Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Cyclists to blame for their injuries if not wearing a helmet

This was reported in The Independant recently. In a high court ruling, the judge claimed that the cyclist was partially responsible for the injuries suffered by the cyclist, even though the motor cyclist that hit him was found to be "entirely to blame".

This sets a very serious precedent, and is wrong for so many reasons. It is wrong to penalise someone when they are not at fault, or in this case, blameless. There is no legal requirement in the UK to wear a helmet, it is down to the discretion of the rider to make that decision. Practically everything we do in life carries a risk, from crossing the road to boarding a bus. Cycling to work must sensibly be classified as a low risk activity. When a pedestrian is involved in an accident that is not their fault, they do not wear helmets. Is this case really any different?

The next question is: are we going to see the same precedent creeping into other areas of compensation within the UK?

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