British Cycling is appealing to the government to reform the Civil Liability Bill, claiming that it currently penalises vulnerable road users rather than protect them.
Announcements were recently made by the government that changes made to the law are aimed at reducing the number of exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims from motorists.
This involves increasing the small claims limit for road traffic accident personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000, with hopes to reduce whiplash fraudsters to try and make a claim.
With proposals in the early stages of parliament, national governing body is worried that raising the claim limit will mean ‘many injured cyclists would be unable to recover their legal costs and therefore be denied access to justice.’
It says that the reforms are unfair to VRUs who are much less likely to sustain whiplash, including cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and horse riders, and that it has been working with the Vulnerable Road Users Group to try and convince the government to remove VRUs from the bill.
“This move will have huge unintended consequences for anyone involved in a collision that is not driving,” said British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman.
Cycling charity Cycling UK has been campaigning, running the ‘Road Victims are Real Victims’ campaign. Over 6000 people signed up to support the campaign in its first iteration in December 2016, according to Cycling UK’s head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore, with a further 1000 people voicing support since the campaign began in March.