I was zipping to work on my Harley-Davidson. The traffic was chokka so I started overtaking it using an area of white diagonal stripes.
Despite it being a 60mph limit, I was doing around 50mph. Up ahead I could see a Corsa start to indicate and swing out to do a u-turn. I flashed him a few times and beeped my horn. I thought he had seen me, as he appeared to hesitate. However, he then swung out. I managed to get on the anchors, but skidded and t-boned the side of the car.
The matter went to trial and whilst I won, the Judge said I was 20% to blame for the accident because of my speed, because I had time to see and react to the Corsa, and because I was overtaking on the stripes. I am not happy and have threatened to sue the Judge. I need to stress that the striped area was bordered by a broken white line.
The Judge has made a decision after he has heard all of the evidence. You cannot ‘sue’ him, but you could try and appeal the decision if the Judge has got it wrong legally.
Rule 130 of the Highway Code states: ‘If the area is bordered by a broken white line, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so.’ It is arguable it wasn’t ‘necessary’ for you to be overtaking using the striped area.
Whilst not riding in excess of the speed limit, a Judge may well have been entitled to find you were riding ‘too fast in the circumstances’ e.g, overtaking stationary cars on the stripes, and that you failed to react in time to a hazard you had seen. Eighty/twenty in your favour sounds like a fair result and appealing could cost you a lot of money. Get full legal advice before making your next move.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.
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