Bicyclists’ liability

Bicyclists are fond of telling me that they should be taken seriously as a mode. I do take the mode seriously. But being taken seriously has a double-edge to it.

One of my wonderful PhD students sent this to me yesterday: Cyclist fractures pedestrian’s skull, gets $400 fine

So what is the right response? I suspect that the reason the fine is so light is that the jurisdiction has, in the past, the most experience with child bicyclists, who do little damage (usually hurting themselves, unfortunately). But this was 49 year old man behaving like an ass.

3 thoughts on “Bicyclists’ liability

  1. I knew a man who killed an elderly pedestrian he hit on his bike. She broke her leg and hip, and died in surgery. The family sued, and he lost. So, yes, you can kill people on your bike, and you are potentially liable for damage.

    I carry liability insurance for my scooter, and include non-insured driver insurance in part because I’m quite sure when I finally get in an accident, it’s going to be because I hit a cyclist running a red light. It’s already almost happened countless times. Bikes frighten me far more than cars at this point.

    • I think that’s what the upshod of the story was at the end when the district said it was going to be a matter of civil court–that’s the route you go. I’m thinking that we are going to move into a world where people just carry liability insurance, period, don’t you?

  2. Yep, a $400 fine is nothing compared to what the cyclist will pay when the pedestrian files a lawsuit against him. Most people have liability insurance now, at least I hope they do.

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