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COllided with a scooter whilst starting u-turn
Nickle
post Thu, 9 May 2019 - 17:17
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Hi, I don't know if I should be posting any exact details on here, because I just got a letter from the police to describe what happened and saying alleged offence - driving without due care and attention, so I guess that means this is now an investigation?

I went to make a U-turn. Single carriageway on our side, dual on the other side. Just after some pedestrian lights. I was doing around 15-20mph.
I checked my mirrors, looked right, traffic was way back, nothing coming the other way, so I indicated right, slowed the car and started turning. Immediately a scooter scrapped down the side of my door.
He's fine, he didn't fall off or anything, that's really all I was concerned with at the time, because I felt really awful and totally shocked that he was even there and how could I not have seen him, given that it was at night.
We took photos, exchanged details and he called the police, he wanted an ambulance and insisted not to move the vehicles until they arrived. When the police said they were not coming, we moved out of the way, exchanged details, and both went on our way.

I'm just a bit concerned now with being alleged to cause this offence, I've never experienced anything like this before. If I was just being wreckless or careless then ok, I'l accept it, but I checked as I always have if I'm making any kind of turn. I honestly can't answer why I didn't see him and I do feel sincerely sorry about that, but it was not because I didn't look. But also, how did he end up there? We were only about 4 car lengths past an island in the road.
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post Thu, 9 May 2019 - 17:17
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Earl Purple
post Mon, 13 May 2019 - 09:32
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A dual carriageway is a road layout that has a barrier between the oncoming lanes.

What I think you mean is that there were 2 lanes oncoming, and one in the direction in which you were travelling.

My guess is that the scooter was close behind you, and I have no idea how long before your manoevure you actually indicated, and whether you left room for the scooter to pass the other side, but they would have been also to blame if they passed on the right when you were clearly indicating right.

The case where dashcam / headcam footage would be useful to see.
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Nickle
post Mon, 13 May 2019 - 09:43
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QUOTE (Earl Purple @ Mon, 13 May 2019 - 10:32) *
A dual carriageway is a road layout that has a barrier between the oncoming lanes.

What I think you mean is that there were 2 lanes oncoming, and one in the direction in which you were travelling.

My guess is that the scooter was close behind you, and I have no idea how long before your manoevure you actually indicated, and whether you left room for the scooter to pass the other side, but they would have been also to blame if they passed on the right when you were clearly indicating right.

The case where dashcam / headcam footage would be useful to see.

Sorry, yes 1 lane on our side, 2 lanes on the other side. No Barrier.
You can see from the google street view a few posts ago. Although this view is facing the other way, but it shows the exact spot where we were.

There was no room to pass on the other side, because there were cars parked there.
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666
post Mon, 13 May 2019 - 10:15
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QUOTE (Nickle @ Mon, 13 May 2019 - 10:18) *
There was a dual carriagway on the other side, so that was more than enough space for me to complete the turn. It was a glancing contact, as it happened literally the moment I steered right.


There wasn't a dual carriageway. See post #15 above.
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TonyS
post Mon, 13 May 2019 - 10:42
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QUOTE (Nickle @ Mon, 13 May 2019 - 10:18) *
It was 4 years old. The keys are in the ignition in my photos, lights are off, but again this is maybe just me trying to find an answer, rather than any proof that he was driving with his lights off.

Why so much concern about the scooter's lights, unless it was dark and that hasn't been mentioned before.
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Earl Purple
post Mon, 13 May 2019 - 15:08
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Having looked now where the location is (Adelaide Road, Swiss Cottage), which is close to many junctions, the motorcyclist would have assumed you were planning to turn right at the next junction and they were nowhere near the junction. They would not have assumed you would be doing a U-turn there.

For example, if you were heading West, you were probably planning to go round the gyratory towards the A41 Finchley Road northbound, and if you were heading East, you were probably planning to turn right into King Henry's Road.

As you said, you indicated right and slowed down, and there was no room to pass on the left because of a parked vehicle. The motorcyclist assumed you were planning to go right at the next junction and overtook you on the right feeling they had plenty of time, but you were doing a U-turn and drove across him.




This post has been edited by Earl Purple: Mon, 13 May 2019 - 15:10
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Nickle
post Tue, 14 May 2019 - 06:42
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Ok, well I filled in the forms. All I can do now is wait and see what happens.

Thanks everybody.
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Nickle
post Fri, 24 May 2019 - 13:10
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I filled in the forms and sent off to the police.

