Ringe -v Eden Springs (UK) Ltd: QBD
The Claimant motorcyclist was travelling along Meridian Way, a single carriageway road where the northbound and southbound carriageways were separated by a hatched area. The speed limit was 40 mph. The weather was dry, sunny and clear with good visibility.
The Claimant pulled out into the hatched area to overtake a car and then a large articulated lorry, which he says was travelling at 25-35 mph.
He had overtaken the lorry and was intending to return to the carriageway when he suddenly saw the Defendant's vehicle positioned at an angle across the middle of the road. The Claimant estimated that he was travelling at a speed of 50mph and cannot recall whether he braked upon seeing the Defendant's van.
The Defendant's driver had emerged from a junction to the left and was attempting to turn right onto Meridian Way. The Defendant's driver was aware of the lorry approaching from the right, and considered that there was sufficient space in both directions to make the manoeuvre. He said that he first saw the Claimant as he entered the hatched area. The Defendant's driver also said that he attempted to get out of the way by accelerating. This was unsuccessful and the vehicles collided.
The Judge found that the Defendant's driver failed to take sufficient care to ensure the road to his right was clear before he turned onto Meridian Way. He should have waited until he had a clear view of the road to his right side before attempting the manoeuvre. The lorry obscured the presence of the motorcycle - the Defendant's driver should not have moved off until the lorry had passed.
A significant reduction for contributory negligence was made. The Judge found that the Claimant was in breach of sections 130 and 167 of the Highway Code. After consideration of eye witness evidence the Judge considered "the probability" was that the Claimant was travelling at a speed of 60-70mph when he saw the van. Taking into account that the Claimant was overtaking in a hatched area, located near a junction, and at a speed significantly in excess of the speed limit the percentage of contributory negligence was assessed at 80%.