Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

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Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby Nate » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:10 pm

Just after some thoughts/comments...

"My friend" was in the left most lane which was a bus (not a bus only lane) heading north along clarence st Sydney CBD.
A bus was moving from the leftmost to the inner lane & was stopped with traffic across an intersection.

There was just over 1/2 a lane of the bus lane available, so "my friend" slowed (from 25-30km to 15-20km/h) and passed the bus. Then continuing at that speed continued.
Just before they got to the front of the bus a guy runs out infront of them, probably 1.5-2m ahead.
Of course nothing could be done to avoid the collision (wet road too), they yelled, hit the brakes & the 20km/h headbutt followed.

The lights had been green for the cyclist for a while & the next set of lights at Jamieson had gone green before they got to the bus, so traffic had just started to move ahead.

So the pedestrian, was running across 3 lanes of traffic, at peakhour, in the wet, against the red man...

Seeing as though the cyclist had no chance to avoid - its pretty simple the ped is in the wrong & liable for damages to the cyclist & equipment?
Last edited by Nate on Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by BNA » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:23 pm

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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby rob e » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:23 pm

on the face of it yes i would agree
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby othy » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:35 pm

I think your friend should proceed fairly cautiously. They may be in the right, but you're now dealing with an idiot who thinks that "running across 3 lanes of traffic, at peakhour, in the wet, against the red man" is a good idea. Does this sound like someone who is going to take responsibility, or someone who is likely to lie through their teeth...

I hope your friend got some witness names and details.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby herzog » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:44 pm

Did you pass the bus on the left or the right?
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:48 pm

Yep, the pedestrian was effectively J-walking and was in the wrong. But in this day and age, legal arguments can take strange turns and all preparations should be made per earlier suggestions. In terms of evidence, there may well be camera records given its location.

Was the rider with BNSW? The insurance company needs to be contacted given the nature of accident.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby Nate » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:52 pm

herzog wrote:Did you pass the bus on the left or the right?


The bus was "passed" on the left, it was stationary at the time and only partially obstructing the lane.
So not really a pass, more travelling within their lane past an obstacle.

They were with Bicycle NSW & spoken with them, they only need to be contacted if a claim is made they said.

No witness details were taken at the time, but they'll have a chat with the cops tomorrow morn & it wouldnt be difficult to find someone at a bus stop at 5:15pm that saw it you'd think!
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby herzog » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:54 pm

Nate wrote:
herzog wrote:Did you pass the bus on the left or the right?


The bus was "passed" on the left, it was stationary at the time and only partially obstructing the lane.
So not really a pass, more travelling within their lane past an obstacle.


Was it loading/unloading passengers?
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:57 pm

herzog wrote:Was it loading/unloading passengers?

Middle of an intersection? Want to sue the bus driver? ;)
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby herzog » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:59 pm

sogood wrote:
herzog wrote:Was it loading/unloading passengers?

Middle of an intersection? Want to sue the bus driver? ;)


Just trying to work out why it was stationary on a green.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:03 pm

herzog wrote:Just trying to work out why it was stationary on a green.

Based on the story, it was stuck there due to traffic jam... The reason why many cycle commutes. ;)

But I agree it was a good thought. The involvement of the bus will need to be considered. Irrespective, there's just no reason for a pedestrian to be in the middle of a road at that time.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby Nate » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:11 pm

herzog wrote:Was it loading/unloading passengers?


No, stuck in traffic...
The lights at the next intersection had turned green just before "my friend" got to the bus, so the bus would'nt have held up the traffic if the lights at the intersection changed on him - as the traffic in front was clearing at the time allowing him to then move through the intersection.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby herzog » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:17 pm

Nate wrote:
herzog wrote:Was it loading/unloading passengers?


No, stuck in traffic...
The lights at the next intersection had turned green just before "my friend" got to the bus, so the bus would'nt have held up the traffic if the lights at the intersection changed on him - as the traffic in front was clearing at the time allowing him to then move through the intersection.


In that case I would say the Pedestrian is at fault. However as someone else mentioned, proceed with caution. The authorities seem to always err on the side of the pedestrian. Sometimes they even allocate partial fault to both parties.

Eg: they may argue something like you were lane-splitting stationary traffic without due caution or some such thing.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Nate wrote:The lights at the next intersection had turned green just before "my friend" got to the bus, so the bus would'nt have held up the traffic if the lights at the intersection changed on him - as the traffic in front was clearing at the time allowing him to then move through the intersection.

Sounded like the silly pedestrian was busy trying to get away from the bus before it runs him over as the traffic flow got restarted. But little did he expect a cyclist with a bomb proofed 36 spoke, Mavic Open Pro rimmed front wheel was getting ready to put a narrow groove in him. :mrgreen:
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:25 pm

herzog wrote:Eg: they may argue something like you were lane-splitting stationary traffic without due caution or some such thing.

