...

Why do we have a quango dedictaed to promoting cycling? And how much does Cycling England cost (presumably uphill cycling is too much hard work, so the Scots and Welsh don't have to bother)?

Couldn't this job be done by a handful of DoT civil servant for, say, £250K - saving a few million at least.

A few of these sorts of savings and you are talking serious money

Roy Judd said...

Kay Tie said...

Bloody stupid idea all round. But what do you expect for the fag end of this Government?

Stubbing out!

The Oncoming Storm said...

I was once knocked down by a car, I didn't look to my right when crossing a road, and I got clipped by a lady. Luckily no damage was done and I told her that it was totally my fault and I wouldn't report it if she didn't.

Cyclists can be just as stupid and many of them are as JohnGaunt once said are "smugger than Volvo drivers!" You must take responsibility for your actions, that accident was my fault and I was lucky I wasn't more seriously injured.

Why should careful motorists be penalized for the imbecility of pedestrians and cyclists?

Spartacus Mills said...

The inevitable consequences of this are that all motor insurance premiums will go up further and people will deliberately go out of their way to have accidents with cars knowing they will be able to claim on it.

Nothing this cretinous, incompetent, corrupt government does will surprise me.

MikeyP said...

Dutch 16:18 No it doesn't. There are many miscarriages of justice!

Mirtha Tidville said...

AMW

Why do I dislike cyclists like you???....just read what you have written, even you should be able to work it out sonny...

Anonymous said...

Is it April the 1st?
Or is everyone in the bunker going as nutty as the leader?

DiscoveredJoys said...

Yet another good reason for a bonfire of the Quangos, an inferno of fake charities, and a conflagration of 'special interests'.

Billy Blofeld said...

It is official - I hate this government.

My loathing of them prevents me from saying anything rational about this subject.

Seamaster73 said...

So, let me understand this right. Presumption of guilt on the part of the most powerful vehicle. So if a train hits a car stopped on a level crossing, it's the train driver's fault? Is Liebour for real?

Look on the positive side. Every time they come out with these bizarre fag-end policies it probably costs them half a dozen marginals

Martin said...

Want to bet that Nu Liebour scum politicians who have an accident will claim that "they didn't knowingly cause it and that they were sure they checked all the documents out first" just as they insist that the law is the law and all motorists must be treated equally except Nu Liebour.

David said...

In Nu Labour Land, we are all guilty. Military coup, please.

Elby the Beserk said...

We are all demonised by these bastard control freak alien twats already. All paedos, all terrorists, all dangers to the state.

How long, lord, how long

trevorsden said...

I, my wife and our two grandchildren were nearly knocked over the other day by a cyclist shooting the wrong way up the gutter into the nearby bus lay by.

Under the proposed law if a car had hit the said cyclist then the car would have been guilty.

"Surely the 'burden of proof' should be on the motorist to prove their innocence ?? "

What a load of cock! The burden of proof under British law (as opposed to some fascist dictatorship somewhere) id innocent until proven guilty.

So there it is - after 12 years of Labour citizens now have to prove themselves innocent of every clapped out accusation from drunken cyclists to jobsworth civil servants.

What a load of cock.

AMW said...

Ajax said...
@ AMW

Having seen your weird comment, I looked up your profile. Do you really follow all those blogs? How do you get time to do anything else?

Whatever nonsense someone spouts there is always a complete loophead who will agree with them.
.........

And the funny thing is, you always come across someone more insane and a bigger loop head than oneself.

Oh i forgot, if you agree with something Labour comes out with then your loopy, i take it your a stuck up toff with a Boris Johnston picture stuck to your napper ?

Anonymous said...

Why do I hate motorists so much? Because they have two chins, three bellies, are fat slobs, don't exercise, eat stew and dumplings followed by spotted dick and custard, use mobile fones and smoke while driving their SUVs, and their wives are no different! They cost the NHS huge sums of public dosh. Cyclists are healthy decent people, caring, and cost the NHS nowt. Simples!

AMW said...

Mirtha Tidville said...
AMW

Why do I dislike cyclists like you???....just read what you have written, even you should be able to work it out sonny...
........

Nope sorry you have lost on that one. Read my first comment and you will see im also a car driver.

All im saying is it tends to be the fat obese driver with no fitness about him/her that objects to cyclists..

Good grief, your own party Leader cycles to work, do me a favour, run him over and give us all a break eh ?

