04 Apr In the “Right” Place at the Wrong Time: Court Denies Damages to Driver Passing on the Right

In a recent decision, Madam Justice Devlin of the BC Supreme Court denied damages to the Plaintiff, Ms. Ali (Ali v. Surrey (City), 2016 BCSC 151).

The accident occurred when the Defendant was turning right out of a parking lot onto Scott Road in Surrey, BC. At the time, the Defendant was driving a large truck fitted with equipment for servicing sewer pipes. The vehicle was 40 feet long and its limited turning radius required the Defendant to make a wide turn. He drove the vehicle to the left to accommodate this.

The Plaintiff was in her vehicle behind the Defendant, also waiting to turn right onto Scott Road. When she saw the Defendant’s vehicle move off to the left, she believed he was turning left. She pulled her vehicle up next to the Defendant’s truck, on the right hand side, so that she could make her right turn. When the Defendant began his right turn, his vehicle collided with the Plaintiff’s.

At trial, the court found that the Plaintiff’s actions amounted to a breach of s. 158 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which prohibits passing on the right-hand side. The Court found that the Defendant did not know, nor should he reasonably have known, that the Plaintiff would attempt to pass his truck on the right, particularly when he was in the midst of a wide right-hand turn. The Court also found that the Plaintiff’s actions amounted to driving without due care and attention, as well as without reasonable consideration for other motorists. The Court concluded that the Plaintiff’s actions caused the accident, and denied her any damages.

Cases with serious liability issues, such as Ali v. Surrey (City), require thorough investigation, solid evidence, a good understanding of the law and experienced legal representation. We can provide you with that at Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota.