Cyclist 50% to blame for hitting pedestrian

Farrina
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Cyclist 50% to blame for hitting pedestrian

Postby Farrina » 18 Jun 2019, 3:42pm

Assuming you are not caught by the Daily Telegraph’s paywall (its not marked as a premium article so should be accessible) interesting case of a pedestrian who stepped into the road (apparently whilst looking at her phone) and was struck by a cyclist.

Details here https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/18/yoga-teacher-stepped-road-looking-mobile-phone-wins-damages/

Reading the article and conclusion, i suspect we have only been provided with the bare bones of the event ...

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661-Pete
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Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby 661-Pete » 18 Jun 2019, 4:44pm

This story makes me a bit uneasy, to say the least:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... om-cyclist

I know we all shy back from 'victim-blaming', but surely the pedestrian, looking at her phone rather than the road, was very much at fault here?

At least in the Alliston case a few years ago, the cyclist was at fault - for having a bike which was not legal on the roads. But here? Note the judge's remark:
“Cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.”
Prepared, yes, but surely cyclists are not expected to shoulder all the blame if a pedestrian (or any other road user) "behaves in an unexpected way"?

And the epidemic of smartphones, and people using them obliviously, is nowadays a constant menace. How many times have I encountered pedestrians utterly blind and deaf to anything happening around them, their entire attention focused on that beastly little rectangle of plastic!

I note that the authorities in some areas have taken note. These signs have recently appeared, painted on the pavement in Brighton.
Image
Very timely: Brighton is a city with a very high pedestrian density - but it also has plenty of cyclists - and other traffic! But how many smartphone users will take any notice?
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kwackers
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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby kwackers » 18 Jun 2019, 4:52pm

I think it hinges around this remark:

“Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have right of way. Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.”

Can't argue with that.
As long as it also applies to car drivers I'm happy.

(I'm guess the judge thought he could have braked but chose to swerve instead.)

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Spinners
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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby Spinners » 18 Jun 2019, 4:56pm

I think it was harsh on Mr. Hazeldean and it reminds us to be insured!!

Edit: Meant to add, what a very stupid girl.
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Bez
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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby Bez » 18 Jun 2019, 5:03pm

I think my main objection here is not that someone cycling is liable, but that had this been someone driving it would have been a slam-dunk case of the person on foot being at fault.

In general I subscribe to the principle that the logic of presumed liability should extend below the threshold of motor vehicles vs unmotorised vehicles/individuals (although also to the principle that this is merely a presumption and that each case has its own merits*), and to be honest I'm in favour of people being able to walk around carelessly. To me that seems to go hand in hand with principles of sustainable (and equitable) safety. Protect the rights of someone distracted by a phone and the by-product is that you protect the rights of someone else on foot who legitimately has poor "road sense", or who has significant cognitive or motor disabilities, or who has physiological balance issues, or who is drunk, and so on… basically children, the elderly, the disabled, and you or I late on a Saturday night.

(I recognise the idealism here when viewed from the status quo, but it's better to start from this end of things when applying pragmatism, than to start from the end of defining urban streets as the realm of vehicles with narrow ghettoes for people without vehicles along either side.)

NB none of the above is a comment on the specific circumstances of this case, which I've no desire to go trawling through, and which quite likely aren't apparent in media reports anyway.


* As a selfish example: the only time I've collided with someone on foot was when I was doing maybe 15mph in the middle of the lane, well away from the kerb, and he literally sprinted into the road (one where motor vehicles are almost always absent) from behind a wall that came right up to the pavement. Full-on emergency braking, and I ended up balancing on my front wheel giving him a gentle shoulder check; no harm done, he apologised, I made a mental note to reset my expectations a bit. But a reasonable example of where, had he stumbled and cracked his head, I honestly don't think I'd done anything even slightly unreasonable or irresponsible.

