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Pedestrian Hit By Bus - Driver Not Negligent Says Judge

Double decker bus
5th January 2015

A road traffic accident claim entered by a pedestrian who suffered “significant injuries”, including a head injury after being hit by an oncoming bus, was recently dismissed in court.

At the proceedings, the issue to be determined was whether the failure of the bus driver to stop in time and/or the actions of the claimant “who ran in to the path of the approaching bus” had been negligent.

With regards to deciding if the failure of the bus driver to apply the emergency brake was negligent, the Judge took into account the importance attached to the safety of passengers on the bus.

“Serious risk to others”

The Court ruled that the action of the bus driver “was not negligent”, explaining that while the driver was found not to have seen the claimant, “even had he done so at the point at which it could be found that a risk could have been reasonably anticipated, it was already too late for the collision to have been avoided at all or the collision to have been avoided without serious risk to others.”

The Judge added that having “heard evidence that maximal braking is rarely achieved” the driver was not considered negligent for not having braked at a rate, “which might have been in excess of the bus’s capability... and would have given rise to a real risk of serious injury to passengers.”

Turning to the actions of the claimant, the Judge considered that ignoring the display of the ‘red man’ signal at the pedestrian crossing would “not in of itself be negligent.” However, the Judge pointed out that “the red signal is at least a warning to stop and look and had he done so he would have seen the bus.”

Finding that the pedestrian “simply ran out into the road in front of the bus”, the claimant’s case was dismissed.