PUBLISHED: 07:05 26 July 2013
ReGARDING your front page story about the cyclist having to pay the cost for damage to the car she was involved in an accident with (“Biker Zoe hit with £2,500 bill after cycle trail car crash”, Journal, July 11).
It is unfortunate that an accident has to happen to highlight an issue, but I believe that cyclists – I am one, as well as a dog walker – that use the Exe Estuary Trail, Buzzard Trail or any other public right of way that cyclists are allowed to use, should be aware of the risks of being taken to court, not by the police but by an injured party or more likely their insurers, if there is a serious accident.
If a cyclist using one of the trails, or the nonsensical cycle zone along Exmouth seafront, causes an accident that causes injury to an animal, person or property, the injured party may sue for damages and the courts will decide responsibility and liabilities.
Cyclists have no more rights on these trails than the dog being taken for a walk or small child on a bike.
If a cyclist does not adjust their speed or take other action to minimise the risk of an accident, when they see a potential risk situation, then they could end up in court paying damages, where potentially the sky is the limit.
How many cyclists have third-party insurance? Even if they do, insurers often won’t pay out for truly negligent actions. Be aware, on the road, sea and air, there is a common guideline. When overtaking, you are solely responsible for ensuring there is no incident. Remember this or it may cost you considerably more than a repair to your bike.