Cyclists and motorcyclists should be exempt from whiplash reforms, says MP

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A motion has been filed in Parliament that proposes exempting vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists from the Civil Liability Bill’s £5,000 compensation limit for whiplash claims.

Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West tabled the motion at the end of March.

According to the motion, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorcyclists “will be swept up within the scope of the bill and the broader personal injury reform package, despite there being no evidence that non-fault road traffic accident injuries suffered [this group]include whiplash”.

The motion requires the government to acknowledge that vulnerable road users suffering injuries below £5,000 in value will be unable to access a lawyer should they wish to pursue their rights of redress in the courts, should the whiplash reform package pass as proposed.

“[The motion] urges the government to take a pragmatic approach and remove vulnerable road users from the scope of the reforms to ensure they remain protected on our roads.”

The whiplash reforms, made up of the Civil Liability Bill and secondary legislation, will introduce a compensation limit of up to £5,000 for whiplash claims, as well as the ban on settlements without medical reports.

A £5,000 limit on road traffic accident claims and £2,000 for all other personal injury claims, as well as a fixed tariff system for soft tissue injury, will be introduced via secondary legislation. The government is aiming to roll out its whiplash reforms by 2019.

West said of the motion: “I want to see ministers apply common sense when it comes to law making. Cyclists and other vulnerable road users, including children, should be protected on our roads, not punished by the government if they are unfortunate enough to have a non-fault accident. I hope MPs on all sides will show their support and sign the motion.”

Access to Justice spokesperson Andrew Twambley commented: “We never see vulnerable road users claiming for whiplash because they never sustain these types of injuries in accidents on our roads. Neither is there any evidence that these groups submit fraudulent or frivolous claims, so it is baffling that ministers want to penalise them.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk