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wandadog
Hello All I have just found you on google search and I hope that you may be of some assistance to me. I was involved in an incident with a pedestrian back in february and I have now received my summons to appear in court for driving without due care and attention. All along I have pleaded my innocence, but I keep being informed by my insurance company and the police that because I was turning right into a road and that the pedestrian was apparently already in the road it must be my fault.

I want to plead not guilty just so I at least get heard, but I am worried that as I have already been advised that potentially I will only receive 3-4 points I am better off pleading guilty. Will the court be harder on me because I just want to explain that it was an unforeseen incident that was not my fault.

The details are as follows.

I was appoaching a turning where I was indicting to turn right, this road is a single track one way road,I stopped to allow vehicles coming from my left, the crossing is a little like a crossroads and the car coming from my left turned left, I checked the road for cars and pedestrians, knowing the road, this is a road where plenty of cars park illegally and block the road, so I always check to my right when entering this road, from the position of my car I could clearly see ahead of me to my left and a proportion of my right due to a brick pillar obscuring view. As I turned into the road, pedestrian became visible to me and I did not have enough time to stop and unfortunately hit her at approx 5mph but causing a broken femur, as the lady was elderly she had some 3 week stay in hospital. My car was not damaged at all and the police were on scene within 2 mins all be it community officers, due to the accident I blocked the road and stopped an ambulance getting to another incident, so therefore all necessary personnel were on scene within 5 mins. The police officer was very supportive to me and informed me that I would probably get some points on my license. My main concern throughout was that of the pedestrian and did not think about how or why it happened, but the statement was taken on scene. I did not think about getting witness statements and since the accident, most people who have told me that they were a witness were not spoken to by police and they are friends and associates of mine, so do not feel that I can use them. One of the police officers on site was apparently able to check my car and authorise it as safe, which he did, all road markings and measurements were taken, and due to being very shaken, the police officer drove me home in my car. After a couple of hours calming down and reflecting, I realised it would have been impossible for me not to have seen her, going over the situation as you do I realised that she had not crossed straight across the road in my vision but approached from an alley further down, therefore where she had crossed diagonally not only was she walking towards me but stayed hidden behind the pillar for a longer length of time. She would not have been able to see me either. My insurance company is paying out even though they have said they can see it was not my fault, but because I was turning right and she was already in the road it is cheaper for them to pay out now rather than go through litigation.
I will attach a small pictorial explaination of the incident to try and explain it a little better once I work out how too?
I am sorry this is so long winded but it is the only way I can explain it.
Thank you in advance for any help.
The Rookie
The highway code is clear that you have to give way to pedestrians crossing at a junction where it is effectively across (closely parallel to) the stop/give way line, http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTrans...ycode/DG_070108 is helpful, look at rules 7a but also 8 and follow the link to 170.

If it shows the Pedestrian was not following the highway code AND a reasonable and careful driver could not have avoided the accident, then you should be found not guilty AIUI.

Simon



The highway code is clear that you have to give way to pedestrians crossing at a junction where it is effectively across (closely parallel to) the stop/give way line, http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTrans...ycode/DG_070108 is helpful, look at rules 7a but also 8 and follow the link to 170.

If it shows the Pedestrian was not following the highway code AND a reasonable and careful driver could not have avoided the accident, then you should be found not guilty AIUI.

As for picures read the Faq, but you have to use an external host.

Simon

wandadog


I am hoping this will work, Thank you Simon for your reply It was that I was working from. Picture hopefully will show.

Key to the picture is

à shows probable point of direct from pedestrian crossing point.

X is approximate point of impact.

box is the position of my vehicle from stationary into turning into road.

circle is the position of brick pillar obscuring view for myself and pedestrian also the point of destination as stated by pedestrian at the scene to myself and police officers at scene.

Once again thank for your assistance
TheGeek
QUOTE (wandadog @ Mon, 29 Jun 2009 - 17:56) *
circle is the position of brick pillar obscuring view for myself and pedestrian

Hmm. Presumably the brick pillar is visible, though? And clearly obscuring some of the street behind it?
jobo
QUOTE (TheGeek @ Mon, 29 Jun 2009 - 18:36) *
QUOTE (wandadog @ Mon, 29 Jun 2009 - 17:56) *
circle is the position of brick pillar obscuring view for myself and pedestrian

Hmm. Presumably the brick pillar is visible, though? And clearly obscuring some of the street behind it?



is that in the higway code ? stop if you cant see the street behind fixed objects

going to make bends a bit tricky
wandadog
Yes the pillar is visible and I did stop it was the fact that how she was crossing kept her in my blind spot for a longer length of time.
ict_guy
I think you'll be hard pushed to defend this, irrespective of how the pedestrian crossed the road (I wish we had a J-walking law in this country!!). The fact is, they have the right of way.
ford poplar
Picture comoing through as a muddled composite for me
Did you use tinypics?
wandadog
Sorry not a brillant picture I know it is a picture of google earth as I do not have a scanner, yes I did use Tinypic.

Thank you everyone for your feedback, I know deep down I am going to have to plead guilty as I do not have the money to fight this, but I am getting sick and tired of everyway you turn choices are taken away due to red tape and motorists always having to be in the wrong, I quite agree with you with regards to J-walking laws, I drive mostly in London, most of the traffic is giving way to people not going to crossings but getting off buses and just crossing through traffic. Most annoying thing I have never hit anyone in london, when I do hit someone it is on my own home ground.

