Letters:Compensation fund can help victims of cyclists

One reader thinks its time for a compulsory compensation fund
One reader thinks its time for a compulsory compensation fund

For many years insurers have sold home contents policies where public liability cover is not offered or is often an extra paid-for ­option.

It is the same with before-an-accident insurance, to cover the cost of employing an expert to make a claim for you (Letters, May 5).

When a cyclist rides along a pavement it is always a possibility that a serious accident will occur to a pedestrian. To have any chance of obtaining compensation it would be necessary for the ­cyclist to stop, then to be correctly identified, and hopefully have insurance cover.

READ MORE: Crackdown on cyclists who use pavement

As insurance is not compulsory, and if the cyclist doesn’t have any assets, as is likely to be the case with a young ­person, there is little likelihood of ­obtaining compensation.

Most public liability insurance ­policies do not pay out where the loss or damage to the victim is caused by a criminal act, so it is possible it may not be covered in any event.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a ­perfect world. Not everyone does the right thing, has insurance cover or sufficient assets to pay a claim or can afford the financial risks of court proceedings. If that was the case, then pedestrians wouldn’t be living in fear of cyclists on pavements.

READ MORE: West End residents living in fear of ‘law-breaking’ cyclists on pavements

Government-released figures show that the number of pedestrians being killed as a result of accidents with cyclists has doubled over the past 10 years. Proper action is required to stop cyclist believing that pavements are an acceptable route.

Perhaps it is time to have a compulsory compensation fund, much the same as with all other road users. A small proportion of the tens of millions of pounds could be diverted from cycling measures to pay all the innocent victims.

Alastair Murray, Elliot Road, Edinburgh.