Yoga teacher wins case against cyclist

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7152963/Yoga-teacher-staring-p…

What an odd ruling. Surely will be overturned on appeal..

 

A yoga teacher who stepped out in the road while looking at her phone before being wiped out by a cyclist has won compensation expected to reach thousands of pounds.

Gemma Brushett, 28, has successfully sued Robert Hazeldean after she was knocked down in central London during rush hour in July 2015.

So... the cyclist almost made Brusheet a street pizza?

...

I'll get my coat.

What an odd ruling. Surely will be overturned on appeal..

I'm pretty sure the highway code requires you to be aware of potential obstacles and issues and continuing at a speed which allows you to avoid them.  Having the right of way is not the same thing as having a right to cause an accident.

Judge said 'Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have right of way.' which I haven't come across before.

Judicial College guidelines have minor head injury at £1,760 - £10,180.  Surprised this went as far as trial.

I’m very pro cyclist, but this is the right decision. If he had time to beep his horn then he had time to brake. If he was going 10-15 mph (which seems unlikely) he should have been able to stop within 1 metre. Only if she steps out with less than that distance (essentially right on top of him) is he not liable here.

It really annoys me when people’s first reaction (either drivers or cyclists) is to beep the horn when it should be to emergency brake. 

Also, nobody should ever be cycling in an area congested with pedestrians at a speed that they cannot come to a complete halt within one metre. Just because your bike can go faster does not mean that you are entitled to do so. 

Rule 198 - Give way to anyone still crossing after the signal for vehicles has changed to green. This advice applies to all crossings.

Rule 146 - Adapt your driving to the appropriate type and condition of road you are on. In particular ... 

  • try to anticipate what pedestrians and cyclists might do. If pedestrians, particularly children, are looking the other way, they may step out into the road without seeing you.

Quite right too. Cyclists are a menace.

Blimey @ that photo.

'The appropriate finding is that the parties were equally responsible and I make a finding of liability at 50/50.'

Can't fault this. Given the cyclist braked and still hit her at 15 mph he must have been cycling at grossly excessive speed. 

 

It's high time the government made it mandatory for for all London cyclists to obtain a licence and insurance

I am actually with the cyclist on this one. If you read the account he used a horn, braked and swerved seemingly taking all appropriate measures. She stepped into the road without looking and when she finally did see him in a panic jumped back into his path, he having already braked and swerved. There is no mention of him travelling at some manner of illegal or inappropriate speed.

Cause of accident her stepping into the road without looking and he did everything possible to avoid her.

I've had it happen to me where someone stepped out in front of me without looking and I have had to take evasive action on a busy road ending up with me piling in and the guy walking off none the wiser as to what he caused.

What else are you licensing - skateboards and horses? They gave up requiring dog licences on the basis it was impossible to administer. 

The judgment seems right. I'd say around 50% of cyclists in London travel far too fast for the conditions. The Embankment CSH will see someone die in a head-on collision one day as lycragimp A heading to WankBank in Canary Wharf in a new personal best time crashes into lycragimp B heading to Bellend PR in Westminster after trying to overtake someone pottering along on a Santander Cycle. 

I think your estimate of 50% of London cyclists being utter road hogs is about % too low

So bananaman on the basis of your on the spot made up with no evidence stat of 50% riding too fast for the conditions you transpose this not a fact to the current case and think the cyclist was bang to rights despite the lady clearly not looking before stepping onto the road and then jumping back into his path?

He was doing 15mph approaching a crossing where there were people in the road.... had he slowed he would have been able to avoid the crash. It was his fault. 

 

Anecdotal experience suggests it's at least 98%

Young lady pedestrians need the Courts to protect them from these fiends.

ObstreperousDogey has the best point - if he had time to take a hand off the handlebars and sound his horn he had the time to stop.  He saw the woman step out in front of him and chose being a dick ahead of avoiding an accident.

I point you to this. "there was a large patch of clear road, although some people were still on the extreme left hand side of the carriageway about to step onto the pavement." The crossing was clear as he approached and people are supposed to look before they step off.

I also don't agree with ObstreperousDogey as it is possible to sound a horn and apply the brakes at the same time. The vast majority of bikes have 2 of them. It is clear he saw her, but also clear that he took appropriate action, sounding a warning, braking and swerving. In what way did he choose to be a dick? I would agree if he had not taken any action.

She then jumped back into his path. Let's not get away from the idiot that caused this by not looking where she was going and being utterly absorbed by her phone.

"there was a large patch of clear road, although some people were still on the extreme left hand side of the carriageway about to step onto the pavement." - as a sensible driver you would slow the fuck down here. 

". In what way did he choose to be a dick? "

By cycling into a yoga teacher at 15 m.p.h. 

He wasn't found "bang to rights", he was found 50% liable.  ie she was 50% liable, it just so happens that she's the one who has brought a PI claim, she's bearing 50% of her damages effectively for her own culpability.

Let's face it, he was in the same way as every other cyclist in central London does and that's do anything else first to avoid a collision rather than lose his momentum by braking. 

sounds fair enough to me - he was going too fast, she wasn't looking

50/50

presumably he has a counterclaim against her and he will be able to claim 50% of his losses too

"In what way did he choose to be a dick?"

By ploughing into a young lady pedestrian at 15mph without attempting to brake.

These people are so arrogant. They think they rule the streets. Most of them are high on coke I suspect.

Heavy cardio workout impeding decision making, plus reluctance to brake as additional cardio energy required to recover speed. It's a dangerous combo for many cyclists and puts them in a mental state not safely compatible with pedestrians. Plus there are the wallys with their timers, as bananaman said. 

<<The court heard that Ms Brushett, who works for a finance firm in the City as well as running yoga retreats, was one of a 'throng' of people trying to cross the road at the start of rush hour when the accident occurred.>>

A car driver would instinctively prepare to stop in these conditions. Someone is bound to step out. Instead, he's probably sounding his air-horn rather than slowing.

<<She 'panicked' and tried to dodge back to a traffic island, but the cyclist, who had been travelling at between 10-15mph, swerved in the same direction and hit her>>

So there's a throng of people waiting to cross, and some people in the middle traffic island.  The cyclist should have slowed right down before this point.

 

Is an air horn one of those squeezy honk honk things they have on circus clown cars?

 

'These people are so arrogant. They think they rule the streets. Most of them are high on coke I suspect.'

I've heard that too

Blindtom - sorry I will action that survey this afternoon and feedback results.

You realise you cited the cyclist's description of the street scene? If this is around Cannon Street, every road has pedestrians rushing to Cannon Street, Bank or elsewhere paying scant regard to crossings. Many of them will keep walking anticipating your speed to just miss you. You have to adapt to your surroundings. Do you think if you mowed down a child as you left a campsite you'd get let off because you were doing the stated maximum speed of 10 MPH, even if the stupid kid was playing football near the road? 

As Buzz suggests, it's likely this guy didn't want to have to brake, so predicted the path of the pedestrians. Also as anyone that's tried to side-step someone on a pavement or sports pitch knows, you need to be ready to react to them mirroring your actions.

Everyone except Wang is missing the key issue here.

He had a horn on his bike ffs. Clearly a wrong’un (and I’m pro-bike generally). 

'Judge said 'Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have right of way.' which I haven't come across before.'

 

I was taught this when I lernt to drive over 39 years ago

Curiously I'm unsure about the justness of the result here. 

On one hand, if she stepped out at the last minute and it was impossible to avoid her, she shouldn't get compensation, that's 100% contributory negligence and there is no way you can guard against that, even when paying attention and making allowances for idiocy. 

 

On the other, if he saw her step out and was cycling fast, and tried everything else apart from braking (braking only as a last resort), then absolutely he is at fault.  He should have braked the moment she stepped out.  Assuming people will look up when you shout/beep at them is insufficient behaviour.

 

I hope this goes to appeal, as the decision (if the judge says he was a reasonable road user) is contradictory.  If he was a reasonable road user, then he was taking reasonable care and ipso facto wasn't negligent.  QED. 

 

But whatever the case, if she was staring at her phone and not looking, she deserves everything she got.  This decision absolves idiots from any responsibility if doing stupid things whilst glued to phones.

It says in the report that another cyclist berated him for riding like a c-unit so seems a fair result to me.

If he hadnt sounded his horn she wouldnt have panicked and stepped back in to his path

Yes, Mr H, but three other witnesses said differently and the judge expressly discounted the other cyclist's testimony.  Who knows had long he had to sound his horn, shout and brake.  Maybe he did all three at once.  If so, it's all her fault.  If he attempted all three in sequence, only finally attempting to brake, then he's equally to blame.  In this case, it's impossible to tell, but if the judge says he was a calm, reasonable road user, that implies he was taking reasonable care and therefore wasn't negligent, right?

It doesn't sound like she did just step into the road. It appears that people were crossing right to left on a section of road with an island in the middle. She was one of them. He then shouted/sounded his horn, and instead of proceeding ahead, she tried to retreat back to the island and got hit as he tried to take evasive action the same way. 

Assuming that's right, he could see those people crossing from a distance ahead and could plan what to do about it. He probably made a rod for his own back by making noise, as this causes people to panic. Frankly it sounds like she saw he was travelling close to the pavement, and therefore thought it was more risky for her to carry on crossing than to retreat. In that situation you should be able to stop dead, whereas it sounds like he took a calculated risk to pass her wrongly assuming she'd complete the crossing. He probably felt he had to maintain momentum in case there was a car behind him that would catch up with him if he slowed and swerved out. 

 

If that's right, then he's at fault, as I said initially.

 

What I don't get is how the judge can say that he was a calm and reasonable road user (and preferred the testimony of three witnesses saying it was all the claimant's fault) on the one hand, but still hold that he was negligent.  It seems totally counterintuitive, right?

If the judge believed he should have anticipated something, then that's one thing.  But to say that cyclists must expect people to do the unexpected is nuts.  Surely the correct formulation is that cyclists (or anyone) must expect people to do the reasonably foreseeable?

Just following up on my horn/bell hating beliefs from above.

I often run on the canal towpath or alongside the river, which cyclists often cycle very quickly on. I usually stick to the left side of my pavement, as if it is a road, although I don’t have to do this. I am frequently annoyed when I hear a cyclist ringing their bell behind me. Are you warning me that you are going to hit me and I should move out of the way? Or are you warning me that you are about to overtake me and I should stay where I am? The sensible thing would be to just silently overtake with a reasonable gap, but so few cyclists actually do this. They ring their bell because they are trying to assert their dominance over their imaginary right of unimpeded passage. 

As commented above, he probably caused this accident by sounding his horn (and not braking). The pedestrian wouldn’t have known where he was coming from or where he was going, whereas he could see her trajectory from a mile away. He should be 100% liable.

Trying to cross the cycle highway at Embankment even at the pedestrian crossing is terrifying.  They come out of nowhere even when the green man is showing.

That includes both the Lance Armstrong wannabes and the Santander weaving tourists who are not in control of the bikes.

I hate the tourists who cycle on the pavements and ding their bells at you because they do not know that it is not lawful to cycle on the pavements in the UK. 

I wish that I were a special policeman in order to arrest them.

She was staring at her phone as she walked into the road! Darwin awards candidate or what

Funnily enough, on this one, I'm going to support the young working woman minding her own business, against the over-privileged drugged-up cyclist w*nker who deliberately didn't give her a warning. 

What dux said save that I'm not at all convinced this defendant was drugged up.

 

It seems to me to fit the standard pattern of behaviour for all sober London cyclists. 

Are we all agreed that they’re both cunts and it’s a great outcome that one is severely injured and the other has been financially punished.

