Driving Without Due Care and Attention

We have commonly found that in scenarios where a car and motorcycle are involved in an accident, it is the biker that gets pursued for an offence rather than the car driver. Detailed below is the outline of a case Motor Defence Solicitors took on and successfully obtained an acquittal for the biker.

The incident took place north of Luton, near Barton-le-Clay. Our client, AM, was riding a motorcycle following two cars. All vehicles were proceeding south on the Luton Road towards the A6.

As AM proceeded, legally overtaking the cars, the car driver at the head of the line, suddenly and without warning, turned across AM's path to the right. This caused a collision between the vehicles and the Police attended shortly afterwards. After taking statements and investigating the case, the Police and CPS chose to proceed against AM for careless driving.

AM then approached us for advice with respect to defending the charge.

For a Court to have convicted AM of Careless Driving, the Magistrates would have needed to be convinced that the standard of his riding fell below that expected of a reasonable prudent and careful rider. It was our advice to AM from the outset that in these circumstances we believed that he had not done anything that amounted to careless driving. Further, we were of the opinion that the sole responsibility for the collision rested with the car driver as they had carelessly undertaken a manoeuvre that would never have normally been contemplated considering the road layout. Where the car driver was attempting to turn right, is clearly from the road design, only intended to be used by vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

It was always Motor Defence Solicitors' position that if the car driver was to complete this unusual manoeuvre, he needed to do so with painstaking care for other road users as it was so unexpected.

Importantly, Motor Defence Solicitors established at Court that the driver of the vehicle and his passenger remembered as they approached the junction in question that they had left a birthday card at home. Therefore, we were able to show the reason for the 'short cut' being taken. On top of this, Motor Defence Solicitors proved two key points at Court:

  1. the car driver did not use his indicator; and
  2. the car driver did not look in his mirrors before undertaking this manoeuvre.

The following photographs were used at Court to show what would have been seen had the car driver followed the proper observation procedures:

 
 

The Court therefore found that there was no evidence to support that AM had driven carelessly and acquitted him of the offence. The Court also made an order that AM's legal costs be paid out of public funds. Our sister firm, White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors, is pursuing the car driver for AM's personal injury claim.

This is a case where, on the face of it, you could easily see it as a reckless overtake by a biker. However, this should highlight the importance of 'digging' into the details further, as all may not be quite as straightforward as the authorities would have you believe.

If you face a charge of Careless Driving, please contact us for specialist advice as we may be able to help you avoid a conviction. Whilst our services are only available on a private fee paying basis, you should always enquire with your Vehicle Insurer for offences of Careless Driving, Dangerous Driving and Causing Death by Dangerous Driving as to whether they would fund your defence.

 

TM © White Dalton Solicitors. All rights reserved. 0800 783 6191