Bardirect said...

A presumption of guilt of the uninsured party would be workable.

simon said...

This isn't government policy. It's one of the many ideas that are presented by lobby groups all the time and never get near to becoming law. The clue is that no government figure is quoted in the piece. The Times journo knew that if he asked the gov for a quote they would dismiss the proposal out of hand, thereby killing his story out of hand.

You know this, Iain, and are just making mischief by inciting your less intelligent readers to pointless knee-jerk anger.

J Mitchell said...

AS a cyclist who has been carved up by motorists for no better reason that I am on the road and in their way, I am all in favour of a law which presumes guilt on the part of the motorist in an accident involving a cyclist. I know some cyclists behave as if the rules of the road do not apply to them, which is infuriating. However, a car is a potentially lethal weapon. It travels at much faster speeds than a bike. The cyclist will always come second in any collision. In such circumstances it behoves motorists to take care and to give cyclists a wide berth, not to drive past them as if they were not there or to seek to force them off the road.

This year I and my family cycled round Vienna. I wonder if there is such a law there. Motorists routinely stopped and gave way to us. It was a pleasre to ride round the city. London on the other hand ...

So to you all motorists who refer to "bloody cyclists": you can kill us; we can't kill you. We have as much right to be on the road as you. We also have a vote. If we make the roads safer for cyclists to use - who knows, you might join us!

Dr. Heinz Kiosk said...

But we are all guilty

Anonymous said...

Basically, you're right. It's bloody nonsense.

One thought, though. It might work if cyclsts had to be licensed first - and could lose licence - and perhaps bike too - should they run a red light ...........

Madasafish said...

Only a Government with a PM and COE as non drivers could suggest this.

Armchair said...

This defies everything I ever learned at law school pretty much.

The policies of the fcuking madhouse. They say it encourages motorists to be more careful. Does it not by the same token encourage the mindless cretins that go through red lights and defy all the traffic regs to be even more reckless than they already are.

Its all very well saying that cyclists will be responsible for injury to pedestrians but most of them aren't bloody well insured!!

Typical piss-poor labour party legislation. Who are these morons who dream this up?

Lola said...

There just has to be a joke in 'Cycling England'. Cycling England into what? Bankruptcy? Cycling England - something to do with washing machines. I confess I am not witty enough, probably because I've had a sense of humour bypass when it comes to all these useless taxpayer funded wastes of space.

Anonymous said...

iain lad the country gone bonkers .


o/t can plug my foundation on here and ask any readers to make a donation

http://www.affoundation.co.uk/

freddie flintoff

Anonymous said...

"These proposals also make a Ferrari driver automatically liable for an accident with a bus"

Don't all buses have 15 litre engines or summat? As for HGVs......

Anyway, clearly the times has misread something, and lazily published without checking. Not even Labour are this silly.

Article 38 said...

Some motorists are poor drivers and cause accidents, some cyclists are careless and cause accidents. Each incident should be judged on its own facts.

This is a classic example of socialist thinking - all members of a class (in this case motorists) are 'guilty'.

Curmudgeon said...

I totally agree with your post, Iain, but I'm far from convinced that the Tory party, if elected to power next year, will do anything significant to roll back the nonsense of the post-1997 era.

All we can expect is that the rate of things getting worse may slow down a bit.

The Lakelander said...

Where I live, it seems that almost every cyclist chooses to ride on the pavement, rather than on the road or on designated cycle lanes.

A collision with a cyclist will therefore be a rare, though satisfying, occurrence.

Anonymous said...

If a 747 lands on Westminster it's the pilot's fault?

If only...

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

Sigh.

There is a huge legal difference between 'placing the onus of proof on...' and 'automatically finding guilty of...'

Firstly, it's only in civil damages cases so 'guilt' isn't an issue it's about liability.

In order to demonstrate what's being suggested in language that Iain Dale can understand, let's draw an analogy with libel actions. If A sues B for libel, English law currently requires B to prove that did not say anything libellous. The are not automatically found to have done so but it is up to them to prove that they didn't, rather than for A to prove that they did.

In a similar way, the proposal is that if there is an accident between a cyclist and a car driver, if the cyclist sues the car driver it will be up to the car driver to prove they were not at fault. If the cyclist did something stupid like pulling out of a junction without looking or jumping a red light then the car driver would be able to do so quite easily. I's not being suggested that the car driver is always found liable for damages regardless.

