Cyclists must give way to pedestrians

Published: Thursday, 20 June 2019

A JUDGE has ruled in favour of a pedestrian who though using her mobile was hit by a cyclist after stepping out into a road.

The result is that the cyclist, Robert Hazeldean, will have to pay Gemma Brushett damages even though he was passing through green traffic lights, Keith Gudgin reports.

Both knocked out

They were both knocked out in the collision which happened in July 2015 but the case has only just concluded in the courts.

There were witnesses for both sides with another cyclist stating that Roger Hazeldean was to blame after cycling in an aggressive way. Yet there were three other witnesses who told the court that Gemma Brushett was distracted and had been using her phone when she went into the road.

Judge Shanti Mauger found they were equally to blame, in his summing-up telling that Hazeldean was a ‘calm and reasonable road user’ but added that ‘cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways’. Damages for Gemma Brushett will be set at a later date.

Towpath cyclists

The finding by the judge has set a precendent, and his summing-up—given below—shows that cylists must give way to pedestrians, and those speedsters on our towpaths may now find themselves at the losing end of a court case in future.

Summing up the case Judge Shanti Mauger stated:

When I stand back and ask 'how did the accident happen?' it seems to me that Mr Hazeldean owed a duty to other road users to drive with reasonable care and skill. Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have right of way. Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear. 

Ms Brushett must clearly have equal responsibility if she is crossing the road without lookingand if she is looking at her phone, even more so. But cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.