Cycling trauma

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As an orthopaedic trauma surgeon I am weary of fixing fractures in injured cyclists and dealing with the carnage in working lives. I enjoy my job, but I’d rather not be in operating theatre with this unfortunate group.

Cyclists seriously injured in a road traffic incident and the families of those killed battle through a clumsy legal process before receiving compensation.

Strict liability will enable cyclists and other vulnerable road users who are involved in road traffic accidents to be compensated fairly and quickly.

At present, the United Kingdom is out of step with Europe as one of only five European Union countries along with Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland that does not operate a system of strict liability.

The concept of strict liability is confusing for many, with the terminology of strict, stricter and presumed liability confounding most members of the public who won’t know or care about the difference.

Campaigns for “mutual respect” for cyclists and drivers in my opinion will generate some change in road users’ behaviour. Cycling Scotland has launched “Nice Way Code” for mutual respect. It’s only fair that all road users adhere completely to the Highway Code and let’s not forget the vast majority of cyclists are also motorists.

Road justice must also be fair. There needs to be a fundamental change in the mindset of all road users. I hope we will end up with a form of presumed liability in the not too distant future.

(Mr) Chris Oliver

Consultant Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon, chairman

Scottish Cyclists’ 
Touring Club

Edinburgh

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