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Filtering And The Law


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#1 ChrisG

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:23 am

Shamelessly pinched from another forum, an interesting read that basically says what we all hopefuly knew already, bikers need to be responsible for thier own safety





Given how often it comes up on here, I thought the following, written by a solicitor and c+p'd from the November newsletter of Northamptonshire Advanced Motorcyclists would be of interest:

FILTERING AND THE LAW
One of the advantages of riding a motorcycle is that you can continue to make progress where other vehicles are unable to. When traffic is stationary or moving slowly in queues, motorcyclists can use their manoeuvrability and limited space requirements to continue on their journey relatively unimpeded. However with this benefit comes a high degree of responsibility. Is it illegal? The Highway Code; the Driving Standard Agency publication on Motorcycle Riding; and the Police Riders Handbook – Motorcycle Road Craft, all mention filtering and states that it requires great care and attention from the motorcyclist. Having spoken to several Police Officers, they advise that
no offence is committed as long as the motorcyclist complies with all road traffic signs, road markings, road traffic regulations and filters with appropriate due care and attention with courtesy to other road users.

So what happens if you want to bring a civil claim for personal injury, loss and damage suffered in a collision whilst filtering? It may be worth noting that when a Judge is asked to make a decision who is to blame, they often refer to past cases particularly those which have been decided in a higher Court. These are what we lawyers call legal precedents.

The first major case decided by the Court of Appeal was Powell v Moody in 1966. Briefly the circumstances of this accident were that there were two lanes of stationary traffic. The motorcyclist filtered along the offside of the second line of traffic when he came into collision with a car emerging from a side road on the nearside intending to turn right through a gap in the traffic. The Court described filtering as queue jumping which was a hazardous manoeuvre
which had to be carried out with a high degree of care required by the motorcyclist. The Court said that it was effectively the burden of the motorcyclist to ensure that it was safe to overtake. As you will appreciate, the concept of queuing goes deep into our national psyche and there is a subconscious objection to those that “jump the queue”. If an accident happens where someone is doing this, then the natural reaction has been to blame the person who is in breach of the natural order of queuing. In this case, the Court held that the motorcyclist was 80% to blame. The effect of this is that the motorcyclist’s claim was reduced by 80%. You can appreciate how such a
finding would drastically reduce the amount of compensation a motorcyclist would receive if he suffered serious injuries.

In the case of Leeson v Bevis and Tolchard (1972) a bike was filtering passed a single line of queuing traffic at about 15 mph. A van pulled out of a garage on the left in front of a lorry. A collision occurred between the bike and the van. This again went to the Court of Appeal and the biker was found 50% at fault.

We then go to the case of Worsfold v Howe (1980). This was a two lane road. The nearside was for traffic going straight ahead and the second lane was for traffic turning right. The biker was riding in the second lane at a speed of 10-30 mph. A tanker had left a large gap in front of it to allow traffic to emerge from a railway yard on the left. A car emerges very slowly in front of the tanker across both lanes to turn right. A collision occurred. This also went to the Court of Appeal where the biker was found 50% at fault. The Court said that the biker was travelling too fast and that he had gone beyond his line of sight.

In the case of Pell v Moseley heard by the Court of Appeal in 2003, here we have a single lane carriage way in each direction subject to a 60 mph speed limit. The motorcyclist began to overtake a line of traffic when he came into collision with a car which intended to turn right into a field where a motor cross event was taking place. The Court of Appeal found the motorcyclist 50% to blame stating that the motorcyclist was negligent in that he failed to notice that the Defendants vehicle would have needed to slow down before turning right, a fact which should have been apparent despite her failure to indicate. Further the motorcyclist was aware of the motor cross event and should have
considered the possibility that the Defendant may wish to turn into the field and as such should not have attempted to overtake as he did.

We then saw a chink of light in the case of Davis v Schrogin in 2006, heard by the Court of Appeal. An accident occurred on a long straight section of road with one lane in each direction. There was a long queue of stationary/slow moving vehicles. A motorcyclist travelling in the same direction was overtaking at approximately 40 mph. He was half to two thirds of the way across from the central white line, was displaying a dipped headlight and a right hand indicator. He had been in that position for approximately half a mile and was not weaving in and out of traffic. A car lost patience and decided to carry out a U turn when the motorcycle was no more than five car lengths back. A collision occurred. The Court found the car driver wholly at fault on the basis that the motorcyclist was there to be seen and that even if he had been travelling appreciably more slowly than he was, it would have made no difference because he had been right on top of the point of the accident when the Defendant first did anything to alert the motorcyclist of his intended manoeuvre. This was a decision of sense having regard to the facts of the accident. However, my heart sank when I read an article in one major motorcycle papers suggesting that bikers could now filter in any circumstances and at any speed and recover 100% of their compensation.

That euphoria was short lived following the case of Farley v Buckley in 2007. A motorcyclist was passing a refuse wagon which was travelling in the same direction and was indicating an intention to turn left into a side road. The lorry was unable to complete its turn as the side road was narrow and there was a car waiting to emerge and turn right. The motorcyclist travelling at a speed of about 30 mph overtook the refuse wagon with its wheels virtually on the centre white line when the car drove out in one continuous movement at approximately 5-8 miles per hour. A collision occurred. The Court held the motorcyclist wholly at fault as it considered that the motorcyclist was travelling at a too high a speed which in the circumstances was reckless especially having regard to the nature of the manoeuvre that he had been carrying out, the lack of visibility to his left and the fact that the refuse wagon had been displaying its left indicator.

The final case that I wish to refer to is Higgins v Johnson 2008 which is a County Court decision. In this case, a car was approaching a rugby ground on the right and indicated to turn into it. The car had commenced its manoeuvre when it was struck by a motorcycle which was overtaking. The Court heard evidence that the car driver first indicated left, then right, then left and then finally right again. The motorcyclist held back but once he believed that the car driver appeared to have settled on a course of continuing straight ahead, he pulled out to overtake. The Court accepted independent witness evidence that the car did indicate left, right, left and right. The final indication happened when the motorcyclist had already begun to overtake. The Court held that the car driver failed to check her mirrors or look over her shoulder and had she done so, she would have seen the motorcyclist. However, the Court also found that the motorcyclist was aware that there was an indecisive, erratically indicating driver ahead of him yet he proceeded to overtake her on a yellow boxed junction. The Court found the motorcyclist 25% to blame on this basis.
The moral of this story is cases such as these are fact specific. That is, each case is determined on its own merits. The court will look at the manner in which each party was driving/riding, traffic and road conditions and all relevant issues.

What can you do to avoid an accident in the first place or give you a good change of getting 100% of your compensation?
Ride slowly and at a speed that you are able to stop if:-
Vehicle emerge or turn at junctions (be extra vigilant if your visibility is compromised by high sided vehicles)
Vehicles suddenly changing lanes or U-turning without warning
Vehicles suddenly opening their doors (especially if filtering along traffic that has been stationary for some time)
• Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Also other filtering motorcycles!
• Be ready to brake or use your horn if you think you have not been seen
• Use dipped headlights and wear florescent/reflective clothing
• Watch for road studs, road paint, road defects and manhole covers which can throw the bike off line
• Avoid conflict with other road users and be courteous
Comply with all road traffic signs, road markings and road traffic regulations
J
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#2 catsbum

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:41 am

Good article Chris. good.gif

#3 Geordie Guy

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 02:15 pm

Well thats put that argument to bed.

I did the IAM test this year and they do teach you that last bit.

I often stop at a pedestrian crossing behind cars and see motorbikes go up the middle, over the zig-zags, and wait at the front of the two lanes of traffic, waiting to power off when the lights change. waiting.gif

I just shake my head, I bet they look at me and think he's stupid, why stay there when you can get up the middle. plod.gif

One Day something will go wrong, I just hope that solicitor who wrote this is prosecuting for the opposition and throws the book at them. punishment.gif

Good thread Chris.

Cheers, Ivan

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#4 poldark

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 02:44 pm

QUOTE(Geordie Guy @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well thats put that argument to bed.

I did the IAM test this year and they do teach you that last bit.

I often stop at a pedestrian crossing behind cars and see motorbikes go up the middle, over the zig-zags, and wait at the front of the two lanes of traffic, waiting to power off when the lights change. waiting.gif

I just shake my head, I bet they look at me and think he's stupid, why stay there when you can get up the middle. plod.gif

One Day something will go wrong, I just hope that solicitor who wrote this is prosecuting for the opposition and throws the book at them. punishment.gif

Good thread Chris.

Cheers, Ivan


Although when I did Bikesafe I was criticised on the accompanied ride by the Police Biker for staying back, he said it was far better to get right to the front (admitedly this was normal lights and not pedestrian with zigzag), so you had clear view and couldn't get caught up with the cars when the lights changed.

Accepting that it has to be feasable and safe to do so, I always now get to the front and find it strange that some (a few really) bikers/scooters will queue as if they're a car within the lane. Given we're talking London mayhem I find it odd that you'd ride a bike/scoot and then act like you're in a car.

I take it they're either not comfortable filtering, in which case I suppose it's good they don't feel they have to filter, or are just new bikers who ride as if they're still in their car.
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#5 Geordie Guy

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 04:03 pm

You're right Poldark,

Thats what they taught us at traffic lights and thats what I do, get to the line and get a head of the danger.

