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Would you support an assumed liability rule in Ireland?

  • 20-04-2022 12:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 269 ✭✭


    I’m not sure what jurisdictions have it, I think the Netherlands.

    Basically the operator of a car, motorbike, moped, lorry, van, bus, minibus etc. is automatically liable in the event of a collision unless otherwise proven, camera etc.

    I’m not sure how compatible it would be with common law. It would soften a lot of coughs and make people drive more carefully.

    I won’t call myself a cyclist as I usually have to dust off the saddle before setting off. If roads were safer I just might cycle more.



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭GandhiwasfromBallyfermot


    Whatever about assumed liability, I think dashcams should definitely be mandatory on all cars. This is probably the first step towards assumed liability.



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,604 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black


    We’re one of the only countries in the EU to not have some form of it, I think it’s just us, Romania, Cyprus, Malta and not in the EU obviously but the UK.

    Most countries have just your standard you’re liable unless proven otherwise for drivers, but the Netherlands put 50% of the liability on the driver regardless, and only the other 50% can be proven to be on the vulnerable road user, which I don’t necessarily agree with.

    I do think the burden needs to be put on the drivers, but I can’t see it happening here when we still have the likes of the RSA pushing the narrative that it’s a cyclists burden to be as visible as possible, or county councils building unprotected lanes on 100km/h roads.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY


    Who will pay the bill for a no-fault system in Ireland ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,604 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black


    Presumed liability isn’t a no-fault system, it’s quite the opposite. It puts the driver at fault unless he can prove otherwise



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,257 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    I 100% support it, but I think an online portal and a willingness to prosecute/ issue FPN is the next step. Motorists only fear their pocket and their need to be able to drive. We've seen this when Penalty Points were introduced, and extended - drop off in speeding and other offences through fear of being caught, until the realisation that enforcement hadn't changed and old habits came back*.

    *came back, and then some.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,735 ✭✭✭amacca


    I wouldn't support it in any form anyway.


    It would be taken advantage of wholesale by scam artists. A local "entrepreneur" used to deliberately cause accidents so himself and yhe girlfriend could get whiplash compo.


    You would just be giving another revenue stream to scumbags, although they would be on foot or on a bike so at least they would be environmentally friendly scumbags.


    I also despite never being in any accident think its bolox you are automatically assumed to be guilty of anything so on that basis alone I would fight it tooth and nail. Never liked being blamed in the wrong. I'm surprised to learn that's implemented elsewhere tbh....I think it sucks ass.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,182 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    i think one would follow the other, to a certain extent at least. many people would probably buy a dashcam if presumed liability was introduced.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    As a driver, I would absolutely. We need to realign ourselves with the understanding that vehicles are trespassers in public spaces who are allowed operate there under licence.

    A pedestrian or cyclist presents no danger to a driver, and therefore has no duty of care towards them. The operator of a vehicle presents a danger to all other road users and therefore has a duty of care towards them.

    Thus logically it makes sense that in any collision between a vehicle and vulnerable road users, the vehicle is fully liable unless they can prove no failure in their duty of care. There are very few "unavoidable" accidents. 99.99% of the time, there is something you could have done to prevent an accident, whether or not you were legally at fault. There is a much higher burden on vehicles to take those steps to avoid accidents.

    Would I take this one step further and assign the same duty of care from cyclists to pedestrians? Yes, for the most part.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle


    Everyone should get dashcams then, its a rare event I would cycle or drive without one or the other, those scam artists don't need such a rule to act the maggot.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,883 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild


    I wouldn't support any rule or law that assumes something so automatically. Real life has too many variables. Especially when it's people's lives we're dealing with.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,176 ✭✭✭Junior




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,051 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    Would I take this one step further and assign the same duty of care from cyclists to pedestrians? Yes, for the most part.

    Nowhere near the same disparity between pedestrians and cyclist though. Would be like making all SUVs responsible for any crashes that they have with hatchbacks.

    There is also not the same expectation of pedestrians that to be following any standard set of rules in how they negotiate the shared spaces. A cyclist riding along the motorway and the car driver can expect them not to have been there in the first place. A pedestrian walking the wrong way down a cycle path though and it wouldn't be quite as unexpected, or a pedestrian suddenly changing direction or not looking behind them as they change positions on the shared path.



  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal



    Dashcams and speed limiters.

    It's insane our max speed limit is 120km/hour but there are cars that can do 200km plus. No push for speed limits on cars but people pushing big time for a very low limits on scooters.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,182 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder




  • Registered Users Posts: 5,883 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild


    I’ll make it a bit clearer to help.


