The Cyclists’ Defence Fund was formed to fight significant legal cases involving cycling and cyclists, but its remit has since been broadened to cover all aspects of cycling and the law.
CDF was set up in 2001 by CTC, the national cycling charity in response to the case of Darren Coombes, a nine year old cyclist who suffered brain damage from a collision with a motorist. CTC became concerned after the driver’s insurers responded to Darren’s claim for damages by counter-suing his parents for contributory negligence because Darren was not wearing a helmet.
Although the insurer’s counter-claim was ultimately defeated, CDF was formed in the aftermath to defend cyclists in similar precedent-setting cases.
CDF aims to:
a) Preserve and protect the health and safety of the public by encouraging and facilitating safe cycling.
b) Advance the education of the public in the relationship between cycling and the law.
c) Further the sound development administration and knowledge of the law relating to cycling.
d) Promote, assist, undertake and commission research into the law, practice, and administration of justice in connection with cycling and to disseminate the useful results of such research.
CDF works to achieve these aims by:
a) Providing guidance on the law relating to cycling and other legal issues with an impact on cyclists.
b) Providing links to legal resources relevant to cycling and cyclists.
c) Commissioning research into the effectiveness of the legal framework – such research may be useful to cycling campaigners, legislators and others seeking to improve the law.
d) Providing support in legal cases which could clarify the law.
These are some examples of legal cases CDF has been involved with: