Cycle of benefits

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Yet again, Brenda Mitchell (Letters, 25 October) uses your newspaper to claim that drivers should be held responsible 
for the actions of other 
untrained, unlicensed, uninsured and unaccountable road users.

For drivers, the use of the roads is a privilege, not a 
right – their licence to use the roads can be withdrawn at any time by judicial courts and medical specialists, but cyclists appear to have the right to use those same roads at any time whether they are fit or capable of using them properly and safely or not.

If cyclists want the benefit and protection of a law that renders them not liable for their 
actions, then they must accept that there should also be laws put in place which they must obey on penalty of removing the privilege of being allowed to use the roads and which will mitigate the circumstances in which the other party has to pay them compensation.

This might include making cyclists obey the road traffic act laws and taking responsibility for their own safety by 
wearing helmets and making themselves visible, being identifiable (I would suggest that your name and postcode printed on the back of a high-visibility vest would help both safety and identification).

Most importantly, cyclists should carry at least third-
party liability insurance so that when a cyclist is found liable for 
causing an accident, then the other parties involved will be compensated.

This will only bring cyclists towards the same benefits/
liabilities position as other road users – a position which would not discriminate against any particular road user and would make the roads safer for all road users.

The other European countries that Ms Mitchell frequently quotes as having this liability law in action also had the 
infrastructure installed to 
separate cyclists and other road traffic before introducing that law.

NEIL McDONALD

Pencaitland

East Lothian

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