SWOV Catalogus

337980

Is it time to advocate for a vulnerable road user protection law in New Zealand?
20131228 ST [electronic version only]
Weiss, H. & Ward, A.L.
Dunedin,University of Otago, 2012, 10 p., 28 ref.

Samenvatting Vulnerable road users (VRUs) include pedestrians, workers, animal riders, stranded motorists, skateboarders, cyclists, and others. Proponents of VRU protection laws point out that legal redress often results in no or minor penalties to careless motorists (as opposed to the distinct case of alleged criminally negligent defendants) with little equivalency to the severity of harm to the injured victim or survivors. In theory, a VRU protection law, through enhanced penalties, would greatly increase motor vehicle driver motivation to exercise greater caution around VRUs than they would otherwise and lead to less road danger. A law might also inspire VRU confidence, encouraging more people to cycle and walk if they felt the law added security. From an effectiveness standpoint, however, there are no studies examining whether such laws actually have the desired population level effects. It would be naïve to think the mere passage of a VRU law would reduce injuries to VRUs caused by careless or unaware drivers. With little known about their effectiveness, any impact far from guaranteed, and the possibility of unintended consequences, the time, resources and effort to lobby, enact, publicise, enforce and prosecute under vulnerable road user laws might best be spent elsewhere. (Author/publisher)
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