But some riders think they can pass at any light.

On a pedestrian crossing the Zig-zig means no overtaking, which means no filtering.

So the " as long as the motorcyclist complies with all road traffic signs, road markings " argument comes into play.

But they dont even notice. cuckoo.gif
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#6 v8guy

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 04:54 pm

QUOTE(Geordie Guy @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 04:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On a pedestrian crossing the Zig-zig means no overtaking, which means no filtering.

So the " as long as the motorcyclist complies with all road traffic signs, road markings " argument comes into play.

But they dont even notice. cuckoo.gif

As I understand it.. a motorcyclist may filter at pedestrian crossings, provided that the traffic within the zig-zag lines is stationary. Upon exit from the area no overtaking is permitted until clear of the zig-zags on the other side of the crossing.

I seem to recall something about not being permitted to overtake the leading vehicle waiting at the crossing though... unsure.gif

I believe this falls under the same rules as for crossing solid double white lines; ie. only if there is a stationary vehicle (or something travelling at under 5mph.. or whatever the other exception is..!?).


I must say I actually agree with most of the cited court judgements in the quoted article up there.. on all the occasions I've come into conflict with other vehicles I usually manage to find something I could improve in my own riding.
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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:08 pm

QUOTE(v8guy @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As I understand it.. a motorcyclist may filter at pedestrian crossings, provided that the traffic within the zig-zag lines is stationary. Upon exit from the area no overtaking is permitted until clear of the zig-zags on the other side of the crossing.

I seem to recall something about not being permitted to overtake the leading vehicle waiting at the crossing though... unsure.gif

I believe this falls under the same rules as for crossing solid double white lines; ie. only if there is a stationary vehicle (or something travelling at under 5mph.. or whatever the other exception is..!?).
I must say I actually agree with most of the cited court judgements in the quoted article up there.. on all the occasions I've come into conflict with other vehicles I usually manage to find something I could improve in my own riding.



yeah that's about it. you are allowed to overtake on zig zags, but not the vehicle closest to the crossing (on the approach side), you are allowed to overtake on zig zags after the crossing too.

#8 v8guy

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:34 pm

QUOTE(E.T. @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 05:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
you are allowed to overtake on zig zags after the crossing too.

Presumably only if the traffic is stationary?
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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:40 pm

QUOTE(v8guy @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Presumably only if the traffic is stationary?


No

#10 laughin in a windstorm

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:52 am

oh well my fish will have to have dirty water then, oh hang, I haven't got any fish, ok who put the carrot peelings in that puddle
it's not my time to go, it's not my time to die
the last thing I want is for my family to cry

#11 Studley Ramrod

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 03:42 pm

QUOTE(E.T. @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 05:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No
I got pulled on my 125cc about 10 tears ago for filtering past stationary traffic. I'd also passed stationary traffic on the zebra crossings (3) which is why I was ticked off ! I was only bimblin along at 15mph but it's still an offence.
QUOTE(v8guy @ Sun 23rd Nov 2008, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As I understand it.. a motorcyclist may filter at pedestrian crossings, provided that the traffic within the zig-zag lines is stationary. Upon exit from the area no overtaking is permitted until clear of the zig-zags on the other side of the crossing. I seem to recall something about not being permitted to overtake the leading vehicle waiting at the crossing though... unsure.gif I believe this falls under the same rules as for crossing solid double white lines; ie. only if there is a stationary vehicle (or something travelling at under 5mph.. or whatever the other exception is..!?).I must say I actually agree with most of the cited court judgements in the quoted article up there.. on all the occasions I've come into conflict with other vehicles I usually manage to find something I could improve in my own riding.
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#12 MarkyMark

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 04:23 pm

http://www.advanced-...topic.php?t=416

Some mor good stuff here

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GTR1400 - Chaufer the wife.
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Posted 19 December 2008 - 06:36 pm

QUOTE(Studley Ramrod @ Fri 19th Dec 2008, 03:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I got pulled on my 125cc about 10 tears ago for filtering past stationary traffic. I'd also passed stationary traffic on the zebra crossings (3) which is why I was ticked off ! I was only bimblin along at 15mph but it's still an offence. rotflmmfao.gif rotflmmfao.gif



Just because you got pulled for it doesn't make it an offence. They can even (wrongly) charge you for it, but if it's not an offence - you can always challenge it in Court...but you need to know whether it is an offence or not - and that will be up to you to find out. Furthermore, the law is also open to interpretation, so it is also dependent on how a given law is interpreted, will deem whether an offence has been committed. A lot is determined by precedence in law, but this is not always the case. As circumstances differ in nearly all cases, if a differentiation can be made, the precedent cited can be challenged.