Iain's 'analysis' is straight from the Nadine Dorries school of banning high heels from the workplace.

VotR said...

Only Labour's total cremation on voting day can deter these useless vilifiers from robbing anyone they can by presumed guilt.

But that is up to the people, Iain. If they want to teach Labour a lesson that presumed guilt is not acceptable and that innocent until proven guilty is the only allowable behaviour of the law, then current Labour MPs should not be voted for by anyone in the general election, simply in self defence to protect ourselves from Labour vilifier's and demoniziers. We can dream...

Cynic said...

I was recently in a taxi in Trafalgar Square at about 7 am when we were cut up appallingly by a city-boy type cyclist in blue lycra cyclist who swerved across 3 lanes with no warning. The taxi driver did an amazing job not to hit him, swerved, avoided another car and sounded his horn. The cyclist's response was a vicious 1 fingered gesture and a torrent of abuse.

We looped around the traffic diversion while the cyclist went straight down the bus bane into the Strand. A few moments later we caught up with him again. I couldn't help but notice that as we drew parallel, the cab slowed and gradually moved further and further to the left.

My abusive little friend was now pedalling furiously alongside us his face clenched in anger. He was eventually forced to brake suddenly and jump onto the pavement to avoid being shoved there.

As we drove on, the red light for the intercom flicked on and a voice said "That'll show the ignorant little f**ker"

And do you know, despite myself, I totally agreed with him.

Bobby said...

I doubt that can be true.

fyoc said...

What's wrong with that then Iain?

Have you come round to the idea yet of cycling from Tunbridge Wells to your London office?!

But seriously, if this law is introduced, as it has been in place in Denmark for some time, cyclists need to up their act also. I can understand your concerns.

tapestry said...

It's no different to the employer being found guilty of all accidents or failures, that happen at work.

Yet no one cares about employers.

That's why there aren't many of them left.

Natural justice was abandoned in favour of administrative convenience a long time ago, in most areas of our lives.

Which planet have you been living on, Iain ?

This is why I packed up living in Britain.

I'd had enough of legal processes which made me automatically guilty.

For example when I sacked a thief, he sued me for compensation. What was I meant to do, give him six more months to get his pockets even more full, with a series of warnings?

I'm delighted you now care so much about motorists, but for years, owners of vehicles used for employment, have been held criminally liable for road deaths and injuries, when the equipment they bought failed. There was never any need to prove negligence, or incompetence.

The list is endless.

It's known as strict liability. It started with possession of drugs. The need to prove any intention to possess was removed, so that a plant of drugs on a person always lead to a successful prosecution.

Now there are few areas of the law left where strict liability doesn't apply.

Welcome to the EU. That's where it came from in the first place.

Austin Williams said...

I wrote a piece for the Telegraph on this 7 years ago. Mercifully the EU moves ever so slowly:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/2717787/Four-wheels-good-two-wheels-good.html

J R Hartley said...

I don't like James Martin, but he has a point.

I was sat at Marble Arch the other day when a cyclist blatantly came through a red across 4 lanes of traffic.

So if I clip this kind of c*nt I'm to blame...

I hope these urban cyclists have good lawyers.............

Weygand said...

But why did anybody think this is a good idea?
What has fault got to do with means of transport?
On this basis why not decide that private motorists will be presumed to be at fault in accidents involving public transport or men responsible for collisions with women drivers?
This country is rushing to intellectual bankruptcy just as fast as it is going bust.

Chas said...

It has become beyond parody, hasn't it?

It won't be long before they take up Swift's "A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country".

Luckily none of this lunacy will come to anything before the next election, when they will disappear from the face of the earth, and a degree of sanity will be restored.

Dick Puddlecote said...

@ allnottinghambasearebelongtous at 10:29pm:

Are you seriously, and with a straight face, trying to justify this by drawing analogies with UK libel laws? Really?

You know, the libel laws that make us the global centre for litigious tourism from crooks worldwide because our system is so ludicrously wrong?

You need help.

*sigh* back atcha

(c*ck)

Ruari C said...

I'm what you'd call an... assertive cyclist. I'm also an assertive pedestrian and definitely an assertive driver. It fits into my general theory that everyone else on the road is, essentially, a f*ckwit who is probably going to do something stupid, therefore the burden is on me to make sure I'm not in the middle of it when it happens.

