Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


PottyPhillip Darnton, chief executive of Cycling England, an agency funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) to promote cycling, recently came up with a particularly "potty" idea.

He wants changes made to road rules that would make the driver of the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision automatically liable for insurance and compensation in civil law.

Therefore if a car hit a cyclist, the presumption of blame would fall on the driver, while a cyclist would automatically be blamed if they knocked down a pedestrian.

All very well, if the fault lies with the driver of the "most powerful vehicle". However, what about cases where the cyclist or pedestrian is clearly at fault?

There are more than one or two cyclists who happily ride down one way streets the wrong way, or jump red lights. Not to mention certain idiotic pedestrians who jump out into the road on the assumption that a car or cycle can stop within a nano second.

This scheme, were it ever to be adopted, would provide a charter for every insurance scam merchant in the country.

Quite potty!

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  1. I beleive similar nonesense was banded about a few years ago. Some nutter wanted to make the car driver automatically responsible in any collision involving a car and bycicle. The proposals were publicly derided by most (and welcomed by certain "road safety" campaigners), then quietly disappeared.

    The wording of this one is iteresting though. The most powerful vehicle? Does that just mean between different modes of transport or could it be applied to different types of cars?

    Does this mean that everytime I take out my 5.3l v12 Jag, I'm gonna be pursued everywhere I go by Nissan Micras looking to ram me from behind and make a few bob?
    Are there gonna be suicidal Ford Fiestas pulling out on me at every junction?

  2. Sounds like a scheme for forcing all cyclists to get insurance. I would be rather easy for an unscrupulous pedestrian faction to arrange collisions and claim damages. A well executed scam could see cyclists being seriously injured, thus proving that they were speeding and unable to stop in time, and still picking up the bill.

    On the plus side, in most cases, collisions between cars and buses or trucks would mostly mean the larger vehicles are automatically liable.

    I can't help but feel there is a hidden ruse behind this government sponsored thinking that relates to forcing people out of their cars. Or maybe they have not thought that far ahead on the proposals and have decided to release some complete buffoons into the public arena in order top make their own words and actions look relatively sensible.

    I wonder how they would assess who was to blame when two cyclists collide?

    What was that old phrase relating to the forces - "Lions led by Donkeys"? It seems to apply widely these days, although it would be nice to get even the donkeys back to raise the standards.

    Where do they find these people and why do they appoint them?

  3. John B Stryge11:44 AM

    A car is unattended and legally parked on a public road. A cyclist rides into the back of it and is injured (it really happened). Cyclist requires hospital treatment.
    What is the car owner's liability? Most people woud answer none. Road Traffic Act 1988 s 158 says the owner must pay a treatment fee to the first doctor to attend the cyclist. The hospital can demand further fees from the car owner's insurance.

    How long before Cycling England claims their proposal is just a 'tidying up' of the law?

  4. Sounds like Phillip Darnton hasn't been wearing a helmet during the multiple, brain-damaging collisions he has undergone. This is one of the more cretinous ideas recently floated. Why not just say that the party with the larger bank account is assumed to be liable?

    What a twat!

  5. John B
    I just Googled section 158 of the traffic act and I cant make head nor tail of it. It doesnt seem to be written in any kind of human language.

    I once hit a kid who ran out in front of my car. He was uninjured but an ambulance attended. The police said it wasnt my fault but I should expect a bill from the NHS for the ambulance and I should give it to my insurance company. I told them I had no intention of giving it to my insurance company, I was going to give it to the kids parents.
    The bill never arrived so I never got to put this to the test.

  6. microdave12:42 PM

    This has been discussed elsewhere, and it turns out that it already applies in several other EU countries!

  7. Tonk.1:05 PM

    This idea is made even sillier by the suggestion that cyclists should be able to effectively ignore road signs and other parts of the highway code......There seems to be a desire from a particular wing of government to completely undermine society.

  8. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Open Mouth
    Barf out crock of sh1te
    Enagage Brain

    Ooops, wrong way round there.


  9. Lord of Atlantis2:15 PM

    This goes completely against any sane concept of justice: that the perpetrator is guilty of any offence. Another insane idea being bandied about is, I understand, the proposal that cyclists should be able to ignore 'one way street' signs. Can you imagine the chaos this will cause, not to mention accidents? And what about risk of injury to pedestrians? I wonder whether both these ideas were dreamed up by the same person?

    microdave said "... this has been discussed elsewhere, and it turns out that it already applies in several other EU countries!"

    I think this tells us all we need to know!

  10. We already have an issue with Pedestrians because you have to go way overboard to prove that a pedestrian is at fault for an accident if one occurs... its always assumed its the car drivers fault and it can really muck up a drivers life if it happens.

    Having seen a number of incidents where pedestrians were the bloody idiots at fault and where cyclists have caused accidents I think this is stupid.

    Pedestrians should be able to be pursued for causing accidents as well.

    The only other shift in laws should be what (I think) NZ has - That part of drivers taxes go to a fund which pays all costs of accidents (including healthcare etc) and unless they see that you were drunk or seriously negligent then no actions are taken against the drivers. No insurance etc needed, its all taken care of.

    (If anyone can correct me on where this is done please do - I can't remember if it is NZ or not).

  11. I'm still not sure as to why these kind of things come up.

    Why is it these ideas, which are *obviously* stupid non-starters, are still cropping up? Are people (let alone the people in power) REALLY this stupid, or are they using this kind of thing to distract us from real issues?

    I just don't get it.

  12. Anonymous1:33 AM

    What if a very fat pedestrian walks into a little child on a bicycle?

  13. skydog8:29 AM

    Bucko:''Are there gonna be suicidal Ford Fiestas pulling out on me at every junction?''

    If there are I'd place money on mein Fuehrer being behind the wheel :o(

  14. I think the laws in Holland very much favour cyclists and have done for decades. But in Holland that is hardly surprising since they are well know for using bikes being mostly a flat country. Also they have well designed and built cyclepaths and footpaths mostly separated from the rest of the traffic traffic and cyclists are expected to use them.

    In the UK we build a decent cyclepath (rarely) and only the dog walkers use it. The cyclists use the road. So we paint a few lines between the drain holes and call that a cycle path and wonder why the results are not as good as those in Holland.

    I would call the people who design these things fukwits except that I think they have every intention to delivery what they actually deliver and, therefore, are probably the most successful operators in the UK. Ulterior motives abound.