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TheFonz12
Dear all,
my son was involved in a motorcycle accident in London at a junction.
He was driving in Wormwood Street going towards London Wall. A taxi was stationary in London wall junction turning to his right into Old Broad Street.
While my son was approaching the junction, the traffic light turned into amber and it was too late for him to stop and he decided to cross the junction (not with the red, but with the amber).
The taxi driver decided to start going without waiting for the junction to be clear and he collided against my son.

Obviously he told the police that my son crossed with the red.

My son received a letter from the police for the following offence:

Driving without due care and attention, contrary to Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

After leaving London Bridge, he entered into King William Street going towards Monument, he entered into Gracechurch Street and turning left into Wormwood street.

After talking to the police person investigating the case, I was informed that there are witnesses declaring that they heard the engine revving, and so they supposed that my son instead of slowing down, he was actually accelerating.

He told me that he changed gear to actually slow down and this is why the engine noise increased...

Anyway, my questions to the forum are:

1) is the taxi driver allowed to start going even when there are vehicles still crossing or was he supposed to wait until the junction was clear?
2) Crossing the junction with amber. I know this is open to interpretation, but the witnesses declared that he crossed with the amber but he accelerated instead of slowing down.
In I understand the law correctly, someone is allowed to cross the junction with amber if stopping is not possible . Am I right or wrong?
3) In the letter received from the Police, he has to decide to either go to court to contest this or to take a workshop to avoid the penalty points on the driver license (but this will be seen as an admission of responsibility for the accident).
There is no mention of how much time he as to decided. Does anyone know?

Thank you
Earl Purple
Course may be the best option, but when you say it is admission of responsibility I'm not sure if you are referring to insurance claims here.

Should probably invest in a helmet-cam but can be used against him too. However it would help him if a driver cuts across.

What colour the traffic light was is irrelevant to the fact the taxi driver needs to ensure oncoming traffic is stopping. In the same way you can't just go because your traffic light is green. It also has to be clear. But if he accelerated that would explain the misjudgement by the taxi driver.
Jlc
If he's been offered a 'workshop' then it's generally advised to accept it - it's a guaranteed outcome with no points or prosecution.

In terms of a traffic light, amber means stop. Generally, accelerating is not a good position to be in. However, if amber is illuminated and the vehicle is so close to the stop line and they cannot stop safely before red is illuminated then you can continue as if it was green. This can be quite subjective of course.

Likewise, the Taxi should wait until green is illuminated before progressing - amber gambling from a different perspective perhaps? But, yes, the driver must still take care when pulling away. But in terms of DWDCA, one or both drivers may have fell below the standard of driving expected of a safe and competent driver... (Even if only one is being pursued)
666
I confess I know little about motorbikes. Are bikers really taught to use gears to slow down? Car drivers haven't been for about 40 years.
Earl Purple
It sounded to me that the taxi was in the oncoming lane and waiting to turn right and cut across the path of the motorcyclist who proceeded ahead.

The traffic light in your direction is not necessarily synchronised the same as the one for oncoming traffic. Even if you have a green right filter, which usually means the oncoming traffic has a red light, you still have to wait until the road is clear.

Logician
If he has been offered a course, it would be advisable for him to accept it, whether or not he feels he was in the right, particularly as there are two witnesses who might appear against him if he goes to court.

Our experience here is that parents posting on behalf of their children have often been given a sanitised account of the incident.
KH_
Who hit who? did the taxi hit the bike or the bike go into the side of the taxi?
'Collided against my son' doesn't make it clear.

It doesn't necessarily absolve the son of any blame, but should he decline the course it may provide other options if the taxi drove into the bike.
The Rookie
It’s pretty much impossible for a car pulling away on a green light to hit someone who crossed on amber at speed (close to the limit), if he crossed right at the end of amber then unless it was a 60 limit he did have time to stop safely anyway.

We’ve seen a number of camera cases where people swore blind they crossed on amber only for photos to prove them mistaken.

On balance I think it’s far more likely your son made an error of judgement amounting to driving without due care and attention than that he did not. Hopefully he can learn from that.
Ocelot
Another vote for the workshop, especially as he apparently went through on amber and has no footage to prove it happened as he described.
TheFonz12
A quick update after talking to the police person investigating the case.

There are witnesses saying that my son crossed the intersection indeed with the amber light.
What they also said to the police attending the incident, was that they heard the engine revving. The police assumed he was accelerating, but my son told me he went down a gear and this is why the engine made that noise.

The reality is that he didn't do anything wrong, he tried to cross the junction with the amber light, he wasn't able to stop in time because he was almost on the line, and the taxi driver decided to move all of the sudden.

I went to see the junction and the amber light stays on for almost 4 seconds, giving enough time for anyone to safely cross the junction.
The taxi driver invaded my son's lane while turning.

He didn't cross at the end of the amber light but at the beginning.

To me the picture it is pretty clear, but again I'm not a lawyer.

The motorcycle didn't hit the side of the taxi but the front.

He is so sure about the whole thing that he is prepared to go to court di defend himself.
Jlc
There’s always an element of risk going to trial but the prosecution would have to show his driving fell below the standard expected of a safe and competent driver.

Is the taxi driver facing any charges? I presume his statement is quite different...

Just to note that prosecution costs would apply should he be found guilty. (c£600)

Good luck.
Logician
QUOTE
There are witnesses saying that my son crossed the intersection indeed with the amber light.


Despite hearing from these witnesses, the police decided to charge him with careless driving.

QUOTE
What they also said to the police attending the incident, was that they heard the engine revving. The police assumed he was accelerating, but my son told me he went down a gear and this is why the engine made that noise.

QUOTE
He told me that he changed gear to actually slow down and this is why the engine noise increased...

QUOTE
The reality is that he didn't do anything wrong, he tried to cross the junction with the amber light, he wasn't able to stop in time because he was almost on the line


If he was already almost on the line and decided he could not stop in time, why was he changing gear to slow down? Going slowly across the junction was more likely to bring him into conflict with crossing traffic.

Presumably the police interviewed your son as well as the taxi driver and the independent witnesses, so they heard from all sides and still decided to charge him with careless driving. It is a quite optimistic to consider that a court will hear the same evidence and come to a different conclusion. At best it is a risk, and he may end up with points on his licence, a fine and future increased insurance. If he takes the course, he is not admitting anything and is guaranteed to avoid getting points. However much he may feel he was in the right, and wish to vindicate himself, going to court is just not sensible.
Churchmouse
QUOTE (TheFonz12 @ Tue, 12 Mar 2019 - 22:47) *
A quick update after talking to the police person investigating the case.

There are witnesses saying that my son crossed the intersection indeed with the amber light.
What they also said to the police attending the incident, was that they heard the engine revving. The police assumed he was accelerating, but my son told me he went down a gear and this is why the engine made that noise.

So long as he wasn't speeding it shouldn't matter if his engine was ticking over or was bouncing off the limiter, but that witness evidence will basically damn him to most non-riders--which may very well include the relevant Magistrates--so I would not suggest him chancing court in this instance. I hope your son has fully recovered, by the way.

--Churchmouse
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