Controversial Cyclist Safety Proposal Fuels Debate

Calls for presumed liability law

1 March 2018

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Bicycle Queensland has proposed introducing a presumed liability law which would see the state's drivers automatically be presumed guilty in crashes with cyclists, and force them to demonstrate they were not at fault.

The proposal was made as part of a road safety forum this week being held by the state government.

The group claims their stats show motorists are at fault 80 per cent of the time when the crash involves a cyclist and the moved would make things safer for everyone on the road.

"Our view is, you will bring costs down on all consumers, reduce dangerous driving and make it fairer and swifter for all parties to get justice with these laws. Ultimately what we really need to do is save lives and this is one way of doing it," Bicycle QLD CEO Anne Savage said.

"Many other advanced countries have successfully introduced presumed liability laws - they are worthy of our consideration and would go a long way to improving road safety and ending the tragic death toll of road crashes."

Peak motoring body RACQ have slammed the suggestion, saying it's a step backwards.

"We can argue about the statistics about who is to blame and how often in crashes, but the fact is this overturns the basic premise of the Australian legal system, that we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty," said spokesperson Paul Turner.

"This is very complex and drags us into a whole new legal and insurance area, would add a lot of cost to cycling over time and doesn't really give us any benefit."


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