Once again thanks again. Wonderful forum
2020Hindsight
You could possibly fight it successfully if you were to provide a persuasive argument and example that you were not careless in not spotting the pedestrian, but that it is possible to turn at a slow speed at that junction, whilst looking carefully and not see a pedestrian crossing at the angle she was.
I'd suggest you'd want a video from behind the driver's head showing what you see as you turn, ideally with a volunteer walking along the blind spot and then appearing. Depends how much effort you wish to put in to defend the case really.
A video showing it is possible for you to miss her would do it - they are just relying on the fact you had a collision as their evidence of guily
ford poplar
You say you had friends who were witnesses and their evidence not taken?
May be they are not unconnected, but I would get them to write down what they witnessed, just in case.
bluegolfboy
What kind of car do you drive?

I have a MASSIVE blindspot in the other halfs Beetle which could easily result in a collision of this nature.

This is a very complex case and your insurance company should be backing you not deserting you. What do YOU pay premiums for???

I would say 'careless driving' is a little steep from the situation you have described. Driving without Due Car and Attention at the most and even then I would be highly questioning of the circumstances.

Highway code is NOT LAW so do not count on it in a courtroom...

Accidents happen and the driver SHOULD NOT always be automatically held liable. Unfortunately the Police just want to cash in.

How is the old lady? How old is she approx?
wandadog
Thank you all for your replies and feedback, my car is a fiesta, but believe it or not i have better visibility around the pillar in my other half's peugot estate, you need to sit further back, have found out alot about that corner. the lady I have been asked not to contact, as far as I was last told she was up and walking with a stick. She is 75 not elderly in my book but all of the court paperwork has elderly on in.

I work with older people, my mother in law is 75 and still working in a residential home, it is difficult to structure age against whether they are elderly or older person.
jobo
how old they are should be irelivant >

you either drove caelessly or you didnt, you either should have seen her or not

wandadog
Thank you for that, it is what I have been working on. But nobody seems to be able to get passed her age.

Especially the police.
bluegolfboy
I only asked as people sometimes refer to 40 as old these days. The age thing was more for possible long lasting damage and slow healing of the broken femur (thigh bone).

Do you have a lawyer? Do you have legal cover with your car insurance?

Police/Prosecution will be playing the sympathy card to the judge to get a conviction so you're gonna have a hard time overcoming it.

"Can't have young people hurting old people whilst driving carelessly, you know." is what you'll be up against.

Did you get anything with the summons (witness statements/Police statements)?

If you do not believe you are guilty then you will need to plead such and then back it up with a complete factual statement of circumstances and reasons. The judge will ultimately decide. Your insurance company should not be doing anything until the outcome of this case is arrived at and they should be providing legal assistance to ensure the verdict goes in both your and their favour.
jobo
there is a presumption of guilt following an accident, ie its up to you to provided a reasonable expliation of events that show you wernt at fault

and the default position from the police is to charge and let the court sort it out

they are banging on about age coz ts emotive and makes you look bad, just be glad it wasnt a5 yo coz they would do it ven more

have you any legal insurance, perhaps on your house policy

coz i think a good solicitor is in order


wandadog
Thanks for your reply bluegolfboy. My insurance company is just wanting to pay out and get it over with quickly and as cheaply as possible. They have stated no matter what I do in court it will not affect the private case.

All I got was a very brief statement that I have noted has missed out many of the facts, so I take it is only a brief statement not full, I wish 40 was old then maybe I could say I was old as well.

I can get cover for legal on my household insurance, but all solicitors I have spoken to have said the same, even though they are happy to represent me. I am thinking for ease, may not be right to plead guilty in court not on the letter and prepare a statement showing mitigating circumstances of the pedestrians path and just take the points, I do have a clean driving licence.

Thank you for your reply Jobo, it is nice just having people to mull it over with before I put my Plead in.
jobo
what are all the solicitors saying ? youve no chance ?

it rather depends what your telling them, plus some ( most ? )solititors are crap )

the payout on the insurance is nothing to do with this

if you old women leaping from behind pillar, and some of them are pretty quick on their feet, hold water you wont IMHO have been caeless

ask for recs for solicitors in your area

if you do go guilty ID go and read your statement, a few tears of regret are good too
bluegolfboy
How is 'Guilty' arrived at though. Is it simply as an insurance company is saying so, or the Police???

If the OP thought 'Guilty' was correct then why come on here?

I believe that 'Not Guilty' is what they are looking for but they have been over come by all the cash hungry idiots saying, in their opinion, they are guilty.

Only a court can decide for definite. I believe that you need assistance piecing together a case. You've already covered the basis of your argument and I don't believe that you intentionally hit the 'older' lady but you will need to ask yourself if 'a competent and careful driver' would have. If the answer is NO then you will need to back this with factual statements to that effect. I am more than willing to help but I don't read 'laws' as they don't exist and I have better things to do with my time. You were either right that day or wrong, you didn't know about the pedestrian due to either a mistake on their part or your own. Could the mistake have been avoided? That's what you need to show, if it couldn't have been avoided then you are not guilty.
The Rookie
The insurance aren't thinking 'guilty, with respect to teh private case, it will probably cost more to defend that to pay out, so they will pay regardless of who they think is to blame.

In this case wanddog need to prove that his driving didn't not fall below the level expected of a careful (ie not careless) driver, what I can't make out is where the Ped was believd to have started crossing from, vehicular blindspots won't help, a creaful driver 'would' allow for them, but 'artificail' blindspots due to poor road layout may be a defence, except if the blindspot is obvious a driver 'would' be expected to drive even slower, though as we all know, the effective minimum speed is about 4-5mph (clutch up at idle speed in first gear).

Simon
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