Government advisers are pushing for changes in civil law that will make the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision automatically liable for insurance and compensation purposes, according to a report in the Times newspaper.
If such a law was passed, it would make motorists legally responsible for accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are not at fault. Likewise, cyclists would automatically be at fault if they collided with a pedestrian.
The move is one of several ideas mooted as a way of getting people out of cars and onto bicycles or walking more.
Other proposals to promote the uptake of greener transport include the imposition of blanket 20mph zones on residential streets.
Supporters want such measures to be included in the government’s National Cycling Plan and Active Transport Strategy, due to be published soon.
Phillip Darnton, chief executive of Cycling England, an agency funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) to promote cycling, said four key policy changes were needed.
“I would like to see the legal onus placed on motorists when there are accidents; speed limits reduced to 20mph on suburban and residential roads; cycling taught to all schoolchildren; and cycling provision included in major planning applications,” said Darnton.