EU Proposal: Liability Car Driver vs. Cyclist

Bike Europe

11 June 2002
BRUSSELS, Belgium.

The European Commission has proposed that car drivers shall always be liable in accidents with a cyclist or pedestrian involved.

Reasoning is, that the danger for injury always comes from the car. The 'soft' road user as a victim is always hurt worse than the car driver.

Another argument is that all car owners have a compulsory insurance against liability. In principle, the biker or pedestrian should never be liable for damaged inflicted in traffic to cars participating in traffic, and he/she will even be compensated for damage and/or injury incurred when infringing the traffic regulations (like: biking without proper lighting, crossing the red light, riding in the wrong direction, drunk, etc.)

The Netherlands have suggested this system five years ago, with the political compromise that car drivers are always liable for at least 50% of the damage (the original 100% proposal didn't make it after vehement reactions from the car world). Now there is a chance that the EU will impose the rule. (OB)