Strict Liability – Drivers Become Responsible Around Vulnerable Road Users

Obviously, this doesn’t exist in Canada.

Edit: Apparently, this does exist in Ontario LINK Thanks to Kevin Love for the link in the comments.

Here’s the text at the end of the video:

UK is only one of four Western European countries that doesnt have ‘strict liability’ to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

Strict liability entitles a crash victim to compensation unless the driver can prove the cyclist or pedestrian was at fault.

Strict liability encourages more careful driving (and cycling, because a cyclist would be deemed to be at fault for crashing into a pedestrian).

Via Copenhagenize


  1. We’ve got strict liability here in Ontario. Here is the law, from Section 193 of Ontario’s “Highway Traffic Act.”

    “When loss or damage is sustained by any person by reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle.”


  2. Wow, I did not know that. I guess then they find the most appropriate charge under the HTA, like failure to make a proper turn, etc. But, that measly charge does little. Maybe if there were a way to escalate charges, so if you make a bad turn and hit someone then the charge goes up, if it results in death then a much stronger charge should be the result.

  3. Criminal or HTA charges and civil liability are two different matters.

    Civil liability is a question of “who pays for the damage.” The answer is that the motorist pays, unless he can prove that the cyclist was negligent. That’s strict liability.

    HTA or criminal charges are for punishing criminal behaviour. Items like failure to make a proper turn should be escalated to Careless Driving if the offence involved a vulnerable road user, such as a cyclist or pedestrian. Careless Driving is good for up to six months in jail.

    Hitting a vulnerable road user should result in a Dangerous Driving charge. That’s good for up to five years in prison.

    Killing someone should result in a charge of Dangerous Driving Causing Death. That’s good for up to ten years in prison. Usually the police add Criminal Negligence charges (not just for a certain former attorney-general!).

    There are, of course, a number of defences to these charges. And many people who “should” be charged are, in fact, not charged because of the failure of police to do their jobs properly.

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