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Steve Farrell  says:

Rider denied compensation for crash with lorry that crossed white line

A motorcyclist who collided with an oncoming lorry which had partly crossed over the central white line has been denied compensation.  To blame the lorry driver would impose too high a standard on him, according to the Court of Appeal ruling.  Motorcyclist Robert Whiteford, of Soham, Cambridgeshire, lost a leg in the crash in April 2009 near Ely. He won...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (16 May 2012 09:17)

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Sep 11

Posts: 402

jollyboy says:

Still not reading clearly are you? The court decided that the road was too narrow for it to be practicable for the lorry to stay his own side of the white line. To my mind the rider would have been well advised to pursue the local authority on this one, claiming that the road was clearly not safe for HGVs. As I've mentioned before we are currently after our own local authority on the grounds that the road though our village and for a mile or two on either side is so narrow that HGVs are forced to cross the line in several places. The main point however is one of law. The way the law stands if you are making a claim for compensation and admit even partial liability for the accident then you stand to lose part or all of that compensation. Now you can argue that the law is wrong, but that's the way it is and the judges have to rule on the law not on whether the law is just. As I have said I think that a fairer interpretation of the law would be that the rider should receive part of the compensation, but then I don't know all the details of the case. And neither do you.

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Aug 09

Posts: 2714

MarcusMarsh says:

Road Positioning

Bob.  You are right, they do take wide lines a lot of the time, mainly because they are positioning for better forward vision.  However, you forgot to mention that they are also taught never to sacrifice safety for positon.  Therefore you take the wide line when it is safe to do so.  Whether it was in this case or not we don't know because there is not enough information given for us to make that judgement.  


[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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May 12

Posts: 11

Ddod says:


Is it not rule 101 that you never admit any fault immediately after an accident.  Not to be dishonest,  but some tricky lawyer could use it unfairly against you.  Take fifth amendment.  (The biker said he was in t he wrong place). 

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Feb 11

Posts: 47

GrazzerFazer says:

Shocking Decision

I'm sorry at the end of the day the driver of the lorry should have the common sense to think "d'oh my lorry is too wide" 

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Feb 11

Posts: 87

draper12807 says:

It seems these days it's the bikers fault for not seeing when you are going to crash. Even if he admitted some responsibility its shouldn't change anything because the hgv was on the wrong side of the road. I presume it was on a corner and if it was a left hander even the police are taught to stick near the line to see better around the corner.

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Sep 11

Posts: 402

jollyboy says:


Where do you get the "fact" that the driver was reading a map or any of the other things you suggest?

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Aug 02

Posts: 129

stevecase says:

Theres not enough info here, but I guess this is on a country road in Cambridgeshire and the lorry is negociating a bend in the road.

If that is the case then if the bend was to the right (relative to the rider) why was he in the middle of the road and if the bend was to the left how did he not see a lorry before he ran into it?

This is worrying because if it happened to a car so be it, but we're supposed to have higher standards than car drivers!

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May 05

Posts: 3

mickyredmire says:


Link to defendant's lawyer's website Quote: "The Defendant’s left hand drive HGV was being driven with its offside wheels on and slightly over the centre white line, when there was contact between the HGV’s fuel tank and the Claimant motorcyclist’s right leg, causing an amputation." Highway Code 127 "127 A broken white line. This marks the centre of the road. When this line lengthens and the gaps shorten, it means that there is a hazard ahead. Do not cross it unless you can see the road is clear and wish to overtake or turn off." Anyone know exactly where this was?

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Sep 11

Posts: 305

There are some funny ideas on this thread

As some people have pointed out, the reason you go wide is to get a better view. If you are wide and have not left yourself enough margin in to take advantage of the further view down the road and quickly return toward the inside of the bend(by countersteering) you are not riding in a safe manner. Personally I ocasionally practise this manouever in the hope that it will be in the muscle memory when it's needed. I'm not being all high and mighty. I've ridden well outside the margin of safety. But always in the knowledge that there is always the possibilty of something crossing the line. In a world where humans are allowed to operate tonnes of machinery that must pass within centimeters of each other with a closing speed of up to 31 metres per second there has to be some acknowledgment of our responsibilty as road users to ride or drive with an expectation of human error.

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Oct 05

Posts: 133

romford4 says:


building supplies that were used to build your house, the furniture in your house, the car you drive and the food you eat was all delivered somewhere by LGVs and agricultural vehicles.  The width of LGVs is strictly governed and oversize loads have to be clearly marked and escorts and additional speed restrictions when very oversized.  The lorry was not 'too big' for our roads, our roads were not too small for the lorry... if you think that every LGV can transport goods to you in nice little lorries that never need to take up a bit more road space than your average car or bike, then you'd by and large be correct, but that would increase delivery costs and therefore the cost of goods to you - which you'll complain about.

Any decent driver, motorcyclist, or other road user knows that anything could lie around the next bend and should be driving accordingly.  There's not enough facts in this article to give any proper explanation of events, but the people going on about the LGV driver being culpable, the magistrate being a joke etc are living in fantasy world.  Any LGV driver would tell you that the police, the courts and the traffic commissioner are only too ready to have their licence off them for even minor infractions of the rules - ask an LGV driver what VOSA do if they run 10 minutes over their 4.5 hours driving time. 

Facts is that we don't know the facts as MCN as usual has published a pretty vague account of events, so people should stop judging the LGV driver, magistrate etc with their 'biker blinkers' on.  Believe it or not, not everyone's out to get us.

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