This flashing green car accident( Lutley v. Southern, 2011 BCSC 117) concerns a car accident that occurred at the intersection of Oak Street and West 67th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia. This trial was only to decide the issue of fault.
The injury claimant was driving her car south on Oak Street and the other driver was westbound on West 67th Avenue, approaching the intersection with Oak Street, planning to turn left .
Judge Rice accepted the claimant’s evidence that the other vehicles slowing down and stopping was something that the claimant said she saw after the light turned flashing green and found that the other driver began to accelerate through the intersection.
According to the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, s. 131(5), a driver approaching a green flashing light at an intersection is obliged to slow down sufficiently to be able to stop before the intersection and avoid an accident. Judge Rice therefore found that the claimant was negligent and in breach of her statutory duties by failing to slow down sufficiently to be able to stop at the intersection. “She could see that her vision of the intersection was obstructed and would continue to be obstructed practically until she had reached the intersection itself. She should have applied her brakes as soon as the obstruction appeared and come to practically a stop at or near the intersection.”
On the other hand the Motor Vehicle Act, ss. 125, 186 also says that a driver approaching a stop sign must come to a full stop. There is also a general duty to drive safely, maintain a proper lookout, and not to proceed forward until it is safe to do so. The judge found that the other driver was negligent and in breach of her statutory duty in failing to maintain a proper lookout and by accelerating through the intersection when it was not safe to do so.
In conclusion the court found that that both drivers were negligent and in breach of duties imposed upon them pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Act and divided fault 60% to the other driver and 40% to the injury claimant. Posted y by Mr. Renn A. Holness