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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / FHWA Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation

FHWA Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation

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LESSON 8: TORT LIABILITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT (INSTRUCTOR'S NOTES)

Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the significance of tort liability as it relates to non-motorized transportation.
  2. Define basic terms related to tort liability.
  3. Formulate a basic risk-reduction strategy.

Pre-Instruction:

Components

Activities

Motivation

Ask the class to present what they found in either newspapers or magazines relative to the assignment for this lesson. After an individual student describes a pedestrian or bicycle accident, have the class consider who or what contributed to the occurrence of the accident. Be sure to have them think about more than one of the parties involved (including the local transportation agency, if appropriate).

Objectives

Present and explain the three lesson goals listed above (V-8-1).

Information Presentation:

Components

Activities

Information Sequence

Outline the presentation of the lecture (V-8-2).

Information

Present examples of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries that led to lawsuits.

Explain the basic definitions of terms related to tort liability (V-8-3).

Discuss the process of formulating a risk management strategy.

Cite common design errors that can lead to tort liability problems (V-8-4 and V-8-5).

Example(s)

Discuss the many examples given in the Student's Guide to demonstrate how serious tort problems can be.

Student Participation:

Components

Activities

Practice

Have the students design a risk management plan related to pedestrian and bicycling issues. Focus on some of the issues discussed in other lessons (e.g., planning, programming, and maintenance) to illustrate that risk management is integrated with these other activities.

Feedback

Provide comment and feedback to the class as appropriate.

Follow-Up:

Components

Activities

Enrichment

Assign reading for Lesson 9.

Have the students contact the local transit agency to check on whether your local transit agency accommodates pedestrian or bicycling activities. For example, are bikes allowed on buses, light-rail cars, heavy-rail cars, or commuter rail cars? Are there bicycle parking facilities (e.g., racks, lockers) located at or near rail transit stations or bus stops? Does the transit agency offer service to pedestrian- or bicycle-oriented recreation/amenities (e.g., downtown shopping, parks, trailheads, amusement parks)?

Review

Lesson Objectives:

Lesson Outline:

Basic Definitions:

Errors That Can Lead to Tort Problems:

Errors That Can Lead to Tort Problems (continued):

Lesson Summary:

 

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Page last modified on February 1, 2013.
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