overtaking motorcyclist found not guilty of any contributory negligence

Just thought that I would post this up as an interesting point of law that affects us all, it’s in relation to an overtaking motorcyclist found not guilty of any contributory negligence. This is a brief description of a Court of Appeal judgement that was published. I have only just come across it but I shall give a brief description:

Davis v Schrogin [2006] All ER (D) 313 (Jun)

A motorist (S) was stuck in a traffic jam on a straight single lane road and decided to perform a u-turn to get out of the queue. D, a motorcyclist, was overtaking the stationary queue of traffic. When S pulled out to commence his u-turn D was only 5 car lengths away and would have been visible to S if he had looked. Unfortunately S failed to look to his right before pulling out and he did not see D until he collided with his motorcycle. S accepted that he was negligent but argued that the motorcyclist was contributorily negligent for failing to take evasive action. He contended that 5 to 10 seconds had elapsed between his move to the nearside lane and the collision. S was held to be fully liable and appealed. The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision that D was so close to the point of impact that he could not have avoided a collision. In the circumstances there was simply no basis for any finding of contributory negligence.

oops forgot to say on here that a really good site for legal issues relating to bikers is www.bikelegal.com

Very interesting, I had the same type of accident on my blade, luckily a bike plod attended and nicked the yokel f-wit for Driving Without Due Care and Attention. As he got nicked, the insurance company could not [pull the usual and… ] argue that I was 10/20% to blame, so I got a 100% payout.

That is bloody brilliant news.

Cheers mate, I am sure most of us have had some exposure to this, you met me just after mine last year when I looked a bit miffed. How is the “beast” BTW?

Thanks for posting this, I’m still wrangling wit this - can any of the bobbies tell me what I may be able todo to nudge the coppers into booking him for Driving without Due Care And Attention – the cop that came to ospital said they probably would… but they’ve “misplaced” the paperwork… and last I checked had no recolection of the accident :@

sorry… not trying to hijack the thread

well i think they probably appealed on a technical point which isn’t made clear here, but also if people have money they almost always appeal

hey buddy. how are you by the way, sorry noy been in contact been very busy. beast is so so at the moment thanks

this just might help me out ollie…

thanks for posting it mate!!!


no probs. let me know if you need anything

As ever, since this is not a high court ruling, it’s not going to make much difference to every biker who gets knocked off by a gutless, spineless and blind car driver.

its a court of appeal judgement whereby an appeal court judge (highest ruling devision of the high court aka royal courts of justice) was upholding the decision of a QB high court judge. the only higher authority you will get is House of Lords (highest court in the land) or a european authority but both of these are fairly rare in these circumstances. so as far as authorities go its one of the better ones that can be referenced to.

Thank you.

I note that nearly every ‘off’ reported on these and other forums concerns drivers seemingly wantonly disregarding the presence of another vehicle (PTW). This judgement has more uses than just the particular circumstances of that case. If the rider has adhered to the Highway Code and the driver hasn’t, there should be no more of these 50/50 or other split decisions. However each case on its merits, overtaking opposite a side road might be considered unwise unless done with extreme caution, so expect a small percentage split in that sort of case unless that extreme caution can be proved (unlikely).


Just a bit of a note to this case

This guy was on a straight road and wasn’t near any junctions. If it was near a junction then the biker would have been found to have contributed to thee accident.

A lot of leading cases normally have the rider “but each case turns on its own merits” - i.e. if the trial judge in another case wants to reach a different conclusion based on the evidence he/she has heard during the final hearing then [s]he can do.