I didn't quite realise the seriousness of the police prosecuting me for driving without due care and attention, this is not just going to be an insurance claim.
I can get anything from 3 points to a ban and £2500 fine!
He was doing food deliveries on a company bike, they have a law firm dealing with it for him. They've claimed for rental of a bike, while his one has repairs, not sure what damage was done to the bike, but the photos show nothing and he rode off on it, but I suppose its normal if the other side is deemed at fault, its like an open goal to claim whatever you can. But what concerns me most is, he's claiming that I knocked him off the bike, that's not true at all! Also, his mate turned up on another scooter a little while later to help him take my details because his English wasn't so good. He is now listed as a witness to the accident. There's no statement from him in their paperwork as to what he saw, but he definitely wasn't there at the time.
My other half was in my car, but I don't know if they'll take her word for anything, since she stayed in the car the whole time.
I feel I'm about to get pretty well screwed for this now.

This post has been edited by Nickle: Fri, 24 May 2019 - 13:11
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Mr Rusty
post Sun, 26 May 2019 - 08:53
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So you slowed down, checked mirrors indicated R and turned across the central area. The scooter decided to ignore your indicator and overtake. The fact that you were doing a U turn in an unexpected place personally I don't think should enter the equation unless it was an illegal manoeuvre. You could have been turning across the lanes to enter a private drive opposite - again maybe unexpected, but it happens.

I was run into the back of when the car in front of me anchored up to enter a farm gateway. I stopped, the range rover behind didn't. He obviously wasn't concentrating assuming a straight open road meant traffic wouldn't just stop. Should the blame be with the party making an unexpected but legal manoeuvre, or with the party who comes unstuck because the other party didn't do what they assumed they were going to do?
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thisisntme
post Sun, 26 May 2019 - 09:40
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QUOTE (Mr Rusty @ Sun, 26 May 2019 - 08:53) *
I was run into the back of when the car in front of me anchored up to enter a farm gateway. I stopped, the range rover behind didn't. He obviously wasn't concentrating assuming a straight open road meant traffic wouldn't just stop. Should the blame be with the party making an unexpected but legal manoeuvre, or with the party who comes unstuck because the other party didn't do what they assumed they were going to do?


A careful and competent driver would leave an appropriate distance in front of them so that they could stop in a ways that does not cause a collision.


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Nickle
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 10:27
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QUOTE (TonyS @ Mon, 13 May 2019 - 11:42) *
Why so much concern about the scooter's lights, unless it was dark and that hasn't been mentioned before.

Yes, it was late at night, I did mention that before.

I'm gonna dispute this as much as I can, they're trying to throw the book at me now, so I got nothing to lose, unless I end up liable for their legal costs.
It grates enormously on me that I didn't see the bike, but its also true that he must have been either too close and/or speeding to have been there at all. We were only about 4 car lengths past a pedesrian island, which we could only have passed in single file. This is the bit that baffles me most, because I saw the traffic coming around the corner in my mirror, there should have been a headlight directly behind me at that point, how the hell could I not have seen it?
I know that doesn't change the fact that I didn't see him, but I can't be the only one in the wrong here. Even if I came to a dead stop, surely he should have been able to avoid hitting the back of me, let alone end up alongside my door on a 20mph road?
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andy_foster
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 10:54
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You are responsible for what you did or did not do - to the standards of a careful and competent driver. What the other driver did or did not do is a largely separate matter, other than regarding any presumptions as to the causes of the accident.

From what you have said, the scooter rider was also driving carelessly, but that is not a defence.

It might well be the case that you did everything that you reasonably could and yet still somehow failed to see the scooter. However, the problem is that without having seen the scooter, you cannot know why you did not see the scooter, so it would be exceedingly difficult to prove that you were not at fault. Maybe if you can show that the scooter rider must have been driving erratically, you can cast reasonable doubt on any assumption that you didn't see him because you didn't look properly.

The court may be able to take judicial notice that fast-food delivery scooters are generally ridden erratically, and by unqualified young drivers.


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Nickle
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 11:08
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Thanks, sorry, yes I'm not trying to suggest I'm not at fault.

When I explained what happened to my insurance company, they told me that I am gonna be liable, so they're already sure to get whatever they want to claim.
I just don't get why they wanna have me prosecuted by the police aswell, unless its something they want to do in order to ensure their claim, or claim more, or make some kind of personal claim against me aswell? Not that they'll get much, the fact I'm driving a little old car should tell them that already!

So this will go to court? I don't have legal cover, so I'd have to represent myself against their lawyers?
This is the thing that worries me most. I'm struggling a fair bit as it is right now, so if I end up with a big fine and legal costs, it's gonna sink me.

