7 November 2012

Speed humps and cycle accidents?

Traffic calming measures are generally to be welcomed where they reduce traffic speed, the risk of serious accidents, and improve road safety for vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly.

For cyclists however traffic calming may not be such a straightforwardly good thing, for some measures introduce new hazards which can partly or completely negate any advantage. For example,  width restrictions can reduce the space cyclists have around them and bring cars dangerously closer; and areas of extensive calming using speed humps can cause drivers to accelerate and brake unpredictably,  and to be less aware of other road users. Perversely long roads of speed humps to negotiate can actively discourage  cyclists and many experienced cyclists  prefer free flowing main roads.

Road humps which are badly either designed or installed can be a real danger  to cyclists and by themselves cause falls and injury.For instance, Dowse & Co.  are pursuing a case at present where a metal speed barrier  which was a real and foreseeable danger to two wheeled vehicles caused a cyclist to crash while commuting  on a designated cycle route.

The Highways (Road Hump) Regulations 1996 specify that roads maintainable at public expense must not have road humps higher than 100mm and should be a minimum length of 900mm, with no vertical face to exceed 6mm in height. Humps falling outside these dimensions may be construed as foreseeably dangerous and the authority responsible may be liable in either negligence or nuisance for any injuries caused as a result.

Speed humps on private land do not have to comply with the regulations but if the humps are nevertheless foreseeably dangerous the person installing the humps may still be liable for any injury caused to a cyclist.
Speed humps are often a hazard for cyclists.

Such cases are fact sensitive and therefore it is often crucial to gather together as much evidence as possible about the speed hump when considering a claim for compensation. Relevant evidence will include photographs, measurements of the hump, whether there were warning signs or lighting, and previous reported accidents at the site.

Call Patrick Spence on 0207 254 6205 for further information.

No comments:

Post a Comment