Earlier this week, The Herald paid tribute to Douglas Brown, a 79-year-old from Leith who died after being hit by a lorry in West Lothian.

Mr Brown was a member of the Edinburgh Triathletes athletics club, as was 47-year-old Andrew McMenigall, one of two cyclists killed in an accident in Cornwall on July 2, just as he began a charity ride from Lands End to John O'Groats.

On Wednesday, Connor Shields, a 14-year-old boy, was killed after being knocked off his bike by a car in Aberdeenshire as he cycled from Collieston to Ellon with a group of friends.

Barely a day has gone past in the past few weeks when there has not been at least one report about either an injury to or the death of a cyclist involved in a collision with a motor vehicle.

The most up-to-date statistics from Transport Scotland have confirmed increased cycle accidents and deaths, with nine cyclists killed and 167 seriously injured last year.

This terrifying trend demonstrates that something must be done to improve safety for all road users and it needs to be done promptly. We cannot and must not sit by and let this continue without fundamentally changing the mindset of all road users to respect the need to share the road space.

My question is this: if Europe can see the sense in strict liability laws to protect its vulnerable road users, why can't we?

I am calling for increased support for the introduction of a strict liability regime in Scots civil law that would provide a new level of protection for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

The change to civil law would establish a hierarchy of road users where motorists involved in collisions with cyclists and pedestrians are deemed to be at fault unless they can establish otherwise.

The same hierarchy would apply to cyclists involved in collisions with pedestrians where they, too, would be deemed to be at fault unless it can be established otherwise. It is a recognition that, if you are in control of a dangerous object, you have a responsibility to others arising from the use of that object of potential danger.

I am also keen to see further protection made available to the elderly, disabled and young road users, as is the case in most European countries where strict liability regimes exist. In these countries, those who are disabled, under the age of 14 and over 70 are afforded further protection in civil law, to such an extent that in a collision with a motorised vehicle it is the motorist who is deemed to be at fault.

Our European neighbours are proving that a civil liability regime, which imposes responsibilities on those in control of dangerous objects to others, leads to increased awareness and greater consideration for vulnerable road users, therefore potentially reducing the number of tragic incidents.

It is our goal to change the culture among road users in Scotland to bring about a mutual respect for one another and, importantly, each other's safety.

Cycle Law Scotland's (CLS) Road Share campaign for stricter liability has already received cross-party support but it is vital that the Scottish Government now recognises, as the majority of countries in Europe already do, that civil law has an important role to play.

It is my aim to see a Members' Bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament later this year and we have secured nearly 1000 signatures on our online petition in support of our initiative.

This law has significantly improved the culture of road sharing and respect and has reduced the number of people injured or killed among our European neighbours. It is about time we joined them.

Brenda Mitchell is founder and partner of Cycle Law Scotland, Edinburgh.