Linda Taylor & Another v David Raspin

Linda Taylor's view at the junction

Linda taylor's view from the junction
David Raspin's view of the junction
David Raspin's view of the junction.

David Raspin was riding his Yamaha VMax motorcycle south on Ackworth Road, Pontefract.

He was on approach to the junction with Hardwick Court, a minor road on his right.

Linda Taylor was driving a Ford Ka and pulled out from Hardwick Road turning right onto Ackworth Road.

It was established in evidence that she had turned slowly, taking five seconds to do so. Two seconds after she pulled out, Raspin came round the corner and was not seen by Linda Taylor. A collision occurred with the motorcycle hitting the front passenger door of the car.

The Judge concluded that Linda Taylor had looked right, left and right again. He found her responsible for causing the collision for failing to look left again before turning right. The Judge accepted that the motorcyclist had been travelling above the speed limit of 30 mph and, as a result, judgement was entered in favour of the motorcyclist

Car driver 55% to blame                          Motorcyclist 45% to blame.

Miss Taylor appealed the decision arguing that most drivers would not look left a second time.

Miss Taylor argued that her failure to look left a second time had not caused the collision, but rather the motorcyclist’s excessive speed had caused the collision.

In dismissing the appeal, the Court indicated the Judge was correct to find that the car driver was under a duty to look left for a second time as she moved out onto the major road given the particular circumstances of the junction.

The Appeal Court confirmed that the collision had been witnessed by three lay witnesses, all of whom had a clear view. Their evidence was consistent. The car had continued to pull out onto the major road when the motorcycle was there to be seen.

The Appeal Court criticised the judge’s reliance on expert witness testimony when lay witnesses estimated the speed of the motorcycle to be 30 mph. The motorcyclist thought his speed on approach had been 30 mph, yet the expert witness gave a range of speeds of between 40-64 mph. The Judge found that the motorcyclist was likely to be travelling “in the low 50’s and formed the conclusion that the motorcyclist had not been in view when the driver had begun her manoeuvre.

The driver had not looked again to the left at any time but emerging onto a road with fast moving traffic would require a second look to the left. The Appeal Court observed there is always a continuing obligation on a driver emerging from a minor road to give way to traffic on the main road, especially when sightlines are restricted.

Appeal was dismissed and the Judge’s decision stood.

The full decision on the case and the appeal can be viewed here


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