Cyclists - what if....? - Wally Zebon
Can someone please explain the legalities of what would happen if a cyclist crashes into my car through no fault of my own.

Assuming the cyclist is OK, they can simply ride off into the sunset, and even if there are witnesses, there isn't a registration plate on a push bike that I know of.

But if they do stop and admit fault, what can be done to recover the cost of the required repairs? I doubt they have cycle insurance to cover such eventualities.

Is it simply a case of sending them a bill? If so, what if they refuse or are unable to pay?

What if it is a child that causes the damage? They will have no means to pay.

This is all hypothetical. I was talking with a friend last night when we stumbled across this sort of scenario. It would be interesting to know what would happen.

Cyclists - what if....? - sean
I was riding a large motorcycle some years back.
There was a Transit, indicating right, in the crown of the road ahead.
I really was travelling at under 30mph and undertook the Transit in the 4 feet between him and the pavement. This put me closer than normal to the kerb.
On the footpath just after the Transit was a 19-year old, riding a mountain bike.
Just as I was about to pass him, he decided to cross the road.
I was going relatively slowly on a 1000cc BMW bike. He hadn't heard me, so hadn't looked. I tipped him back on the footpath, broke 3 of my toes and the bike was written off due to fairing damage etc.
After 3 years arguing with solicitors (even though he admitted liability to the Police at the time) I eventually got £14,000 which came from public liability insurance from his dad's house contents policy.
Cyclists - what if....? - Altea Ego
>What if it is a child that causes the damage? They will have no means to pay


We had a friend to our house, with a brand new (less than 50 miles) Ka2 parked outside across our drive. My 9 year old son acccidentaly scratched it quite badly with his bike when fooling around outside with the friends son. I claimed on my household insurance* third party liability, and they had the car side resprayed within the week.

Direct Line
Cyclists - what if....? - Flat in Fifth
All right we refine the circumstances;

cyclist is a "penniless" student, living in rented house with no insurance on house, contents, cycle, nada.

what then? man of straw scenario?

(not trying to have a go at students you understand)
Cyclists - what if....? - martin
Given your above scenario you really would be up against it. I had a friend that crashed over the bonnet of a car, his bike causing serious damage to it. The owners asked for his details but he just rode off into the sunset, I was left explaining that he is kind of like that. Needless to say, if the cyclist scarpers there is little you can do except pursue him I imagine. Don't know what you legal position would be viv a vis you tackling him off the bike, perhaps he could sue you for assult!!!!
Cyclists - what if....? - RickyBoy
cyclist is a \"penniless\" student, living in rented house with no insurance on house, contents, cycle, nada.

Not true! I\'m sometimes a \'cyclist\' ,earn 50K and if it moves it\'s insured!

Funny how when I\'m a cyclist all motorists are pink fluffy dice and when I\'m a motorist most motorists are, er,pink fluffy dice...
Cyclists - what if....? - RickyBoy
Cyclists - what if....? - Obsolete
I wish this thread had appeared a few years earlier. I had a child cycle at high speed into the side of my slowly moving car. No harm to the child, dent in front side panel, tyre ripped to shreds, wing mirror destroyed. I didn't pursue any claim on the grounds that a child is uninsured. I think the child got his flying licence though.
Cyclists - what if....? - Altea Ego
>tyre ripped to shreds

Blimey what was he riding, a roman chariot with knives strapped to the wheels?
Cyclists - what if....? - Obsolete
Blimey what was he riding, a roman chariot with knives strapped to the wheels?

That would explain a lot. No. Just a bike. The bike was ruined.
Cyclists - what if....? - Bromptonaut
Really two questions here.

If you can identify the culprit then as others have pointed out the public liablity provision of household policies will likley cover the damage. Many cyclists will also be covered by their membership of the CTC, BCF or London cycling campaign.

In the no names scenario, well what happens if a pedestrian causes an accident by stepping in the road?. If he is injured you might get his id 'cos of police involvement, but if you miss him and hit something else while he scarpers you are stuffed. So perhaps pedestrians should have registrations as well.

It's the horse riders that scare me.
Cyclists - what if....? - Obsolete
In our area 90% of the cyclists are a danger to themselves and everyone else. And if you use your horn (a short light parp) to alert them to your presence when they veer across your path, you get an aggressive threatening scowl and a single finger greeting. I doubt these people would stop and pay up, unless through injury.
Cyclists - what if....? - Baskerville
Have you any idea how loud a car horn is when it goes off unexpectedly right behind you? It scares the living daylights out of you and is very annoying. This is about the worst thing you can do if you expect cyclists not to veer across your path and be well-disposed to you. Don't do it to thank them when they let you past on a narrow road either. A wave of the hand will do.