This post has been edited by Nickle: Mon, 27 May 2019 - 11:15
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andy_foster
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 11:25
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The decision as to whether or not to prosecute is taken by the police. This is often influenced by the 'victim's' wishes.

If you are convicted, that can be used in any civil claim - so it is common to push for a prosecution to make the claim easier.
Any civil claim would be nominally against you, but would be dealt with and settled by your insurers.


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southpaw82
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 11:31
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QUOTE (Nickle @ Mon, 27 May 2019 - 12:08) *
I just don't get why they wanna have me prosecuted by the police aswell,


That isn’t up to “them”, it’s a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

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or make some kind of personal claim against me aswell?


Any claim will be against you personally but your insurance company will pay it - that is what insurance is.

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Not that they'll get much, the fact I'm driving a little old car should tell them that already!


You’re insured, so your personal finances are irrelevant.

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So this will go to court?


Will what go to court? The criminal allegation of careless driving or the civil claim?

QUOTE
I don't have legal cover, so I'd have to represent myself against their lawyers?


Whose lawyers? In a criminal matter, you’d be facing a lawyer from the CPS. Unless you’re pleading not guilty there’s very little adversarial conduct between you - they will simply state the facts, you’ll present mitigation and be sentenced. In a civil matter it sounds like your insurance company will settle, so you won’t ever go to court.


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Nickle
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 12:08
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Ok, thanks for helping me understand.
So, even though it's no defence for my part, I do at least need to put it to them that he must have been too close or speeding, he would have stopped otherwise. I mean, if they're prosecuting me for driving without due care and attention, then maybe it might mitigate whatever punishment I might get, if they're satisfied that he must have been too close, speeding, or on a part of road that he shouldn't have been, for him to have been unable to avoid me?

The thing is, his mate who turned up later is now claiming to have witnessed it (assuming its the same guy named by their lawyers), so no idea what he is going to say.
There were 2 busses that had to go onto the other side of the road to pass us, maybe their cameras might show he wasn't there?

Southpaw, thanks so much for answering all those questions for me.

Yes, I meant going to court for the careless driving. So I guess these lawyers are just the lawyers dealing with his insurance claim then.
I didn't know if it would also be them going to court to prosecute for careless driving.
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 27 May 2019 - 12:31) *
Unless you’re pleading not guilty there’s very little adversarial conduct between you - they will simply state the facts

In his statement on the documents I got from the law firm, he says that he was knocked off the bike. He wasn't.

In all honesty, whatever happens I'm still grateful that we're only disputing material things now.

This post has been edited by Nickle: Mon, 27 May 2019 - 13:44
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southpaw82
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 14:58
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You need to get it straight in your head that there are two separate issues and two separate cases here. One is any civil claim against you, the second is a criminal prosecution of you by the state. “His” lawyers have nothing to do with any criminal prosecution.

The friend who is listed as a witness - do you know what he’s actually saying? It would be one thing for him to say that he turned up after the fact and you were there etc. It would be completely another to fabricate a story that he saw the collision. However, in the former case he is still a witness.


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Nickle
post Mon, 27 May 2019 - 15:46
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Thanks, yes I understand that they are separate.
I just didn't understand what would happen in the case of careless driving prosecution, in terms of how that works, if I would have to go to court, what to expect etc.

There is no statement from his friend at all in their document. Just says he was a witness.
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The Rookie
post Tue, 28 May 2019 - 09:46
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If driving without due care and attention is progressed by the Police they will do one of
1/ Offer you an awareness course
2/ Offer you a fixed penalty
3/ take it to court

If it is taken to court then you will get a ‘summons’ (Single Justice Procedure Notice) which you can respond to in writing without you having personally to court if you plead guilty if the justice decides to sentence you, they may transfer it to a full magistrates court for sentencing though that would be unlikely.


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Nickle
post Tue, 28 May 2019 - 10:21
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Ok thanks, so I guess my best option is just to plead guilty in writing and hope for the best (or the least worst).

I have to say, I feel a bit mugged. There's no way he could have been passing me there without driving too fast and/or too close. I know that doesn't excuse my part, but I'll be getting punished by the law and through my insurance. He'll be getting a cheque.
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thisisntme
post Tue, 28 May 2019 - 11:15
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QUOTE (Nickle @ Tue, 28 May 2019 - 10:21) *
Ok thanks, so I guess my best option is just to plead guilty in writing and hope for the best (or the least worst).

I have to say, I feel a bit mugged. There's no way he could have been passing me there without driving too fast and/or too close. I know that doesn't excuse my part, but I'll be getting punished by the law and through my insurance. He'll be getting a cheque.


Him getting done would not necessarily exonerate you.


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