John Holiday
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Re: Cyclist 50% to blame for hitting pedestrian

Postby John Holiday » 18 Jun 2019, 5:03pm

What a bizarre ruling!
On this basis,any vehicular traffic in towns should be proceeding at walking pace,just in case a pedestrian decides to cross.
Appreciate that roads are for everyone, but puzzled by ruling.
Appeal in the offing?

cycle tramp
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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby cycle tramp » 18 Jun 2019, 5:12pm

H'mmm... in the report I read the judge blamed both parties equally... and whilst the pedestrian may sue she will only be entitled to 50% of her claim. However I guess such news makes for less exciting headlines

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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby Audax67 » 18 Jun 2019, 5:18pm

When I was learning to drive the instructor once said "if the night is pitch black and the street-lights are off and you hit a blind drunk pedestrian dressed in black who staggers out backwards from between two parked vans, you're liable".
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby Bez » 18 Jun 2019, 5:25pm

If only he were right. From memory of cases that tick a number of those boxes, not only would you not be deemed liable, but the police would make a pretty impressive job of defending you.

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Re: Cyclist 50% to blame for hitting pedestrian

Postby hemo » 18 Jun 2019, 5:26pm

Sounds like the typical stereotype of person who is unable to accept responsibility for their own actions and set out to make other take the blame for, I hope the guy counters her actions by counter suing her for his injuries and trauma that he sustained.

I'm afraid these people with their faces stuck in the phone deserve what they get for being so stupid and thick especially walking out in to a road.

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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby mjr » 18 Jun 2019, 5:27pm

Audax67 wrote:When I was learning to drive the instructor once said "if the night is pitch black and the street-lights are off and you hit a blind drunk pedestrian dressed in black who staggers out backwards from between two parked vans, you're liable".

Yeah, I think I was told something similar but more colourfully-phrased by one of my driving instructors, who was ex-Army. I guess commanding officers take a dim view of drivers who run over distracted soldiers!

I guess there's morally liable and what's in recent legal precedents :(
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Re: Cyclist 50% to blame for hitting pedestrian

Postby mjr » 18 Jun 2019, 5:29pm

John Holiday wrote:What a bizarre ruling!
On this basis,any vehicular traffic in towns should be proceeding at walking pace,just in case a pedestrian decides to cross.

What an excellent situation that would be! :twisted:
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atoz
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Re: Cyclist 50% to blame for hitting pedestrian

Postby atoz » 18 Jun 2019, 5:33pm

We've been here before..if in doubt blame the cyclist..and judging from last year, don't ride fixed..yes we all know last year the cyclist was found guilty, but it's precedent that counts.

Is this the reason there are less fixies on the road?

gbnz
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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby gbnz » 18 Jun 2019, 5:45pm

661-Pete wrote:
And the epidemic of smartphones, and people using them obliviously, is nowadays a constant menace. How many times have I encountered pedestrians utterly blind and deaf to anything happening around them, their entire attention focused on that beastly little rectangle of plastic!



Love the bias in the Guardian account, condemning the claimant as "working in finance" (I'm primarily Guardian, wkds Telegraph)

Sentence seems a bit unfair that the defendant is bearing the costs.

That said, have to admit that I've long adopted the approach when encountering smart phone users, of carrying on walking in a straight line. I always find it bizzare when they bounce off me, spin around and somehow feel that I'm responsible for the the fact that they've walked down a busy high street, oblivious to all.

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Re: Cyclist blamed in cyclist-pedestrian collision

Postby 1982john » 18 Jun 2019, 5:56pm

gbnz wrote:
661-Pete wrote:
And the epidemic of smartphones, and people using them obliviously, is nowadays a constant menace. How many times have I encountered pedestrians utterly blind and deaf to anything happening around them, their entire attention focused on that beastly little rectangle of plastic!



Love the bias in the Guardian account, condemning the claimant as "working in finance" (I'm primarily Guardian, wkds Telegraph)

Sentence seems a bit unfair that the defendant is bearing the costs.

That said, have to admit that I've long adopted the approach when encountering smart phone users, of carrying on walking in a straight line. I always find it bizzare when they bounce off me, spin around and somehow feel that I'm responsible for the the fact that they've walked down a busy high street, oblivious to all.


I think that's a projection of your own bias more than anything insinuated with the guardian