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Increase in Cyclist Deaths Spurs Campaign for Legal Changes

Cyclist campaign groups have called on the Scottish Government to make legal changes to protect cyclists after Transport Scotland reported an increase of 44% in cycling deaths this year.

The campaigners have urged the government to introduce dedicated cycle lanes, to do more to discourage illegal use of cycle lanes by motorists, cut urban speed limits and to introduce ‘presumed liability’.

Presumed liability of motorists in a collision with a cyclist already exists in many European countries and is believed to encourage a more responsible attitude towards cyclists on the road.

Derek Halden, from campaign group Road Share, said:

“Road Share do not think that vulnerable road users should need to prove that drivers are at fault when there are road accidents and are proposing new legislation to reverse the burden of proof from the weaker road user to the more powerful. The truth remains that for cyclists, our roads remain as dangerous as ever and we need to make Scotland’s roads as safe as the best in Europe where casualty rates can be half of the Scottish levels per mile travelled.”

Since the 2011 spending review, the Scottish Government has allocated £58 million to walking and cycling, and this is due to increase by a further £27 million in 2014/2015.

A spokesperson from Transport Scotland agreed that there was a long way to go to make Scotland’s roads safe for cyclists, however insisted there are no plans to change the current law.

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