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Opinion about

Motorist Liability
related topic: Possible new legislation

Opinion ...


Cycling vs. Driving

Bike Lanes

HOV Lanes


Motorist Liability

New Legislation

Registering Bicyclists

Running Red Lights


Dave Dobbs,, 10-16-98

A point I have long thought about is placing the burden on the motorist. I served more than six years in the Navy and have been an officer of the deck several times underway. In international law, sailing vessels almost always have the right of way in an encounter with a powered vessel. In the hierarchy of rights, pedestrians should be at the top of the list. Hit one and like killing a sheep in Scotland with your car and you are liable for all of its reasonable progeny. Bicyles would be next, then cars, then urban assault vehicles (SUVs as the auto industry euphmistically calls them)/pickups, large trucks and finally articulated lorries (weight class and physical size would have to be the real determinants here). In other words, the bigger and more dangerous you are, the higher your insurance rates and the greater the assumption that you are liable for any accident that occurs.

Dave Dobbs
Texas Association for Public Transportation