Your le­gal ques­tions

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Who’s to Q blame for coun­try lane col­li­sion? I was rid­ing my BMW R1200 down a typ­i­cal English coun­try road; a 60 mph sin­gle­car­riage­way with the odd farm turn-off and 30mph zones in vil­lages. Ahead of me were two cy­clists rid­ing side-by-side, tak­ing up most of my lane. The road ahead looked clear so I went to over­take the cy­clists, but as I did a car ap­peared in the on­com­ing lane. He had to swerve to avoid me and I had nowhere to go be­cause if I pulled left I would have knocked the cy­clists off their bikes. The driver’s in­surer is claim­ing from my in­surer for the dam­age to his car as he swerved into a hedge. Surely the cy­clists are also to blame and can share the bill rather than my in­surer cough­ing up for all of it? Jan­ice, Lan­g­ley A The in­creas­ing num­ber of cy­clists on the road in re­cent years has led to far more ac­ci­dents in which bi­cy­cles are in­volved. It is still not a le­gal re­quire­ment for cy­clists to have even third-party in­sur­ance, and there­fore even in cases where they may be to blame for an ac­ci­dent, the vic­tim of­ten goes af­ter the mo­torist with in­sur­ance. On the facts of your case, how­ever, there was ev­i­dently not enough of a gap for you to safely over­take and you should have waited. Af­ter all, cy­clists are law­ful road users and are en­ti­tled to be there. The fact that you en­tered the on­com­ing lane and caused the car to swerve means the ac­ci­dent was your fault and I sus­pect your in­surer will ad­mit li­a­bil­ity with­out seek­ing a con­tri­bu­tion from the cy­clists.

‘If there is not enough of a gap to safely over­take, you should wait’

An­drew Camp­bell Solic­i­tor and au­thor of the MCN Law col­umn for the last five years An­drew Camp­bell, Bikelawyer. Visit or email an­ or call 01446 794169 Mo­tor­cy­cle Ac­ci­dent Solic­i­tors

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