Motorcycle Blog

August 26, 2010

Meet Mark Stone, Britain’s unluckiest motorcyclist. Each month we tackle the legal aftermath of Mark’s riding mishaps. Today, he defies the righteous bollard of justice and crosses the line of fateNo2 - The Bollard Sidestep


Mark is in a difficult legal position. He is making an unusual and illegal move, so his duty of care increases. But the driver, also making an unusual manoeuvre, still owes Mark a duty of care.

The driver has a duty to signal his manoeuvre and to ensure that his signal is seen and acted upon before he moves. Mark’s riding is below the standards of a careful motorcyclist, but his manoeuvre is not unforeseeable.

Some case law says that Mark would be wholly to blame, but trial judges analyse the circumstances of each case before them. If the trial judge finds that the car driver should have seen Mark, had he looked from the correct position at the crown of the road, then the likely split is equal blame. Without the keep left bollard and double white line, Mark would most likely be found blameless.

Andrew Dalton

Bike Magazine

August 2010

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focussed on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.

  • MikeA

    September 11, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Would the driver’s responsibilty have increased if Mark had carried out a tight and controlled filter, without crossing the solid white line, and passing on the correct side of the bollard?

  • Andrew Dalton

    September 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Good question, Mike. These cases tend to turn on their own facts – but my analysis is that if the rider was filtering closely he has limited his options even more as he has limited his forward vision by reducing the angle. I do thing the difference is marginal,and would not make any material change to a legal apportionment of blame. As a technical point Mark would not be committing the offence of disobeying a sign or direction (solid white line and keep left bollard)so a judge might be a little more sympathetic but I personally would doubt it would have much influence on the final outcome.

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