Our man Paul is a mad keen biker, and takes a keen interest in the legal issues affecting bikers. Here’s his take on the recent change in case law which affects fault liability in the event of an accident while filtering through traffic.
I should point out that, as far as I know, Paul is not a lawyer, and his post does not constitute legal advice, so don’t rely on this blog in court, please!
Now I’ve got your attention there is some information that I think you all should know about, now this may make me a little unpopular in some circles, but hey, here at Bikesure we think that you as our customers should have all the facts available to you,
In the past if a biker who was involved in a collision while filtering through stationary or slow moving traffic they were automatically found to be at least 80% at fault under a judgment called Powell v Moody 1966, then in 1972 a case Leeson v Bevis and Tolchard moved the proportion of blame to 50/50.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
New case 2006, an appeal court ruling, Davis v Shrogin, means that if a rider filtering through crawling or stationary traffic cannot be to blame if the rider had no chance to take avoiding action.
Filtering collision cases are normally dealt with by the county court, which must look to the court of appeal for guidance, so they’re going to have to abide by it, BUT while filtering past moving traffic is still technically illegal – at low speed a judge would never find that, but as the speed goes up it depends on his/her discretion.
Now there is no specific mention of filtering in the highway code, so all road users should read the rules on overtaking, being a bit vague and open to personal interpretation like most laws of the land. So, in my view, slow filtering is fine, but passing cars at 60/70 clearly isn’t. The mid-point in between is a grey area so please be careful,
I think that’s about all for now,