Accident With Bus Passenger

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Aidan Hemsworth, Apr 25, 2003.

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  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:

    I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver let
    off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark and he
    stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my wheel and
    cracking my helmet.

    The bus company have just told me that the bus driver is claiming they let him off at a "safe spot"
    and have no liability as I didn't collide with the bus.

    The bus was not at a bus stop and the driver opened the door and let them off. There was no one else
    on the bus so no witnesses except the child and mother who disappeared instantly.

    Help!

    Cheers, Aidan.
     
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  2. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "Aidan Hemsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:
    >
    > I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver
    > let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark and
    > he stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my wheel and
    > cracking my helmet.
    >
    > The bus company have just told me that the bus driver is claiming they let him off at a "safe
    > spot" and have no liability as I didn't collide with the bus.
    >
    > The bus was not at a bus stop and the driver opened the door and let them off. There was no one
    > else on the bus so no witnesses except the child and mother who disappeared instantly.
    >
    > Help!
    >
    > Cheers, Aidan.

    I have to say that sounds nasty. No real legal knowledge, although I'd consider crossposting this
    to uk.legal?

    Certainly I'd say that the driver is totally in the wrong. Not sure they are responsible for the
    damage to your bike, should you not have been able to emergency stop? The real victim is the
    pedestrian IMO.
     
  3. Aidan Hemsworth <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:

    I am not a lawyer, but...

    >I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver
    >let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark and he
    >stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard,

    You were undertaking a stationary bus and failed to anticipate that passengers might disembark; your
    speed and attention were such that, in the lighting conditions, you were not able to notice or react
    to the door opening; and as a result you hit someone. This is not what I think of as good practice.

    If you are lucky you will not be arrested. You'd be a damn fool to try and sue anyone.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
     
  4. Whatever the legalities - it shows the dangers of cycling up the *inside* of a lane of traffic.

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  5. In message <[email protected]>, wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Whatever the legalities - it shows the dangers of cycling up the *inside* of a lane of traffic.

    Yes. John Franklin writes in 'Cyclecraft' (p129), ".... it is acceptable to pass to the left - a
    process sometimes referred to as 'undertaking', and not without reason!"
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  6. In message <[email protected]>, Aidan Hemsworth
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Hi,
    >
    >I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:
    >
    >I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver
    >let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark and he
    >stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my wheel and
    >cracking my helmet.
    >
    >The bus company have just told me that the bus driver is claiming they let him off at a "safe spot"
    >and have no liability as I didn't collide with the bus.
    >
    >The bus was not at a bus stop and the driver opened the door and let them off. There was no one
    >else on the bus so no witnesses except the child and mother who disappeared instantly.
    >
    >Help!
    >
    >Cheers, Aidan.

    Firstly, I am not a lawyer.

    Highway Code 143 DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For
    example <snip> between the kerb and a bus or tram when it is at a stop

    But it doesn't say you shouldn't do it when the bus is not at a stop.

    I think that bus conditions of carriage usually forbid passengers alighting at places other than
    official stops unless they have express permission from the driver. If this is the case with your
    company then they have a duty of care to the passenger to let him alight in safety. I would think
    that they also have a duty of care to other road users. It would appear that the driver opened the
    doors without checking that the inside was clear. The passenger should probably also have been
    looking to see if it was safe (this wasn't a bus stop) and therefore shares some of the blame for
    the incident. And you should have been proceeding with due caution, as do all cyclists when
    'undertaking'.

    Given the balance of care due to each party I would think you were hard done by if you couldn't get
    some compensation from someone. I think you should write again to the bus company, specifying the
    expense the incident caused you and asking for them to pay you compensation because their driver let
    the passenger off without ensuring that it was safe to do so. If this doesn't work you would need to
    seek compensation from the passenger who might then try to get something from the bus company.

    You didn't say whether the passenger was injured. If he was he might be trying to claim compensation
    himself for his injuries and could add your claim to his.

    I understand that the CTC legal department is very good for this sort of thing.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  7. In message <[email protected]>, Pete Biggs
    <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> writes
    >> Whatever the legalities - it shows the dangers of cycling up the *inside* of a lane of traffic.
    >
    >It does but that's not to say it can't be done safely. Speed should be kept low and ALL doors
    >should be watched! Every cyclist should know buses sometimes let off passengers in between stops.
    >
    >~PB
    >
    >
    But the only way you'll completely avoid this type of accident is not to undertake. All bus drivers
    also know that cyclists often pass on the inside.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > Whatever the legalities - it shows the dangers of cycling up the *inside* of a lane of traffic.

    It does but that's not to say it can't be done safely. Speed should be kept low and ALL doors should
    be watched! Every cyclist should know buses sometimes let off passengers in between stops.

