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Goddard and Another v Greenwood, Court of Appeal

30 October 2002
The issues

Pedestrian – jogger – road traffic accident.

The facts

The Claimants were jogging on the A20 in Dover when they were hit by the Defendant in his vehicle at a junction controlled by traffic lights. He came up behind a lorry, which was stationary at the signals in the nearside lane of 3. Noting that the signals were red, the Defendant moved into the middle lane to go alongside the lorry and as he did so, the lights changed to green and he continued on without stopping. As he passed the lorry, he heard it sound its horn and then saw the joggers crossing the road from his nearside. He did not stop in time and the Claimants suffered serious injuries. The Judge found for the Defendant.

The Claimants appealed.

The decision

1. The Judge was not entitled to find that there was no liability at all.

2. The Defendant’s view of the crossing was obscured by the presence of the lorry in the nearside lane and the fact that the lights changed to green did not give him an absolute right to continue. A reasonably careful driver would have anticipated the possibility of a pedestrian being on the crossing, particularly in view of the fact that the lights had just changed and that the lorry had not moved.

3. The Defendant was therefore primarily liable. The Trial Judge had indicated that had he not found for the Defendant, he could have found contributory negligence of 80%.

That finding could not be interfered with and the Appeal was allowed subject to a finding of 80% contributory negligence against the Claimants.

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