As a cyclist, never doubt your right to compensation if injured in a car accident. Legislation that went into effect on March 1 this year in New South Wales has inspired cyclists to call for a repeal. They demand the laws be changed so that they are less punitive for cyclists.
While measures to prevent cyclists from being injured may be lacking, know that if you are injured, you are legally protected and entitled to claim compensation under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act.
New cyclist legislation in NSW passed
The new legislation meant to make cyclists safer has actually elicited many complaints from the very people they're claiming to protect.
The new road rules involve increasing fines up to $425 for failing to stop at red lights or pedestrian crossings. It also mandates that motorists are given one metre of space when overtaking cyclists. By 2017, cyclists are scheduled to be required to carry IDs if they are 18 or older, as well.
The response from cyclists has been overwhelmingly negative towards the new legislation. Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards wrote in a blog post that the laws do not truly reflect cyclists' interests.
"It's hardly a cyclist safety package when only bike riders are being fined and minimum passing distance laws not enforced," he wrote.
Richards also questioned why a safe passing distance for cyclists was not taken into consideration and why a $106 fine was given to cyclists for riding on a footpath. Richards thinks that the common problem of cyclists riding on footpaths is due to the government's failure to create bike paths in the city and that cyclists should not be punished as a result.
Getting injury compensation as a cyclist
In general, cyclists have a higher risk of being injured in a car accident and their injuries are usually more serious. The number of cyclist accidents in New South Wales is shocking.
Transport for New South Wales, reports that, on average, around 300 bicycle riders are seriously injured each year. This statistic, Transport for New South Wales adds, should also be viewed in light of the number of serious injuries that are underreported. Just this year, four cyclists have been killed, according to Richards.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while cycling, you should consider making a claim for personal injury compensation. Consult with one of Gerard Malouf and Partners' car accident lawyers today.