Cyclists - what if....? - Flat in Fifth
"it goes off unexpectedly right behind you"

so a gentle toot from some distance away is preferable then? Of course that might not be heard through the walkman earphones. :-(
Cyclists - what if....? - Baskerville
I wouldn't do it at all. If they are wearing headphones they won't hear but assuming they are not, even if you don't make them jump you'll only antagonize them. I consider myself an experienced and responsible cyclist; I move along briskly in traffic, don't weave, and signal clearly, etc. etc. Up to the age of about 27 I rode about 7000 miles a year, now reduced to about 2000, so I'm pretty good at surviving out there. Yet over the years I've had bottles and cans thrown at me from moving cars, had abuse shouted at me, had doors opened deliberately in front of me (so far I've anticipated it and missed), and been subject to general aggression, and at times life-threatening behaviour from car drivers. Regular cyclists, even the dumb ones, expect a proportion of car drivers to be openly hostile; it's the default setting. Even a "light toot" (can you do that?) will be taken that way I guarantee.

As a (slightly psycho) racing mate of mine once said to a motorized antagonist in traffic who threatened to get out and punch him: "I'm fit, warmed up, and well used to pain. How do you rate your chances, fat boy?" It's not worth winding them up.

Cyclists - what if....? - Obsolete
Chris R: The incident I am think of is a cyclist who was weaving between traffic and then who veered straight across my front as the lights changed to green. I saw him so there was no accident. But in future he could end up being hit if he cycles in with no reagrd for the Highway Code. I gave a light hoot to say "Wake up and pay attention". Such a hoot does not scare cyclists. I know. I sometimes cycle. Such cycling does scare motorists like me. I don't want a corpse spread over my bonnet.
Cyclists - what if....? - Roger Jones
Cyclists should be tested and licensed. They are without doubt the worst group of drivers by far -- on the roads and the pavements. Prejudice? Not really; just based on continual observation over several decades as motorist and pedestrian. It seems that a tiny minority of cyclists have any road sense at all -- road sense, the understanding and awareness we all need as motorists, pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists, whatever.

The Highway Code: now there's a little gem. Unbelievably cheap, packed with wisdom, it should be compulsory regular reading for all, and knowledge of it should be used as a test for licence renewal at five-year intervals.
Cyclists - what if....? - Dwight Van Driver
So Wally Zebron, are you one of these people that set questions for the Police Promotion Examinations?????

So lets look at it:

Firstly in an accident between a pedal cyclist and a motor car, Section 170 Road Traffic Act 1988, places an obligation on the motor car driver, even if not at fault, providing there is damage to the pedal cyclist or injury to the rider, to stop and exchange details and if this is not possible to report. This does not include the same obligation on riders of cycles if they damage the car or injure the driver. So as you say Mr Lycra Shorts can disappear into the sunset. Funny, because S.21 RTA 91 amended the name and shame section to include pedal cyclists.

However, S.168 RTA 88 states that where a cyclist is alleged to have ridden recklessly or carelessly and who refuses to give to a person having reasonable grounds, his name and address, that cyclist commits an offence. Again there is no power to detain him unless you are a Special Constable, or off-duty Plod, as an Injured Person, who can then invoke Police and Criminal Evidence Act and feel chummies collar having not given details where a summons could be served upon him. So you ask and he rides off. Hard cheddar what, unless known to you how are you going to give Plod sufficient details to identify the cyclist as you say has no PCRM(Pedal Cycle Reg. Mark)?.

This is why, as mentioned by other knowledgeable Threadsters on this site, it may pay dividends to always carry one of those disposable cameras in your vehicle, which could be used, in addition to getting shots of the scene, a mug shot of the cyclists as well.

But adding on to this, and an area much prone to swelling the coffers of PU and his friends, a course of action WHICH WHILST APPARENTLY WITHIN THE LAW I PERSONALLY DO NOT RECOMMENDED.

If the circumstances leading to substantial damage to the car being sustained by a gross act of negligence on the part of the pedal cyclist, then an offence of Damage has been committed under Sect.1 Criminal Damage Act 1971. Under Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984, such an offence is classified as an Arrestable Offence (AO).

Section 24(5) PACE 84 says that where an AO has been committed, ANY PERSON, i.e. any member of Joe Public, may arrest anyone who is Guilty of an AO, or anyone he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be Guilty of an AO. This is known as a Citizens Arrest. Such person should be told he is being arrested, why and handed over to a Constable a.s.a.p. Rules of minimum force apply.