    ~PB
     
  9. "Aidan Hemsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:
    >
    > I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver
    > let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark and
    > he stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my wheel and
    > cracking my helmet.
    >
    > The bus company have just told me that the bus driver is claiming they let him off at a "safe
    > spot" and have no liability as I didn't collide with the bus.
    >
    > The bus was not at a bus stop and the driver opened the door and let them off. There was no one
    > else on the bus so no witnesses except the child and mother who disappeared instantly.
    >

    I assume that "with no warning" means the bus wasn't indicating, and that some vehicles can turn
    left at the junction. I also assume you made reasonable effect to be visible (i.e. lights,
    reflectors)

    IMHO, which has NO legal basis and is solely opinion,
    1) The bus driver is wrong for letting passengers alight with no warning
    2) You should have seen the possibility that passengers may alight from the stationary bus (assuming
    the bus was in the nearside lane)
    3) You were wrong to be cycling up the inside of traffic (unless you wanted to turn left) (more for
    your safety than anyone elses)
    4) You were cycling too fast (speed kills is just as true of a cyclist as it is of a motorist)
    5) The pedestrian and bus driver was wrong for failing to look (assuming that the bus wasn't right
    up to the kerb).

    I think the only person with a case to sue is the pedestrian who was hit (and I think they'd be
    pushing it).
     
  10. In message <[email protected]>, Nathaniel Porter
    <[email protected]> writes
    >I assume that "with no warning" means the bus wasn't indicating, and that some vehicles can turn
    >left at the junction. I also assume you made reasonable effect to be visible (i.e. lights,
    >reflectors)
    >
    >IMHO, which has NO legal basis and is solely opinion,
    >1) The bus driver is wrong for letting passengers alight with no warning

    Yes

    >2) You should have seen the possibility that passengers may alight from the stationary bus
    > (assuming the bus was in the nearside lane)

    Yes, but the stop wasn't much further.

    >3) You were wrong to be cycling up the inside of traffic (unless you wanted to turn left) (more for
    > your safety than anyone elses)

    No, he had every right to be there.

    >4) You were cycling too fast (speed kills is just as true of a cyclist as it is of a motorist)

    This could become a Paul Smith discussion. What's too fast? You don't have to be sprinting up the
    inside for someone to surprise you by jumping off a bus.

    >5) The pedestrian and bus driver was wrong for failing to look (assuming that the bus wasn't right
    > up to the kerb).
    >
    Well, we do have to assume that the OP had enough room to get through, don't we. After all, he was
    between the bus and kerb.

    >I think the only person with a case to sue is the pedestrian who was hit (and I think they'd be
    >pushing it).

    Don't see your logic. The only one with no case to seek compensation and no defence is the bus
    company. (Unless the passenger wasn't injured.)

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Guest

    "Aidan Hemsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:
    >
    > I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver
    > let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark and
    > he stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my wheel and
    > cracking my helmet.
    >
    > The bus company have just told me that the bus driver is claiming they let him off at a "safe
    > spot" and have no liability as I didn't collide with the bus.
    >
    > The bus was not at a bus stop and the driver opened the door and let them off. There was no one
    > else on the bus so no witnesses except the child and mother who disappeared instantly.
    >
    > Help!
    >
    > Cheers, Aidan.

    Not sure about where this happened but I believe in London that it is against rules and regulations
    for drivers to open doors other than at authorised places (ie bus stops) or when authorised to do so
    by an official or police etc.
     
  12. "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In message <[email protected]>, Nathaniel Porter
    > <[email protected]> writes.
    >
    > >3) You were wrong to be cycling up the inside of traffic (unless you wanted to turn left) (more
    > > for your safety than anyone elses)
    >
    > No, he had every right to be there.
    >

    Oh he had every right to be there (assuming the inside lane allowed his movement), I just don't
    think it's a good idea (unless you like being SMIDSYed by right turning vehicles).

    > >4) You were cycling too fast (speed kills is just as true of a cyclist as it is of a motorist)
    >
    > This could become a Paul Smith discussion.

    <g>

    > What's too fast?

    Taken from safespeed, I believe safespeed took it from RoadCraft.: <Paul Smith> They must always
    choose a speed that allows them to stop comfortably, on their own side of the road, within the
    distance that they know to be clear. </Paul Smith>

    Which is entirly correct for cyclists.

    >You don't have to be sprinting up the inside for someone to surprise you by jumping off a bus.
    >

    No, but you should go really as slow as you can when undertaking. If he buckled a wheel that would
    suggest the OP was going fairly swiftly, and too fast for the conditions.

    > >5) The pedestrian and bus driver was wrong for failing to look (assuming that the bus wasn't
    > > right up to the kerb).
    > >
    > Well, we do have to assume that the OP had enough room to get through, don't we. After all, he was
    > between the bus and kerb.
    >

    He didn't say that, he just said he was cycling up the inside of stationary traffic. He might have
    been cycling through Mrs Smith's front garden for all we know ;-)

    > >I think the only person with a case to sue is the pedestrian who was hit (and I think they'd be
    > >pushing it).
    >
    > Don't see your logic. The only one with no case to seek compensation and no defence is the bus
    > company. (Unless the passenger wasn't injured.)
    >

    I think the bus company has the defence that what the bus driver & passenger did is perfectly legal
    (assuming the road isn't a clearway). They didn't violate any traffic laws. Neither did the cyclist
    or pedestrian. All three were careless.
     
  13. "Aidan Hemsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > ..... I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus
    > driver let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was
    > dark and he stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my
    > wheel and cracking my helmet.

    Cycling along the inside of stationary traffic in the dark would normally suggest a very slow and
    cautious speed would be in order, perhaps 5mph at most. If you "hit him quite hard" then it would
    imply you were cycling faster than conditions would safely allow.
     
  14. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 19:01:40 +0100, "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> This could become a Paul Smith discussion.

    ><g>

    >> What's too fast?

    >Taken from safespeed, I believe safespeed took it from RoadCraft.: <Paul Smith> They must always
    >choose a speed that allows them to stop comfortably, on their own side of the road, within the
    >distance that they know to be clear. </Paul Smith>

    Which of course is known as the safe speed rule, and gave the name to my web site.

    It goes way back before Roadcraft. My version is improved from the Roadcraft version, which leaves
    out "comfortably" and has "see to be clear" instead of "know to be clear". I think Roadcraft added
    "on their own side of the road" which is an important warning about the stopping distance of
    oncoming traffic.

    "Comfortably" gives a useful error margin at all times... The option of emergency braking is
    reserved for emergencies, not least because it isn't comfortable. It's also excellent practice to
    have one clearly identifiable place to keep your error margin.

    You should also be able to stop safely if something emerges into your path from a hidden position,
    so seeing that the road is clear isn't enough. You need to know that it will remain clear.

    >Which is entirly correct for cyclists.

    For all road users actually, although it's mostly trivial for pedestrians.
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email speed
    cameras cost lives
     
  15. Tim Cain

    Tim Cain Guest

    "Aidan Hemsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was wondering if anyone knows what the legal standing is w.r.t. my accident:

    Keep your head down, keep your gob shut, and you might get away with it.

    >
    > I was cycling along the inside of stationary traffic coming up to a junction when the bus driver
    > let off a passenger approximately 100 yards before the bus stop with no warning. It was dark...

    Didn't your lights pick him out?

    >...and he stepped out the side of the bus in front of me so I hit him quite hard, buckling my wheel
    >and cracking my helmet.

    My God, that *is* quite hard! Was this geezer injured at all?

    >
    > The bus company have just told me that the bus driver is claiming they let him off at a "safe
    > spot" and have no liability as I didn't collide with the bus.

    I am baffled that the question of liability re the bus company ever arose.

    >
    > The bus was not at a bus stop and the driver opened the door and let them off. There was no one
    > else on the bus so no witnesses except the child and mother who disappeared instantly.
    >
    > Help!
    >
    > Cheers, Aidan.
     
  16. Ric

    Ric Guest

  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 16:44:59 +0100, Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote:

    >For example <snip> between the kerb and a bus or tram when it is at a stop

    Stationary = at a stop, in at least one interpretation.

    In any case, passing a bus on the left, stationary or not, is most unwise.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 01:32:56 +0100, Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote:

    >My version is improved from the Roadcraft version, which leaves out "comfortably" and has "see to
    >be clear" instead of "know to be clear".

    All it needs is "and within the posted limit" and it would be perfect.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  19. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith Guest

    On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 18:46:48 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>My version is improved from the Roadcraft version, which leaves out "comfortably" and has "see to
    >>be clear" instead of "know to be clear".

    >All it needs is "and within the posted limit" and it would be perfect.

    Ahem.

    Why would you wish to introduce such an imprecise condition which has no bearing on primary safety?
    --
    Paul Smith Scotland, UK http://www.safespeed.org.uk please remove "XYZ" to reply by email speed
    cameras cost lives
     
  20. John B

    John B Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" wrote:

    > On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 01:32:56 +0100, Paul Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >My version is improved from the Roadcraft version, which leaves out "comfortably" and has "see to
    > >be clear" instead of "know to be clear".
    >
    > All it needs is "and within the posted limit" and it would be perfect.

    Guy, that is a deliberate red rag. Leave the nutter in peace.

    Meanwhile, how's the cycle-training coming on?

    John B
     
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