by  • November 28, 2011 • Legal and Enforcement • 3 Comments

    The “Cyclists’ Touring Club” (CTC) – which bills itself as the United Kingdom’s “National Cyclists’ Organization” – has not been the most effective promoter of cycling.  There’s a lot less cycling in Britain now than there used to be and the CTC has been notably ineffective at even slowing – let alone reversing – that trend.

    But, that said, we kind of like one of their recent campaigns: “Stop SMIDSY“.  “SMIDSY” is a a darkly comic acronym for “Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You”.  It pithily summarizes the problem for any cyclist (or pedestrian) hit by a car.  In practice (unless they are obviously inebriated or there is some other extraordinary eyewitness or physical evidence of negligence), the drivers of vehicles who hit cyclists have a “get out of jail free card” that immunizes them from either criminal or civil liability.  All they have to do is say “Sorry Mate, I didn’t see you.”

    Our neighbors in Maryland have tried to to address the get-out-of-jail free problem by adding additional penalties that prosecutors can seek for drivers.  But Maryland’s bill doesn’t do anything at all about the heart of the problem: SMIDSY.  And, though we’re glad to see the CTC grappling directly with the SMIDSY problem, it’s not at all clear that they are going to get behind any effective anti-SMIDSY measures.

    Our Canadian cousins, on the other hand, have seized the bull directly by the horns.  The Canadian Highway Traffic Act (Section 193(1)) cuts right through the seemingly Gordian Knot of SMIDSY with some very simple language:

    Onus of disproving negligence

    193.  (1)  When loss or damage is sustained by any person by reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle.

    And “Sorry Mate, I didn’t see you” does not meet the burden of disproving negligence.  Indeed, it might tend to be cited as corroborating evidence of negligence!  You didn’t see that pedestrian you hit?  Why not?  What were you doing?

    Another term for “onus of disproving negligence” is “rebuttable presumption of liability”.  This was one of the potential 2012 advocacy goals discussed recently on November 8. If you have any questions about rebuttable presumption of liability; or about whether changing the Delaware code should be a Bike Delaware priority; or you would like to help bring this change in the law to Delaware, please let us know:

    [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever.

    3 Responses to Stop SMIDSY

    1. Amy Wilburn
      December 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      We do need to continue strengthening our laws in this area. But we do have some laws on the book, so this makes it quite a bit an enforcement issue. I’m surprised, though, that you mentioned Maryland’s laws but didn’t address what Delaware has done over the past 10 or so years to strengthen our laws.

    2. March 1, 2016 at 10:35 am

      展示ホール内を泳いで一時間後も、そもそもブランドを知らない人も知って:この百年の号は持つ遠見卓識知者ハンス・ヴェルス多夫(ハンス!Wilsdorf)に創立され、彼は真っ先に予見懐中時計を名目に歴史舞台、腕時計は取って代わってRolex(ロレックス);二十世紀発売多くの重要な技術革新(例えば密封性、自動的に最適化メカニズムなど)を持って完備、精良な生産ツールとして、その製品の信頼性抜群抜群;ブランドが巨大な規模のアフターサービスネットワーク、全体のタブ業し、それが長いと多くのスポーツ界や文化界のセレブに協力ロレックス終始独立運営、この点とみなされてその特色。 http://www.ooobag.com/wallet/louisvuitton/index_11.html

    3. March 1, 2016 at 10:36 am

      私は、breitling腕時計のある38の私の最近のレビューで言及したように、ブライトリングのない実際に私自身が描かれたが発見されたブランドが、彼らは私自身の毎日の使用と好みのためにあまりに複雑なような気がします。しかし、ブライトリングのあるコレクションを示す別のものを彼らのラインアップのスライス(と私が言うと、クリーナ)方向である。カルティエスーパーコピーそれは私たちが独立して最初のクロノグラフに対する敬意を見つけることは、このコレクションの中で、1915年ブライトリングトランスオーシャンクロノグラフの形でした。 http://www.bestevance.com/rolex/king/index.htm

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *