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SeanW

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 221

SeanW says:

Filtering - a legal opinion

The following opinion on filtering law has been supplied by Claims specialist Thomas Lawton.

 

Filtering - How it differs from an 'Overtake'.

Contrary to the belief of some motorists, filtering is entirely legal in the UK, providing that it is done safely. Once traffic speeds are high enough to suggest that the traffic is no longer queuing, your manoeuvre may then be regarded as a dangerous overtake.

Where is it illegal to filter?

As with any manoeuvre, you must not cause danger or force other vehicles to alter course or speed. Typically it’s not a matter of where, but when. There are a few situations where it would be illegal to filter. Two that spring to mind is passing queuing traffic in a no overtaking zone (e.g. solid white lines or after a no overtaking sign) or on the approach to a crossing, with zigzags.

If the road you are on is split by a solid white line, it's still legal providing you follow the rules set out above and you DO NOT CROSS THE SOLID WHITE LINE! If you can safely pass (filter) on your side of the road, this is fine.

Accident Liability

One of the problems the filtering motorcyclist faces in the event of an accident is the prejudice legal precedents that were established during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Unfortunately, when a judge appoints blame for a particular incident, it forms what is known as a legal precedent. Legal precedents are the foundation of both civil and criminal law and allow the law to evolve over time. Essentially, a legal precedent means a future judge is bound to find liability in the same way when presented with a similar case.

There are a number of examples of bad legal precedent, which almost always appoint the majority of blame on the motorcyclist. Essentially the courts appear to have ruled that motorcycling is a risky and dangerous business and the rider as the vulnerable road user is typically to blame when an accident occurs.

For example the case of Powell vs. Moody (1966) found the motorcyclist to be 80% to blame for an accident where a motorist collided with the filtering motorcycle. In similar circumstances the case of Clarke vs. Whinchurch (1969) found the motorcyclist 100% at fault. In the case of Leeson vs. Bevis Transport (1972) the motorcyclist was found equally responsible for an accident where a van driver emerged from a side road. Most recently in the case of Worsford v Howe (1980) the motorcyclist was found 50% at fault when a vehicle changed lanes at the last moment in order to turn right and collided with motorcyclist. Clearly these are all examples of bad legal precedent, which prejudices the court against the motorcyclists. However, these precedents are not always definitive today. Essentially the courts will look at the speed and position of both vehicles, whether the traffic was stationary or moving and how fast the emerging vehicle was travelling. Most importantly the courts will listen to the opinions of any witness when apportioning blame.

Continues below...

[This Topic has been modified by the Author]

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  • Posted 6 years ago (22 April 2009 17:01)

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SeanW

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 221

SeanW says:

...Continues from above...

Then came Davis v Schrogin. Mr Schrogin was stuck in a traffic jam in his car on a straight road. Mr Davis was riding a motorcycle along the same road in the same direction and was able to overtake the stationary queue as nothing was coming in the opposite direction. Mr Schrogin decided to leave the queue by executing a U-turn. Although Mr Davis' motorcycle was visible, Mr Schrogin did not see him until his car collided with the motorbike. Mr Schrogin accepted in evidence that he was looking the wrong way. Mr Davis first saw Mr Schrogin's car moving towards the kerb in preparation for the u-turn and was no more than five cars' length back from the point of impact.

The trial judge found Mr Schrogin negligent in making the u-turn without looking properly, and that Mr Davis was not to blame. Mr Schrogin argued that Mr Davis had accepted that he had paused to react and was contributory negligent. The Court of Appeal held that Mr Davis was so close to the point of impact that he could not have avoided the collision, so there was no basis for a finding of contributory negligence.

Farley v Buckley - The defendant motorist (Buckley), who drove out of a side road to turn right into a major road where a large vehicle was waiting to turn left and obstructed his view of oncoming traffic, did not have a duty of reasonable care to stop just beyond the offside of that vehicle before proceeding further. Accordingly, the defendant was not liable for injuries to the claimant who overtook the stationary vehicle and hit the motorist's car.

*Note - You will never win a filtering case if you filter past a large vehicle without stopping, then collide with a vehicle in front of the large vehicle. I.e. Bus, Lorry, Skip Wagon...even a pickup truck. If you cannot see in front of the vehicle you are passing, then you MUST NOT pass, until you know it is safe to do so.

In regard to the Davis v Schrogin case: The Appeal Court's unwillingness to challenge the decision of the judge's finding confirms each case will be decided upon its own facts.

...continued below....

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SeanW

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 221

SeanW says:

...continued from above....

Here is some information provided to assist anyone who currently has a claim underway, or for those who are unaware of the 'rules of filtering'.

Rules for motorcyclists:

Section 88 Manoeuvring

Quote:

............Additionally when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.



Road users requiring extra care

Section 211 Motorcyclists and cyclists:

Quote:

It is often difficult to see motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when they are coming up from behind, coming out of junctions, overtaking you or filtering through traffic Always look out for them............

 

So the new Highway Code does recognise filtering and presumably failure to comply with Section 211 by a driver that takes out a biker could influence a claim.

 

Keep it rubber side down guys,

 

Tom

Link to Motorcyclists Highway Code http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAn...ists/index.htm

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BBCTom

Joined:

Apr 09

Posts: 73

BBCTom says:

Thank you for posting this for me Sean


All info above provided by British Bike Claims - Click the link if you have any questions or require free advice :sunglasses:

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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BBCTom

Joined:

Apr 09

Posts: 73

BBCTom says:

Bump

Bump for people who haven't seen this.

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Fazerpod

Joined:

Mar 06

Posts: 262

Fazerpod says:

Useful post

This should be mandatory reading for everyone on this site.  I've learned something today

:roll eyes:

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ACIC

Joined:

Apr 06

Posts: 366

ACIC says:

Filtering Accidents

Although there is of course case law surrounding these accidents it is very rare that any 2 accidents have identical circumstances and as such each case will turn on it's own specific facts. We deal with dozens of these cases every year and so have bulit up our own "precedents" to use when defendant insurers try it on. The bottom line is seek expert legal advice!

Kind regards, Andrew Campbell, Solicitor, MCN Legal Expert and MCN Law columnist.

www.bikelawyer.co.uk andrew@bikelawyer.co.uk

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JohnBiker4

Joined:

Oct 08

Posts: 14

JohnBiker4 says:

Filtering

I am not so sure that you cannot cross a solid white line. This has caused a great deal of argument, can you...can't you!!

Crossing a solid white line

 

165
You MUST NOT overtake

if you would have to cross or straddle double white lines with a solid line nearest to you (but see Rule 129)
if you would have to enter an area designed to divide traffic, if it is surrounded by a solid white line
the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross
if you would have to enter a lane reserved for buses, trams or cycles during its hours of operation
after a ‘No Overtaking’ sign and until you pass a sign cancelling the restriction
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36, TSRGD regs 10, 22, 23 & 24, ZPPPCRGD reg 24]

129
Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.


[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 26]


So IF the traffic is stationary then it would seem that you may cross the solid white line, however once the taffic starts to move, no matter how slowly , you will be committing an offence...... unless of course the now moving traffic is is a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle AND they are travelling at less than 10mph. However, beware as if you do have a collision whilst filtering and crossing a solid white line, the court may have little sympathy if you wish to bring a claim to recover compensation. The other problem is that there is also some confusion even with police officers, so you may be stopped anyway.

 

You may also wish to Google the following case to bring you up to speed on current case law:-

Jessop (by his mother and litigation friend Veronica Rundle) v Nixon
[2010] EWHC 3211 (Civ) QBD (The Hon. Mrs Justice Smith) 14/12/10

However, I am pleased to say that every case is determined on its own merits

 

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JohnBiker4

Joined:

Oct 08

Posts: 14

JohnBiker4 says:

Crossing a Solid White Line

Following on from my post yesterday, I have looked at a number of forum sites, including one with police officer comments. There does appear to be quite a lot of grey here. I think the interpretation of Rule 129 of the Highway Code is important and that says that you can cross the line to overtake stationary traffic "If neccessary". Would it be construed as neccessary to make progress? or would a police officer consider that the white line has been put there for the safety of road users and to cross it without good reason is committing an offence. even if done with relative safety? I appreciate that there are roads where only an idiot would cross the white line (blind bends etc) but there are other roads where there are no junctions and line of sight is quite good. I accept that if the traffic is moving, however slowly, crossing the white line is a no - no. If any traffic officers have any views, I would be interested to put this old chestnut to bed once and for all.

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philehidiot

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 4655

philehidiot says:

I think this

deserves a BUMP! A good, hard BUMPING.


Bump.

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ajmcguk

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 44

ajmcguk says:

Interesting...

I'm looking to do my CBT in a couple of weeks time, and have found myself here from a different post.


Lots of really useful information here, and I think it should be mandatory reading for all motorcyclists.

Before I take to the road on a bike I have one question to add to these points, based on observations...

When you're on a dual carriageway or motorway, is it acceptable to filter between lanes? i.e. 3 lanes all with stationary traffic (for arguments sake, as above) and a motorcyclist filters between lanes 2 and 3 (not on outside of lane 3).

Thoughts appreciated.

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