Was it a traffic cop - they probably would know what they were doing more so than regular officers, if only because you can't be a master of every single law...but the traffic guys do make road law there specialised area of study...but even they don't know every little caveat of every single law. And some times they will charge on a (strong) chance outcome that they will win the case.

I believe I'm correct when I say its not illegal to over take on zigzags, except the leading vehicle before the crossing. However, you could be very easily be pulled for dangerous driving if anything happens, or nearly happens (like in all other filtering cases) - it will be loaded against you.

You have to remember that the Highway code isn't the law, its guidelines (although of course it refers to the laws, and many of the rules are of course law based) Therfore where it isn't explicit in law, you can deviate legally, but at your own risk and woe betide you if there is an incident.

#14 stu

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 11:19 pm

<nerdy>

http://www.direct.go...ycode/DG_070339

165
You MUST NOT overtake

if you would have to cross or straddle double white lines with a solid line nearest to you (but see Rule 129)
if you would have to enter an area designed to divide traffic, if it is surrounded by a solid white line
the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross
if you would have to enter a lane reserved for buses, trams or cycles during its hours of operation
after a ‘No Overtaking’ sign and until you pass a sign cancelling the restriction
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36, TSRGD regs 10, 22, 23 & 24, ZPPPCRGD reg 24]


191
You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines. You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

[Laws ZPPPCRGD regs 18, 20 & 24, RTRA sect 25(5) & TSRGD regs 10, 27 & 28


You could interpret the 'vehicle nearest the crossing' to be before or after it, if you were a trafpol and being particularly difficult.

</nerdy>

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#15 Studley Ramrod

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 11:23 pm

they were 2 biker cops, I was cautioned because I'd passed stationary traffic that was parked on the actual crossing. I suspect they thought I was being a tad reckless as it was pissin down and I went straight over 3 of them without using my brakes. I also forgot to check my mirrors ! wub.gif


Thanks for the insight E.T. Handy to know. I also agree with the precedents mentioned, if you take risks, your gonna be held responsible. It's all common sense and concentration.

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#16 treadman

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 04:28 pm

just to let you know , i was overtaking stationary traffic on my capo nord , dipped headlights 10-15mph, i am aware of keeping a lookout for obvious signs of vehicles moving, but the one that nailed me took me out as i was along side,he hit my leg which pushed into the crashbars,my foot ripped the gear lever off in the impact, when ipicked myself up the van driver came to help me pick up the bike and he was sorry he never looked, just then a figure appeared behind with a police id, he turned out to a chief superintendent, he saw the whole thing.
the outcome was the van driver was 100% to blame, boy was i lucky the copper was on my side.
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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:24 pm

QUOTE(treadman @ Tue 23rd Dec 2008, 04:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
just to let you know , i was overtaking stationary traffic on my capo nord , dipped headlights 10-15mph, i am aware of keeping a lookout for obvious signs of vehicles moving, but the one that nailed me took me out as i was along side,he hit my leg which pushed into the crashbars,my foot ripped the gear lever off in the impact, when ipicked myself up the van driver came to help me pick up the bike and he was sorry he never looked, just then a figure appeared behind with a police id, he turned out to a chief superintendent, he saw the whole thing.
the outcome was the van driver was 100% to blame, boy was i lucky the copper was on my side.
neil


Glad you survived. I've never been convinced that the boys in blue are as bad as they are made out to be by some...sure some of the policies suck, and I'm sure there's rotten eggs in every basket, but mostly they are pretty fair minded guys I think.

#18 GrahamI

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 09:36 am

I saw this quote on the BikSafe-London.co.uk website

"Filtering - take opportunities, don't take chances"

Seems about right to me



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Posted 25 December 2008 - 01:00 pm

QUOTE(E.T. @ Tue 23rd Dec 2008, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Glad you survived. I've never been convinced that the boys in blue are as bad as they are made out to be by some...sure some of the policies suck, and I'm sure there's rotten eggs in every basket, but mostly they are pretty fair minded guys I think.


These are the forgotten rules I try to abide by.

1,The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
2,The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
3,Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4,The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5,Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6,Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
7,Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8,Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9,The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime.
Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount.
The police are the public and the public are the police.
Peelian principles as dictated by Sir Robert Peel.




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Posted 25 December 2008 - 08:08 pm

QUOTE(Dannyboy @ Thu 25th Dec 2008, 01:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
These are the forgotten rules I try to abide by.

1,The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
2,The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
3,Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4,The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5,Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6,Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
7,Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8,Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9,The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime.
Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount.
The police are the public and the public are the police.
Peelian principles as dictated by Sir Robert Peel.


Yes these are the ones that we had to learn in training school back in the early 80's, do they still teach these at Police Training school?



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