The issue is that you have one witness saying he was cycling aggressively.  He had three saying there was nothing he could do, but I wonder if the actual testimonies came across more balanced leading to to the 50/50 finding, when coupled with the rules around pedestrian priority.  

I don't think I've ever managed to stop a bike in 1m even when I've stopped by falling of it.  Even at a moderate speed you can skid a couple of meters if you break solidly with both wheels.

I'd rather cyclists ring their bells coming up behind me as then I'll hold my course and let them work out where to go.

Out of interest Rofers if you're driving and someone pulls out in front of you and there's nothing coming the other way do you brake almost guaranteeing an impact or do you swerve into the other carriageway whilst braking a little to avoid an impact?  Personally I do the latter and would do the same on a bike.

has anyone read the judgment on Baili, or are we relying on the DM article?

I've read the Times and can someone with a better knowledge of tort explain why the cyclist pays compensation if the liability is 50/50?  If you're both equally responsible surely you should pay a notional sum to each other?

I assume it is because the cyclist hasn't actually made a claim or counter-claim so there is nothing for it to be set off against.

In the article I read, she began crossing when the pedestrian light was green, whilst looking at her phone.  The light changed whilst she was still on the road, and the cyclist began moving before the roadway was clear.

As people above have pointed out, cyclists/cars etc are supposed to give way to pedestrians who are still on the road.  If he launched off before the road was clear then he's at fault but she's contributorily negligent.

I cross ludgate circus most mornings, and the cyclists there almost inevitably launch off before the road has cleared in a way that a car driver simply wouldn't consider.  You frequently end up with a blend of impatient cyclists barging their way through the tail end of a crowd.  Setting off before the road clears is dangerous, unnecessary and at most gives then a 5-10 second advantage.

On the nominal sum point, presumably that would be the case if he had counterclaimed against her, but given she was stupid but not in breach of any rules, he has no cause of action does he?  It's 50-50 for the cause of her damage, not their mutual damage.

I agree with all of that LF. 

There is a reason cyclists are more impatient and that is because it is safer safer if they established on the road ahead before the motor vehicles (the purpose of advance stop sections). But of course they should always give way to pedestrians.

I feel very sorry for the girl. Ok she should gave obeyed the Green Cross Code a bit more diligently, but she's basically entirely innocent. 

You mean apart from being a dickhead who stepped into the road without looking because she was fixated on her phone?

 

Yes, the cyclist was more than likely being a dick, but you can't give carte blanche for people not to take responsibility for their own safety.  Thinking about it, and all the commentary on the cyclist's likely attitude and actions, I think the judge got the outcome right (50% contrib), but cocked the law bit up, which will result in appeal.

Isn't it the case in Germany that any pedestrian crossing the road whilst the red man is showing is automatically responsible for any resulting collision?

His fault was in failing to counterclaim (I think I read that he was knocked unconscious too).  Then they would each get 50% of their damages to nil effect which  is the best outcome for both [self-absorbed druggie millenials/ innocent road users] (delete according to your personal prejudice). 

I remember going to Germany in the my gap yah and being tutted for crossing an empty road when the red man was on.  Someone later explained the rules to me.

Ah LF, you must be one of those halfwits I see most mornings at LC who think it's perfectly fine to start to cross when there're about 5 seconds left on the countdown and then take great offence when other road users try to obey the traffic lights (rather than use them as loose guidance). Granted that cyclists/drivers are supposed to give way to pedestrians finishing crossing but some awareness of the obligations on pedestrians (like it being illegal to loiter when crossing) would be appreciated.

Also, that's total BS about drivers not considering pulling away when people are still crossing. They do this all the time (especially buses and cabs)  - the only difference is that pedestrians actually move slightly quicker to get out of the way given its several tons of beeping metal rolling towards them.

@Badman - totally agree re. the "expect the unexpected" comment. Bizarre that the judge would just make up some random new standard when there is plenty of guidance in the Highway Code (and tort law in general). I guess I will have to be more vigilant for naked clowns cartwheeling across the road from now on...