I was under the impression that as a pedestrian, everyone else has a duty to avoid me. Were I on horseback, I'd give way to pedestrians, on a bike I give way to pedestrians and horses (and cars because I think they might hurt if they hit me), and as a car driver I give way to everything because I'm likely to dent my car if I hit them. Oh, and they'd probably die or something inconvenient like that.

All that notwithstanding, I'd assumed that all this was (in law, at least) roughly the case already. Taking it as read that the larger vehicle was responsible by default, however, is a little beyond the pale. There is only so much that a driver can do to avoid someone who pays no heed to their own personal safety, with the same going for a cyclist. An elderly doddery old fellow stepping out between cars in traffic is, I'm afraid to say, asking to be hit by a cyclist if he doesn't bloody look. It's not the cyclist's fault any more or less than it is his. There should be a burden of proof one way or the other, not a default supposition that the bigger/faster vehicle is automatically at fault.

Anonymous said...

There's a section of the country's population that will use this as a means of earning a living!

Not lawyers, for a change, the drunken and drugged up idiots who like to walk in front of cars and cyclists, and who will now be automatically presumed "innocent" when they break a leg.

How on earth could they be proved wrong - because they're sure to have their own "witnesses" lined up to watch!

Loki said...

Great use of tmesis!

Chris Paul said...

If this is the maddest idea yet we're doing not so bad compared to George Osborne's maddest idea THIS WEEK. FFS sense of proportion please. Cycle on ped action ---> obviously the car doesn't get it.

Out of interest ... is this (a) a vague idea in an options paper (b) a real proposal (c) passed last month for Jan 2010 (d) already the law?

"Intending to pass laws" - so weak. Tell us what you think about the idiot George Osborne and his complete inability to be serious, honest, accurate. What an arse.

Thatsnews said...

Oh, dear.

I expect we journalists will get an aggrieved (and rightly so!) press release from the Association of British Drivers. The only organisation that seems to care about ordinary drivers)

Thatsnews said...

These proposals also make a Ferrari driver automatically liable for an accident with a bus...

It might not. As the larger and more powerful vehicle, the bus driver may be liable, even if the Ferrari driver were at fault.

Anonymous said...


Whats more, i have often watched people cross the road only for some idiot in a car to put his foot down as if to say get off the road and how many people have been killed as a result.


And I've been cycling along the road when some idiot on a mobile phone stepped backwards into the road into my path. I went over the handlebars and landed in the gutter with a broken collarbone.

The other day, I saw a cyclist riding at some speed on the inside of a line of stationary cars cycle straight into the junction at the head of the line without looking, and into the side of the car that was in the process of turning left.

There are stupid car drives, stupid cyclists and stupid pedestrians. What's your point?

Anonybot said...

Hopefully the law regarding cyclists having a light when cycling at night,not cycling on pavements,obeying red lights and not cycling in pedestrianised areas WILL also be enforced or WILL that be the fault of motorists too ??

Cynic said...

We motorists should embrace the Cyclists Taliban agree this in return for a number of concessions:-

* mandatory registration and taxation of all cycles
* a clear numberplate fitted front and back on all bikes
* mandatory high visibility clothing for all cyclists and biukes to also be flourscenet
* all cyclists to be licensed and pass a test
* all cyclists high visibility clothing to carry their licence number making them easily identifiable
* mandatory wearing of crash helmets for cyclists
* a requirement on all cyclists to carry fully comprehensive insurance with an indemnity limit of not less than £2 million
* a penalty points system for cycling offences
* extension of the laws on cycling to allow disqualification of cyclists on conviction

Then we might get somewhere on this.

And by the way, as a motorist I don't think that I own the road. I just know that, with this Government, I pay for it over and over and over again

Anonymous said...

Seems you may have slightly misunderstood this story, Iain, so let me explain the real point to you.

As one or two others have noticed, the point is really that this suggestion is being made by some body in the public domain. Of course it's a loony idea, just as is all the twaddle pouring out of Women Against Rape, and lots of other self-appointed groups making ludicrous demands.

Who funds these absurd bodies? Waht will the tory branch of the liblabcons do about it? Not much.

JMT said...

Nothing new about this - it was first mooted several years ago, no doubt some EU diktat.

I think the only way to get the matter resolved is to throw yourself on to the bonnet of your local MPs car.

Once he has lost his no-claims bonus twice over, only then will sanity reign.

It is also an example of lazy policing, much easier to demonise everyone than track down real offenders.

