Thompsons Solicitors has published six recommendations to ensure better protection for cyclists on British roads in response to the rising number of cyclist fatalities and serious injuries.
The Transport Committee cycling consultation proposes that enforcing new measures of strict liability would change the culture of road users – diminishing the ‘powerful’ status of motor vehicles in comparison to vulnerable cyclists.
Further recommendations suggest that all bus and lorry drivers should have first-hand experience of cycling in road conditions, which would become standardised as part of the driving test. And local and central government should work to provide better quality training for cyclists.
Statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that the number of cyclist deaths rose by 10% during 2012 to 118, and serious injuries are up by 4% to 3,222 compared to last year’s figures.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “A change in legislation to better protect cyclists is long overdue. We have dealt with thousands of cycle accident personal injury claims and our case experience shows that most are entirely avoidable if vehicle drivers thought and looked. Encouraging more people to get on their bikes is great but if the government then does absolutely nothing to make it safer the NHS picks up the bill and families grieve.
“The recommendations set out a number of changes that we believe will decrease the number of avoidable accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities at the hands of negligent motorists.”
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