'Always blame the motorist' is wrong, says cycling Tory
THE Conservative party hopeful for Cheltenham has hit out at Liberal Democrat ideas which could see motorists automatically blamed in a crash with a cyclist unless it could be proved otherwise.
The Lib Dems have outlined a number of cycling-related policies which are due to be discussed at their next party conference.
But Alex Chalk, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham at the next General Election, believes the presumption of liability, already in place in some European countries, would be "plain wrong" if introduced in the UK.
In a letter to the Echo he said: "I was alarmed to hear that the Liberal Democrats are positively considering a presumption that motorists be held automatically responsible for accidents involving cyclists. In my view any such scheme would be plain wrong.
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"I should declare an interest. I am a regular cyclist. I cycle to work, and have done so for a decade. It is a fantastic way to get around as well as being healthy and good for the environment.
"But this suggestion is misconceived. We must all take responsibility for our actions when we are on the roads.
"Cyclists who cause accidents by disobeying the rules of the road should be treated exactly the same way as any other road user. Anything else will be a recipe for injustice and resentment."
A similar policy would also apply to bike riders who hit pedestrians.