Thing is, cyclists are permitted to ride past on the left of a stationary vehicle if the vehicle is not turning left.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby herzog » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:31 pm

sogood wrote:
herzog wrote:Eg: they may argue something like you were lane-splitting stationary traffic without due caution or some such thing.

Thing is, cyclists are permitted to ride past on the left of a stationary vehicle if the vehicle is not turning left.


I know. Just pointing out that they may try to pin something vague on him like "not using due caution" in one of those scenarios where they try to jointly attribute responsibility.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:37 pm

herzog wrote:I know. Just pointing out that they may try to pin something vague on him like "not using due caution" in one of those scenarios where they try to jointly attribute responsibility.

Ok, so the People's Court of BNA has handed down its verdict. The pedestrian should pay the injured cyclists all damages, a replacement CF Cervelo bike, medical/rehab and for psychological trauma resulting from the accident. Further, he should pay BNA forum $1000 in court cost for site resources used. :mrgreen:
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby Nate » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:57 pm

sogood wrote:Ok, so the People's Court of BNA has handed down its verdict. The pedestrian should pay the injured cyclists all damages, a replacement CF Cervelo bike, medical/rehab and for psychological trauma resulting from the accident. Further, he should pay BNA forum $1000 in court cost for site resources used. :mrgreen:


The best "my friend" can do is to buy you a cup of coffee (AT) the next Renegade cycle ;)

Cheers to all for the input... no i suppose i *should* post this on a pedestrian forum...
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby Kalgrm » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:48 pm

Nate wrote:Cheers to all for the input... no i suppose i *should* post this on a pedestrian forum...

All the other forums are fairly pedestrian, compared to this one. :mrgreen:

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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby JV911 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:29 pm

the ped is a complete knob. let hope common sense prevails

peds in general do stupid things. just look at the barriers on druitt st the council errected to TRY and stop people crossing against the lights with traffic barrelling down the hill

Nate wrote:no witness details were taken at the time, but they'll have a chat with the cops tomorrow morn & it wouldnt be difficult to find someone at a bus stop at 5:15pm that saw it you'd think!


could be traffic cameras footage available if you contact RTA or the council?

i hope "your friend" hasnt suffered any injuries :D
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby winona_rider » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:06 pm

your friend might consider getting a lawyer to correspond with the other party in the most absolute and brutal of terms.. just to put fear of god into them
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:44 pm

Get a lawyer who is also a keen cyclist if you can!

From the surface it appears that the pedestrian was jay-walking and would be at-fault. It's too bad I can't see this one play out on Judge Judy!
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby trailgumby » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:51 pm

It wasn't Bert that you hit was it? Erm, I mean "your friend".
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby Pushy » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:52 pm

Two things I haven't seen in the previous posts.
1) Pedestrians have right of way (no matter how dumb they are)
2) Green traffic lights only means proceed only if safe to do so

Just wondered how these would be interpreted when aportioning liability. :?:
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby il padrone » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:03 pm

Pushy wrote:Two things I haven't seen in the previous posts.
1) Pedestrians have right of way (no matter how dumb they are)

No they don't! As my friend Euan would point out, in Australia no-one has right of way on our roads (except trains at rail crossings). We are all obliged to give way to a greater or lesser extent. Pedestrians also are generally obliged to give way to vehicles in many crcumstances, including when at a pedestrian crossing facing a 'red man'. There is a general obligation on all road users to avoid collisions, but this has to be tempered with the circumstances and the practicalities of avoiding said collision. In this case, a pedestrian suddenly appearing from behind a bus, against a red man, would be virtually impossible to avoid, and the ped is going against the road rules. No case of cyclist obliged to give way here :roll:

Pushy wrote:2) Green traffic lights only means proceed only if safe to do so

Correct. And the OP slowed down passing through. This would be viewed as taking safety precautions, I'd think.
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Re: Legal thoughts - hitting a pedestrian

Postby wombatK » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:10 pm

herzog wrote:However as someone else mentioned, proceed with caution. The authorities seem to always err on the side of the pedestrian. Sometimes they even allocate partial fault to both parties.

Eg: they may argue something like you were lane-splitting stationary traffic without due caution or some such thing.

How fast was the pedestrian running ? Was it within the speed limit ? What, there are no speed limits on how fast a pedestrian can run across the road ? Even against the lights ?

Surely it's time BNSW put some resources into getting appropriate speed limits for pedestrians. If this knob had been restricted to 2 km/hr while crossing the road, your friend and bike would be in much better shape than they are now - and even the pedestrian would be feeling rather better too and I wouldn't have to call him names like knob.

But wait - this incident occurred in NSW, so Rule 236 of the Australian Road Rules applies...
236 Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction
(1) A pedestrian must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into
the path of a driver
.
Offence provision.

For the purposes of this rule, the term driver includes rider (of a bicycle or motorbike) - see Rule 19.

Your friend was clearly obstructed and should expect the police to charge the pedestrian - especially if your friend was injured. If nobody was injured, they might do nothing other than get him/her to ring the police unhelp line to log a report.
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