    I don’t support laws that have a high level of assumption, unless no alternative is available. The current system, where nothing is assumed at first, and is investigated, is my preferred choice.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,257 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    We already have that high level of assumption in our system though, which favours the motorist. Successful mitigation of blame for things that aren't a legal requirement of VRU (like Hi-viz), and successful mitigation based on not complying with the law such as driving at a speed you can safely stop in the distance you can see (hence "low sun" being successful when a VRU is killed).

    Presumed liability would rebalance the judicial and policing system into application of the actual laws of the State.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,883 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild


    So if you’re against assumption, you think the solution, is to add more assumption?

    Is that not like putting out a fire, with more fire?



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,735 ✭✭✭amacca


    It makes perfect sense. What makes a lot less sense to me is assigning liability to a person just because they are driving/a motorist.....blanket nonsense like that makes no sense.

    I also think the statement that cyclists have no duty of care to a driver is a bit silly....less perhaps, but no duty of care...I don't think so, their actions can cause harm to a driver too.....if they have to take evasive action etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,735 ✭✭✭amacca


    I'm not saying they need the rule, I'm saying they would use a rule like it to their advantage....they didn't need 20k payouts for a hard to disprove injury such as whiplash either to try it on but it was quite the incentive etc

    It would imo be an unforseen consequence of just automatically asigning liability to one category of humans



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,182 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    someone correct me on this, but isn't presumed liabilty usually implemented just for insurance purposes?

    i don't think a motorist could be prosecuted for hitting a pedestrian, under presumed liability; it's to assign damages, and is not a legal judgement.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,257 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    I'm not against assumption. I want the presumed liability, because it would force the system to use the actual laws of the State to prove a cyclist or pedestrian contributed. This doesn't happen in motoring offences in this State.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,883 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild


    ...but in an incident where it couldn't be proved, such as me cycling into a turning truck with no witnesses around, you'd be OK with that truck driver suffering the consequences of my choice? That's the bit I'm struggling to understand. The law should protect both him and me from the other person's actions. I totally agree that the current system needs improving, but this is the opposite.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle


    This is correct

    Its strict liability (not assumed), in your example, its 50% (In Denmark), to the driver if no other parties are involved, and then its to court for the rest. The truth is, it is not much different than here anyway, only it makes the trip to court far quicker and easier if it is needed but it has nothing to do with criminal actions, it is for civil court in a very narrow band of circumstances.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,883 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild


    In my example, the driver would automatically be assumed to be 50% at fault? They would then have to prove their actions played no part in the collision? It seems like an unfair situation considering I (in my example, which of course, would be rare to say the least) am totally at fault.

    Something about that seems unfair to me. Making laws that assume when they don't have to, seems unjust to me. I am open to being corrected if I'm misunderstanding something here.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle


    So to be clear, this is not in a criminal case, only in a civil case. It has no affect on criminal proceedings as far as I am aware. The 50% is only where (and this is from memory so apologies if there are errors, I read an article on Irish Cycle or similar years ago), depending on if no other parties were involved in any way, where it has been determined on both sides if either party could have avoided it or not. Long story short, it is a bit like a civil case here, in your scenario, where someone manages to pull off the scam outside of witnesses and make it look genuine, it becomes I said/you said situation, and it would end up 50/50 which is presumably what would happen here unless the motorist could have mitigated by being a better driver in which case it sways more against them.

    I could be corrected on this, but we already have similar laws here in regards rear ending someone, there is effectively a strict liability on the following vehicle unless there are other factors at play.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭JimmyVik


    Not very fair to make someone 100% liable if automatically if there is a chance they arent.

    Make it mandatory for all round cameras on cars and for all cyclists to have a helmet cam. Problem solved. No cam from either side and they are liable.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle


    Again, a misunderstanding of the law, it does not make the motorist 100% liable, just in a narrow set of circumstances 50% liable, the narrowness of which means that in most scenarios, they would have been found at least 50% liable anyway. So other than speeding up the legal process, it really would have no great affect.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,883 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild


    If it doesn't have a great affect, and I accept your explanation totally, what's the value of it? If it costs a few more people an injustice of any kind, then maybe it makes for bad law?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭JimmyVik


    But you are blaming some people for somethi9ng they didnt do.

    Its guilty until proven innocent which is a sorry road to go down if you ask me.

    I am both a cyclist and a motorist and ive seen wreckless dangerous behaviour on both modes.

    How about we get the facts in a situation before assuming someone is guilty of something.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,734 ✭✭✭knucklehead6


    Absolutely not. We already have crazy cases where people are awarded 1/4 of a million for walking out in front of a car while at a red light for pedestrians.



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