U-Turns - Legal or Not? Who's Liability?

This morning riding into the office I saw a guy in front of me nearly get T-boned by a cabbie has he pulled off a U turn from the inside lane on a normal stretch of road…

Using the diagram below:

If the bike is the blue showing his filtering position and that, and the red is a bus, the red arrow shows the taxi’s manouver… If the bike and the taxi had collided, who’s fault would it have been? Is it a legal move? or not?

I must admit, since my mate had a car pull out on him, I’m very very cautious of buses pulled over or stopped…I can see over most cars but not buses or vans!

I’d imagine that it’s not strictly legal to do a U-turn like that but it seems to be a standard black cab u-turn. If there was a collision I’d imagine that the low life cabbie would manage to wriggle his/her way out of taking any of the blame for the accident as they usually seem to do.

As you might have noticed I’m not much of a fan of black cab drivers, infact I think that in general they are the lowest of the low when it comes to London drivers:w00t:

I am not a lawyer, but…

Assuming that there are no signs prohibiting U-Turns then maneuver itself would be legal. However if as a result of performing that U-Turn he causes danger to other traffic he may be guilty of careless or inconsiderate driving.

The issue as to who was at fault from an insurance company/civil court point of view is quite complicated, and the way that you were filtering would need to be examined but I would imagine you would have a reasonable chance of proving most if not all of the liability would be the cabbies.

Sadly it’s not as straight forward as “it is legal and was I in the right”…

as mentioned i think its more complicated than a simple answer… but usually the filterer is at fault.

If the black car has given way, then the taxi is doing a legal manuever, there is no way he would be expected to see a biker filtering, since that biker could appear out of nowhere in a split second. Of course this all depends on speeds, and more importantly how good your lawyer is :wink:

When in doubt… a filtering bike is usually at fault… which is why you should be filtering at a slow enough pace to detect and respond to any hazards.

I don’t have anything legal to say.

Just wanted to point out what a splendid drawing that is kml :slight_smile:

I was pretty busy in work today :P:D

My experience of cab drivers in London, after over 10 years of year-round commuting, is that they are the best drivers in our capital. I am surprised to hear of this incident as I always find them to be very observant when making their U-turns. I find the worst drivers to be (in order, from most to least dangerous): mothers in 4x4s with kids doing the school run, Royal Mail van drivers, other delivery van drivers, white van man, and bus drivers (but not bendy bus drivers as they seem to be very considerate towards bikes).

Johnse1 and Mamady’s answers are good and both tally with my understanding of the situation in cases like this.

I take it when you mention ‘cab drivers’ that you’re not including minicab drivers ??

That looked pretty dangerous lucky no one was hurt

Too right, i was referring to drivers of black cabs.

If you are filtering you are overtaking. If you are overtaking you are required to do so safely. If you are filtering at a speed which does not allow enough time to avoid any potential impact then the rider will get some blame for the collision. In the example given both the bike and the cab are at fault if there is a collision. The cab becasue it crossed a line of traffic without making sure it was safe to do so, and the bike for overtaking a vehicle passing a bus without making sure it was safe to do so.

If your within the same line as the side of the road your traveling wouldnt it not be classed as over taking as your not on the other side of the road

So it is impoiisble to overtake on a motorway then?

The highway code says nothing about the other side of the road.

From the diagram, I’d expect blame to be apportioned 50-50 if there had been a crash. Both the cab and the bike have a responsibility (traffic law) to be safe, and to to be able to stop in the distance they can see to be clear.

We all know that cars do unsignalled u-turns all the time. Why then, do so many of us ride like muppets too fast and too close to those cars when filtering - permitting them to collect us when they do?

And then act/react as if we had no choice in the matter?


Aspenman your questions are good and I should add - and meanwhile the rest of us are scratching our heads wondering why our insurance premiums are so high and why we’re hated so much by the likes of Westminster Council. Go figure.

Perhaps a little “self-regulation” is in order.

On the subject of black cabs: why is it always a cab that is right out on the white line when you are trying to filter between 2 lanes? Worst drivers in central London are undoubtedly the mini-cab drivers though, more so if they are driving a big limo. They wander all over the place and I’ve even seen one who had a mobile in each hand when he was rolling along Lower Thames Street :crazy:

driving around the city i find the black cabs trundle along at 20mph in case someone jumps out of nowhere and hails them and mini cab drivers just swerve around all over the place,half of them havent got a clue where they r going and the other half just cant drive anyway

I agree with Mamady - if the car alongside the bus has stopped with no apparent obstruction in front, then there must be a reason and filtering should be undertaken only with extreme caution.

I disagree with those slagging off back cabs. I find them to be pretty professional and they keep a good look out. Every cabby has been a biker, when they did the knowledge, so they tend to be more aware of bikes than other drivers.

I agree, the black cabbies are mostly damn good, with the occasional murderous lunatic, same as most other groups. Bendy buses however are another matter, that’s why the sign on the back reads ‘Warning - this bus is 18 metres long and drived by a homicidal maniac’. :smiley:

If the M/C had been in the bus lane this wouldn’t have been a problem.