Welcome to the website for Stricter Liability for Us.
In the UK we have a long held principle that for most aspects of the law one is "innocent until proven guilty". Quite rightly it dictates that criminality has to be proven in order to establish guilt.
However, there are many situations whereby liability for one actions does not necessarily require such the same degree of proof. Employers often have a liability for what happens even though they may not be criminally guilty.
In most parts of the EU this separation of criminality from liability exists with regard to the use of the roads. The vulnerability of the young, the old, the infirm and those less protected from surrounding protective structure, such as cyclists and pedestrians, is recognised in the way that the road law creates a "duty of care" on those driving motor vehicles and makes them liable if they come into contact with such vulnerable road users.
For example in the Netherlands children under the age of 14 cannot be held responsible for any collisions and other cyclists and pedestrians cannot be more than 50% responsible, but rarely is their compensation reduced.
This concept of "stricter liability" being dependent upon the vulnerability, or otherwise, of a road user is seen as eminently sensible. Indeed in 1982 Lord Denning said :-
"There should be liability without proof of fault. To require an injured person to prove fault results in the gravest injustice to many innocent persons who have not the wherewithal to prove it."
This website seeks to provide a few facts on the subject and to provide some clarity on what it does and does not involve.
Strict or stricter liability has also been referred to as "proportional liability" this recognises that the liability (and duty of care) of one actions when using a road should be proportional to the degree of danger which you impose on other road users. Hence motor vehicle drivers would always have a greater duty of care to people who are vulnerable on the roads when walking or cycling.
This hierarchy could also be extended to larger freight vehicles over smaller motor vehicles.
Here are some useful comments and references:-
Currently there have been a number of references from Dept of Transport and the Scottish Government regarding the possibility of using Stricter Liability. It is therefore an excellent time to write to your MP.
Here is the text of a letter which can easily be used to insert into an email or letter.
If your own MP's response indicates a willingness to support this argument please let us know.
Here are some of the organisations who support Stricter Liability :-
Urban Design Group
Waltham Forest Cycling campaign
Warrington Cycle Campaign
Bristol Cycling Campaign
Camden Cycling Campaign
London Cycling Campaign
And personal supporters:-
If you would like your organisation to be added to this list then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information then email email@example.com