CASE LAW - Purewal v Li

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is the story of a left turning driver collision at the intersection of Columbia Street and Marine Drive in Vancouver, B.C. Qiang Li was traveling eastbound on Marine Drive attempting to turn left onto Columbia Street. He collided with a car driven by Jasvir Purewal traveling westbound on Marine Drive in the curb lane. Mr Li's vision was limited by other vehicles waiting in the intersection and he relied on a hand gesture given by Vita Sinclair who indicated to him that the curb lane used by Mr. Purewal was clear.

Mr. Li’s defence appears to have been that as he had been waved through by one of the other drivers he could proceed and was not required to look for traffic in the curb lane. Mr. Justice Greyell observed that a driver bears responsibility for his or her own actions while driving. It is not a defence for a driver to assert that he or she relied on signals from another driver when the law places the driver in a subservient position of having to yield the right of way to a dominant driver. He found Mr. Li 100% liable for the collision.


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