5 seconds is plenty of time to cross a two lane road unless you really dawdle especially as there is a delay between pedestrian and vehicle lights changing.  I only wait if the countdown is under 5 seconds.

"when other road users try to obey the traffic lights (rather than use them as loose guidance)"

So out of interest, what do you think a green light means?

To assist, i'll tell you what the highway code says:  "Green means you may go on if the way is clear.  Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing".

Whilst you could perhaps debate (as a matter of linguistic construction) whether the obligation to give way only arises if turning left or right, it is hard to argue that green only means go if the way ahead is clear.

So other road users who are trying to obey the traffic lights won't move off until the way ahead is clear.

Hopey-helpey.

not only is she a dickhead for looking at her phone she's a dickhead for suing him

Germany totally right on this one

Once the light changes cyclists need to pull away (which is rarely an especially quick procedure) and travel another 20-odd metres (for those heading North) before encountering any pedestrians. It's perfectly reasonable to interpret the Highway Code as permitting you to move off when the light turns green provided the road in front of you is clear and you then give way to people finishing crossing (which is what happens in practice - I don't think I've actually seen anyone "barged" as you put it). Do you really think a car in the same situation would stay stock still on the other side of the intersection until it is totally clear (and god help the pedestrians who are in the way once they get to the other side)? Also, you might want to note the existence of several islands on your journey across the road (any of which would be suitable for resting your haunches in compliance with the Highway Code when you can't cross in one go before the lights change). 

Sails - FYI this is a 4 lane (plus 2 cycle lane) road and 5 secs is nowhere near sufficient unless you jog across. Doesn't stop dawdlers though..

If you can't cross in four lanes in five seconds, you're either very young, very old, disabled or horribly unfit.  

Hmm- based on the average man's stride it would be about 40 steps. You must look like road runner striding along at 8 steps a second!

"They ring their bell because they are trying to assert their dominance over their imaginary right of unimpeded passage". 

 

That is not the reason I ring a bell in the circumstances you describe.   It is to warn people of my presence.  Pedestrians may not be in your way as you start to overtake but they don't always walk in straight lines, if they don't know you are there they could easily drift into your path as you overtake.

you are supposed to ring your bell on the towpath.  A few years go there was actually a police campaign "two tings" on the Regent's canal.

the average yogi is about 1000 times nicer than the average cyclist

Really?  I know some yoga people who are utter turdbags.

diceman19 Jun 19 13:19

the average yogi is about 1000 times nicer than the average cyclist

BadmanRoFer19 Jun 19 13:49

Really?  I know some yoga people who are utter turdbags.

I see no inconsistency between these two posts. 

It should be illegal for anyone to wear headphones when walking, jogging, cycilng or driving.

It makes people oblivious to their surroundings.

That is not the reason I ring a bell in the circumstances you describe.   It is to warn people of my presence.  Pedestrians may not be in your way as you start to overtake but they don't always walk in straight lines, if they don't know you are there they could easily drift into your path as you overtake.

 

This is the problem. You think you are alerting them to your presence. You want them to stay where they are. Imagine walking and hearing a bell behind you. What do you actually infer from this? That you should stay where you are or that you should move out of the way? If the person wanted you to continue doing what you were doing then they would have remained silent. Absolutely retarded.

I agree on bells.  When I'm walking along and hear a bell my thoughts are not "I should continue in the current trajectory".  It's "i want to punch that bell ringing MAMIL ladypart who thinks he has more right to be on this bit of tarmac than I do."

 

 

I was once squarely at fault because I crossed a road without looking properly (I wasn't wearing headphones or looking at my phone, but I had just received a really horrible upsetting piece of news and my mind was just in a daze) and I didn't see or hear the fucker of a cyclist who was taking the corner of Fulham Road and Sydney Street like he was approaching Arc de Triomphe and got the most vituperative abuse.  I was in the wrong but what the fuck is wrong with cyclists?  Their aggression is like they have done a fuck load of coke 

" she began crossing when the pedestrian light was green, "??

