“So why isn’t there some rule that if you hit someone more vulnerable then you need to justify it, a bit like that rule about how if you rear-end someone in a car, it’s presumed to be your fault?”
A question posed to me by someone yesterday, as we walked back from the station. And I didn’t have a good answer, even though it does seem pretty obvious: she went on to describe it pretty much exactly like the basic idea of ‘strict liability’ (there’s a good RoadPeace paper here): why is it not the assumption that if you are in an incident with a more vulnerable party, you need to prove that it isn’t your fault? So cyclists involved with a pedestrian would have to demonstrate that the incident was caused by the pedestrian, as would cars involved with cyclists, or trucks with cars.
Of course, strict liability probably won’t on its own bring about the kind of mass cycling that would make our country a better place, but everywhere that does have mass cycling also has strict liability.