Think bus lane, think motorcyclist!

Jethro's Accident Locus

Jethro is a motorcycle instructor with Saltire Motorcycles in Edinburgh. 

Early one evening in September 2016, he left work on his own motorcycle to ride home. 

He exited from Saltire’s premises onto Gorgie Road and headed along Stenhouse Road where he accessed the bus lane heading West. In Edinburgh, during peak hours, only buses, cycles, taxis and motorcycles are all allowed to use that space.

Traffic in lane two was slow moving and stationary as it was rush hour.  

He travelled in the bus lane for about 1/4 mile and was approaching a junction leading to HMP Edinburgh to his left. 

He was able to travel at approximately 25 mph but the traffic in lane two was fairly nose to tail and was moving at various times from stationary to approximately 10 mph. 

Jethro kept his speed down and was constantly looking to his right and ahead to ensure that there were no gaps in the traffic from which a vehicle could emerge. 

There was a 125cc motorcycle with L plates ahead but other than that there were no buses in the bus lane.  

He was almost level with the junction giving access to HMP Edinburgh, when suddenly the driver of a red Corsa, who had been travelling East towards Edinburgh, turned right through the stationary Westbound traffic in lane two and straight into his path.
 
He simply did not have a chance to take any form of evasive action. He hit the Corsa’s passenger side door full on and was propelled through the air.

Jethro's Damaged Motorcycle

The Emergency services arrived promptly and Jethro was admitted to ERI before being transferred to the Department of Neurosciences at the Western General Hospital. Jethro’s injuries were serious and he required specialist spinal surgery to fuse three vertebra in his lower spine. He spent 10 days in hospital.

Jethro contacted Motorcycle Law Scotland and Brenda popped out to see him at home, as his limited mobility meant driving was impossible. Over the months that followed, Jethro began the slow process toward recovery. Brenda got to work immediately by intimating a claim against the driver’s insurers. Hastings were initially slow to respond prompting an email from Brenda stating:-

"In closing, we have called your organisation on five occasions with calls lasting up to three hours. Your inability to communicate is an absolute disgrace."

Undeterred by the slow response, Brenda continued with her investigations and calls for the insurer to abide by the Code of Best Practice and help Jethro in his recovery.

Due to her dogged determination and persistence, there was then a sudden change in the insurer’s attitude from one of delay to one of proactive assistance. Jethro received an interim payment and was then offered a good settlement. Guided by Benda, Jethro rightly discussed matters with family members before coming to the decision to accept the offer and his case was settled by mid February.

The difference we make at Motorcycle Law Scotland is that we get to know our clients. We stand by our clients and guide them professionally from a background of years of experience in looking after injured motorcyclists.

Jethro was delighted with his settlement and is now back at work. He had this to say:

“Many thanks for all of your assistance at every stage. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend your firm to anyone in similarly unfortunate circumstances as I found myself. Your approach to your fees, charging much less that what the initial agreement could entitle your company to, I think is a measure of MLS's integrity as a company. I will continue to spread the word about MLS to friends and colleagues.”

Drivers need a constant reminder that moving across a line of stationary traffic without looking is careless and dangerous. Motorcyclists are vulnerable to injury. They are entitled to travel in bus lanes. Look out for them at all times. ‘Think bus lane, think Motorcyclist!”

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