That should be the end of the matter

Worst offenders at 'amber gambling' are motor cyclists who itch to roar off against the lights 

 

Highway Code says you should have a bell and use it for pedestrians etc.  If you don't ring the bell and attempt to trundle by at 5mph whilst saying "excuse me" then some absolute knob pedestrian will berate you for not using a bell.  People are also fuckwits and step sideways and stop for no apparent reason.

"I agree on bells.  When I'm walking along and hear a bell my thoughts are not "I should continue in the current trajectory".  It's "i want to punch that bell ringing MAMIL ladypart who thinks he has more right to be on this bit of tarmac than I do."

Then you are a moron, if there is clearly space for a bike to pass you it makes no sense to move into it if you hear a bell.   When you see a speeding car in rear mirror coming up behind you do you pull out into the fast lane to get out of its way or stay in lane and assume it will overtake you in the outer lane?  Exactly.

Guy I think the better analogy is if you are walking along a pavement and hear a car coming up behind you you don't step out into the road assuming they must be on the pavement.

We should start a similar system to the sailing world where one ding means a cyclist changing course to the left, two dings changing course to the right and my favourite of five dings meaning please make your intentions clear aka where the f*ck are you going you vacant c*ck womble?

I see your thinking Summers but that relies on everyone knowing the code - they wont and that will just lead to more confusion - it just requires a bit of fvcking common  sense which unfortunately people like Nexis evidently don't have.

Guy, where did I say I move into it?  Are you a bit hard of understanding or something?

Judy that sounds like the cyclist was at fault to me. Did he hit you, possibly causing a whiplash injury? Would you like to explore whether you might have a claim for your ongoing discomfort?

Well if you don't move into it on hearing a bell you will appreciate that hearing the bell means you don't randomly do so, because if there was no bell and you happened to drift to the other side of the path and you got hit by the bike overtaking you would no doubt scream blue murder about what arseholes cyclists are for coming up behind you with no warning.

Guy, the problem is that suddenly ringing a bell behind someone can startle them and cause them to stop / turn / wobble - all of which could cause a collision. 

The safe option is of course not to overtake where a path is too narrow to safely do so / to do so at a speed where you aren’t going to have a problem. That’s generally an issue though as it would require the person on the bike not to be a massive bellend. 

The person stopping is only an issue if you happen to heading straight at them and overtaking a stationary object is generally much easier.

The safe option is of course not to overtake where a path is too narrow to safely do so / to do so at a speed where you aren’t going to have a problem

 

No it isn't, unless you are talking about a path size of major road it will never be entirely safe to overtake somebody who doesn't know you are there because they could mooch over to the other side of the path at precisely the same time you are passing them.  

People seem to equate cyclists ringing bells with cars angrily hooting horns.  It is not the case-  the bell is not to tell you to get out of the way it is simply to let you know they are in the vicinity. 

As Judy asks above, ‘Has anyone read the judgment on BAILII, or are we relying on the DM article?’

Presumably, as a low-value personal injury claim, this would have been in the county court somewhere? Are county court judgments reported (whether on BAILII or elsewhere)?

 

County Court case

£100,000 COSTS

Parties equally to blame 

Who is this  Shanti Mauger?

“…..can see people crossing at the junction of King William Street with Cannon Street so I have sounded my airhorn on my bike, which caused people to part and leave a gap in the middle of the road.  I continued up towards King William Street, but due to the people in the middle island and still crossing I was positioned on the right hand side of my lane, close to a yellow bollard on the middle island.  I believe I may have been travelling at 10-15mph.  As I was approaching this island where most people had stopped, I saw a blond female who was in the middle of the road crossing onto the pavement in the direction of Cannon Street.  She turned to look at me and instead of continuing forward in the direction she was walking she stopped and stepped back into the gap I was travelling into.  I shouted out to her “No” as I was only 2-3 metres away from her.  I put on my brakes but could not avoid colliding with her…..”