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When The Pedestrian Crosses Before The Green Man - And Motorcyclist.

Green man on traffic light
14th May 2014
Motorist attitudes towards road users on two wheels are often cited in motorbike compensation claims are also represented by many examples where pedestrians are involved in an incident involving a motorcyclist and determining percentage of liability can often require detailed investigation.

A most common type of potential accident a motorbike rider is faced with almost from the moment their journey on the road begins is the unexpected actions of a pedestrian, which can instantly cause a collision.

In the majority of cases, a motorcyclist is perfectly aware of the high probability of a pedestrian ( or worse, a child) suddenly stepping off the pavement or onto a pedestrian crossing and eyes will be trained in anticipation of this action taking place.

On area of difficulty can be the approach to a crossing, judging when lights may be about to change to red and braking in sufficient time. An added complication is when a bike rider judges that there is enough time to safely clear the crossing just as the light changes to red. However, at the same time, a pedestrian can both fail to wait for the ‘walking green man’ to illuminate or check the road for oncoming traffic and immediately steps on to the crossing when the red light shows. In addition, a pedestrian may also be looking down and concentrating on using their mobile phone.

Clearly, a motorcyclist ( as indeed, all other vehicle drivers) must drive within the legal speed limit in pedestrian areas, slowing down and approaching crossings with utmost caution and anticipating potential unexpected pedestrian actions to avoid an accident.

However, while a pedestrian who steps out onto a crossing when the light show red has right of way, a failure to wait to check that that it was safe to cross, i.e. the green man illuminated and traffic had stopped at the white line, may also be viewed as contributory negligence, and could even be liable for a percentage of the blame.