If it was subsequently found that no offence had been committed, the private person arresting WILL BE liable to civil action even if there was suspicion of reasonable grounds. (Walters v WH Smith & Son Ltd 1914). So one can imagine some hefty damages being awarded.

So the Criminal Law has let you down leaving you to go to Civil Law if you can identify the culprit and an action under the Small Claims Court (if damage under £5,000) to reclaim any loss incurred through the damage if the cyclist was at fault.

Cyclists - what if....? - thebouncingbunny
about ten years ago a cyclist,a young lad about 15 was riding down the path outside the entrance to my flat car parking area as i pulled across the path(unsighted)ha ran into the front wing of my mg midget.he and the bike went over the top denting bonnet and other front wing.luckily he was ok,faced with a repair of
£250 i reported it to the police who informed us that as he was over a certain age (10 or 11 i think) he should have been on the road an his parents could be liable.we managed to claim on their house contents public liability ins in the end.some insurers wont pay out until you sue tho.
after nearly getting run over in a shop recently by mrs brady old lady in an elecric scooter i wonder how many of these things are covered.could have been nasty if she had hit window cleaning for me with a broken ankle!
Cyclists - what if....? - Rojer
I found chasing them with your hand on the horn works ... !

I jest. A little.

I'm a cyclist too .. but some just take the ****. They give the rest of us a bad name.

Cyclists - what if....? - Bromptonaut
In our area 90% of the cyclists are a danger to
themselves and everyone else. And if you use your horn (a
short light p***) to alert them to your presence when they
veer across your path, you get an aggressive threatening scowl and
a single finger greeting. I doubt these people would stop and
pay up, unless through injury.

Leif, you enter a similar comment every time the subject pf cycling crops up. I don't know where about you are but I seriously doubt the figure of 90% (danger to themselves/no lights/jumping reds etc). In central London I would put it it around 10% unlit and a similar number, heavily overlapping the first, who blatantly ignore reds. As others have said the p*** all to often means "get back in the gutter where I can squeeze past at 40mph." After a while the reaction to block the pink fluffy dice becomes ingrained.

PS the pink fluffy dice are my own, the asterisks for horn noise are HJ's!!
Cyclists - what if....? - Obsolete
SB: "you enter a similar comment every time the subject pf cycling crops up"

Okay I'll try to change the record! But a little background.

Maybe this is very much a Slough thing but here it is a serious problem.

I live and work in Slough and after dark it is very very rare to see a cyclist with lights. I reckon less than 10% are lit. (I really am not exaggerating for effect, as I sometimes make a point of counting, as I am so taken aback by it.) I have seen them cycling on unlit country roads with no lights after dark. I have 3 or 4 times seen one cycling on the wrong side of the A4 after dark without lights i.e. coming towards me.

I think these are people cycling to and from work in the local factories. Some are young, many aren't.

As regards passing bikes, I give them loads of room. Legally a cyclist is entitled to a wobble and so others should give them a wide birth. I certainly don't force them into the gutter, or use the horn to indicate to them to move over. (I once had a man in a posh sports car wind down his window and shout abuse at me after he had scared me by driving very close alongside. A nasty pice of work.)

As regards the horn, I use a light carp (sic) to alert a cyclist to my presence. To be honest over the last 4 years I can only recall hooting two cyclists: once when one crossed in front of me as the lights changed (I regarded it as dangerous cycling), and once when one came towards me on my side of the road (the A4, a fast road) after dark and unlit.

As regards bikes and pedestrians, last week in Reading I was nearly run over by a 'lycra lout'. I was on a narrow pavement and he hurtled past, also on the pavement. It scared the life out of me. It makes you wonder what planet they are on.

Hope you don't think I am a serial abuser of cyclists! Far from it. I just think these people give 'proper' cyclists a bad name.
Cyclists - what if....? - Nortones2
Overall, I'd say cyclists are more sinned against than sinning. I must temper this by saying that when on 2 wheels negligent and sometimes homicidal driving by cars raises the adrenalin. Things seem more real when you're not encased in steel.

It reminds me of when a friend was driven at, whilst running, in Sutton Park, (in Sutton Coldfield, home sometimes of national cross country championships). Moron parked: friend came across him. As friend was also a powerlifter as well as a Birchfield Harrier, exchange of views resulted in hero behind the ton of metal being lifted through the open drivers window in one smooth movement. Thats what I'd like to do the drivers who either negigently, or deliberately, assault (with missiles) or cut me up on rural roads! If only I could catch the s**s!

Value my car