CASE LAW - Ilett v Buckley
This case examines a collision between a cyclist, Kyle Ilett, and a driver, Leah Buckley, at the intersection of Admirals Road and Seenupin Road in Esquimalt, B.C. Mr. Ilett was riding northbound on the shoulder of Admirals Road nearing Seenupin Road. The shoulder was marked by a single solid white line on both sides of the road. Ms. Buckley was driving her car southbound and turned left onto Seenupin Road when an oncoming driver in slow traffic stopped to allow her to make the turn. Mr. Ilett proceeded through the intersection and collided with the passenger side of Ms. Buckley's car.
Madam Justice Gray held that the shoulder was not marked as a bicycle lane and could not be considered to be a lane for the purposes of section 158 of the Motor Vehicle Act. This made passing on the right by Mr. Ilett illegal. However, she also found that Ms. Buckley drove into her left turn without hesitation when she did not have a clear view of the northbound shoulder, and when she knew that cyclists frequently rode on the shoulder.
Ms. Buckley did not take reasonable care for the safety of Mr. Ilett. Section 166(c) required her not to turn unless she had ascertained that her left turn could be made safely, having regard for the nature, condition and use of the road and the cyclists that might reasonably be expected to be on the northbound shoulder. She was found to be at fault for the collision.
On July 12, 2017 the B.C. Court of Appeal found:
Appeal from a judgment awarding damages where the driver of a vehicle that collided with a cyclist at an intersection was determined to be solely at fault for the accident giving rise to a question of whether the judge erred in law in exonerating the cyclist. Held: appeal allowed. The cyclist bore a duty to ride with due care and attention. Given the circumstances, the judge’s conclusion was in effect a determination that, having done nothing to avoid the collision, the cyclist bore no duty of care which was an error of law. Liability was to be equally apportioned.