Government backs motorists on presumed guilt in crashes

RACQ has applauded the State Government after it thwarted the notion of presumed liability of motorists involved in crashes with cyclists.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey confirmed the government would not reverse the onus of proof in Queensland following a petition calling for changes to the civil liability laws.

RELATED: Presumed liability laws do nothing for road safety.

RACQ’s Paul Turner said this decision was a win for motorists and a win for common sense.

“Motorists shouldn’t have had to prove their innocence if they were involved in a collision with a cyclist,” Mr Turner said.

“We see every life as valuable and equal and every crash should be investigated on the facts, not some sort of distorted liability hierarchy.

“We’re pleased the Government hasn’t been persuaded to bring in pointless laws that do nothing to improve road safety.”

Minister Mark Bailey was quoted in the Brisbane Times saying Queensland crash data found that cyclists were at fault in 41 percent of serious crashes involving cars during 2012 and 2016.

“Given cyclists are at fault in a significant portion of accidents, albeit fewer than motorists, reversing the onus of proof may impact upon a court’s ability to consider the specific circumstances of a crash and apportion liability fairly,” Mr Bailey said in response to the petition.

“Issues of liability of the different parties in a crash are, therefore, likely to be best left to the legal process, without a reverse onus of proof being introduced.”