Desperate Dan said...

In encouraging these sorts of rabid anti-cyclist rants you are contributing to and legitimising the horrendous rise in the deaths of cyclists on British roads. The pretence that drivers never break the law or do stupid things is ludicrous. Cyclists having to contend with drivers who speed, go left into their paths at no left turn signs, open drivers' doors into the path of cyclists without looking and, in London, in the high percentage of drivers with no licence, tax or insurance who are useless drivers.
A bike weighs between 20-30kgs. A car weights between 1000-3000kgs. Lorries weigh up to 44tonnes. I don't know if allocating blame for all accidents to one side or the other is the answer but slagging off all cyclists certainly isn't.

Desperate Dan said...

And to those of you complaining about cyclists going through red light, I see drivers going through red lights every day and they're much more likely to cause accidents.

DespairingLiberal said...

Insurance companies already take this assumption when for example dealing with a crash between a large SUV and a small car. Your article reads as though this is a criminal law issue, but it is about insurance. As usual you are deliberately distorting the facts for effect.

Some cyclists do behave stupidly but drivers need to be particularly alert and respectful of cyclists - many are not, especially in London, where one frequently sees cars, buses and trucks passing too close and too fast to cyclists.

Batteredstrat said...

Tapestry has this right, it's about the way that the legal system has been subverted that is the real issue.

This has come from a thinktank and is very unlikely to become law, but the sheer spread of laws of strict liability has been frightening. Guilty unless you can prove youself innocent.

However, at least Baroness Scotland will understand the importance of strict liability as the law she enacted to prevent employers hiring illegals is one of strict liablility. If she is not sentenced to a heavy fine r imprisonment (if she cannot provide proof of documentation, the only defence in the law she drafted) we will really see that it is one law for us and another or them.

Anonymous said...

I have another idea why don't we make everybody an MP.

Then we could ignore laws and rules and pat ourselves on the back for doing so.

Ga Ga rules/laws would be self canceling have no effect!

Simples....

Nick Ould said...

How is this Labour's idea? It was suggested by a pressure group, and there's no government source quoted! Get your facts straight mate.

Oliver Drew said...

IF it happened, it would be a crazy law...justice is that the person responsible is punished...this is suggesting that regardless of fault (in civil cases at least) the most powerful would be at fault, which is not always the case.

As it happens, I highly doubt that any government in their right mind would bring this law about, but it does prove that the less quangos we have in this country the better. Idiots.

Richard Young said...

91 comments, only about four of which have pointed out that the piece doesn't even say this is a Labour policy or even close to being one. If I were Iain Dale, I'd be worried about the kind of people who read my blog. But then, if I were Iain Dale, I'd read the articles I link to more closely.

This also suggests that the vast majority of commenters here never clicked the link to the actual story. I'd have hoped people here were capable of even the most perfunctory investigation of political stories. But apparently not.

Final point: this kind of idiotic misrepresentation lowers all politics. There's a mass of (real) things one could slam this tired New Labour government for. Why make something up? Iain Dale: the Glenn Beck of British conservativism...

prj45 said...

Old Holborn said... "Just for that, I intend to run over the next cyclist I see"


Ohh, I hope it's me, I can't wait to spend six moths off work at the cost of your insurance company and then pop off round the world on the compensation I receive from you!

And if you manage to kill me my wife would be quids in!

Cynic said...

"I were Iain Dale, I'd be worried about the kind of people who read my blog."

I know. We are an awful bunch. Some of think for ourselves and don't wait for Party SpAds to tell us what to say and think. That gives rise to a diversity of views, some mad and bad but mostly rational and interesting.

Often we do actually read the linked articles and, above all, we are clever enough not to vote labour or Lib Dems.

There are of course a few others who slip in. As part of the Labour Party's pre-election destabilisation and smear operation I think I have seen quite a few anonymous posts recently from deluded Labour-supporting Trolls.

But hey, you know what? That's life in all its richness.

Anonymous said...

I thought this must be a joke at first, but of course this is Nulabor Britain, where the unthinkable happens every day.

As a resident of Cambridge, I see cyclists flout the law every day, ignoring traffic lights, riding without lights, riding on and off pavements, cutting through traffic without warning etc. (And needless to say the police do not appear to have any interest in enforcing the law.)

The idea that such irresponsible and stupid people should automatically be deemed the 'injured party' in any accident is grotesque.

Any notion of justice in this country seems to have gone out of the window.

Ben S said...

Nice piece.

Shame it's just not true.

Lack of reading comprehension letting you down again; calls into question everything else you write I am afraid...

Hurf Durf said...

"Iain Dale: the Glenn Beck of British conservativism..."

Effective? I agree. Bugger the Quangos.

Steph Savill said...

Like all these daft suggestions they are kites to see what we think first then most get shelved. But when it is to do with the motorist we are right to keep our wits about us as this is surely the thin end of the wedge,
I run a motoring club for women and when HM Gov starts to make it difficult for us in areas where we have no public transport I like to remind them how impossible it is for women who are more likely to have multiple children in tow,do the household shop, go out on their own at night or work part time (when it's almost impossible to car share etc). I am not banging on the gender drum I am just reminding people that there is no alternative to the motor car for many of us as we go about our community lives.
FOXY Steph

Jimmy said...

I'm thinking of sending a copy of Swift's Modest Proposal to No. 10 and if I get an acknowledgment, sending it to the Sunday Times. What a scoop!

Boy on a bike said...

I cycle to and from work every day, and I see plenty of cretins, window lickers and speds on two wheels and four. This type of law is madness, and will only encourage an already reckless minority of cyclists to act even more stupidly with impunity.

Stupid cyclists can be more of a menace to other cyclists than cars, and they are atrociously dangerous around pedestrians.

That said, if a motorist is found to be at fault following a collision with a bike, they should spend a day or two in the stocks. But there should be no automatic presumption of guilt.

Frugal Dougal said...

As a cyclist and pedestrian all I can say is that sometimes cyclists and pedestrians are indeed a cause of accidents - one reason why as a cyclist I try to avoid busy roads likethe plague.

Reducing the speed to 20mph is a good idea, but when we tried this in Cambridge it was found that the particular speed-guns the polic had could only detect speeds over 30.

This is the politics of envy informed by a mea-culpa pantheism designed to turn the technological clock back to the middle-ages.

fyoc said...

@Cynic 723am : Much of what you have written shows your own ignorance of the laws concerning cycling. I have already passed my "test" - it is called a driving test and I have held a clean driving licence for 16 years. Yes, I agree with you. Some cyclists do exhibit very bad behaviour. But then there are bad drivers too. Some drivers get in a car drunk and cause almighty accidents BUT that doesn't mean that every driver should be tarred with the same brush.

re points: The Police already can hand out fixed penalty notices for bad cycling.

If you introduced your Anti-Cycling Act 2009, you would deter so many cyclists from going on the road that probably most would not bother. Oh I forgot, that's what you want......

Desperate Dan said...

BBC Radio 5 Live has taken up your theme. They're reading out numerous "hilarious" emails suggesting what a good idea it would be to hunt and kill cyclists. Peter Allen said rather weakly, :"Oh that's unfair". - Not, you notice "criminal" or "vicious" or psychopathic" - just unfair.
I wonder if they'd also read our emails exhorting people to hunt and kill Jews or asylum seekers. Have they decided that most cyclists are Tory and therefore expendable? Are they still hoping Cameron and Boris will 'fall' under buses?
The BBC and the Evening Standard never stop encouraging drivers to kill cyclists and I'm appalled that you have now joined them.

Danny said...

"Apparently Labour Ministers are intending to pass laws to ensure that all motorists are found to be the guilty parties when involved with accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Unbebloodylievable."

Quite right - it isn't true.

Anonymous said...

Yep this scheme on the face of it sounds daft. But it ain't, it works.

About time Cameron started thinking "outside the box" too.

John said...

You say 'Labour Ministers are intending to pass laws....'

The Daily Mail, well-known New Labour rag, says:
'A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'This is something that gets raised by pressure groups from time to time. Cycling England has proposed it, but it is not something that is being considered by ministers.'

Not exactly your finest hour, Iain, but at least it brought the paranoid Jeremy Clarkson tendency out into the open, to the general amusement of your readers.

autostry said...

I think this one is a bit over the top. They can't accuse all motorists guilty.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

This is deliberate, Iain, as you and we all know. These people are not mad, and "political correctness" (another problem) never "goes nad" - it is like that, and these stalinist politicos are like that, because they fervently believe what they are saying.

It makes them mortal foes.

Anonymous said...

The law shold be about justice, AMW. Not about "changing peoples' attitudes".