CASE LAW - Schlappner v Serfas and Peknik

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case involves a collision that happened at an intersection where one street is controlled by traffic lights and the cross street by stop signs. Dr. Schlappner stopped at the stop sign, saw that the traffic lights were red and proceeded to cross the intersection. While he was crossing, the traffic signal turned green and a vehicle driven by Mrs. Serfas proceeded and collided with him. The case explores starting at a green light and the fact that both drivers were required to look out for each other. It does not involve a breach of the Motor Vehicle Act but resolves claims for damages by assigning liability. The decision was that Dr. Schlappner was 10% to blame and Mrs. Serfas was 90% to blame for the collision.



What is really important, here (I think) ...

... is that the Defendant came to a complete stop at his Stop Sign, in keeping with Section 186, before proceeding.

Not what you see all too often in this type of situation, where drivers on the cross street will cruise right through their Stop Sign, in order to 'beat the light', as it were.

It's also noteworthy that in this type of situation, there aren't going to be any pedestrian Walk/Don't Walk signals facing them, on the road that has the traffic signals; but the pedestrians are required to obey the red light, and should not cross (not what we see happening in real life, all too often).

Putting up pedestrian controlled traffic lights at intersections is stupid, in my opinion.  I'ts not how they were ever supposed to be employed; they should only be placed mid-block, in situations where it's a long walk to the nearest intersection/crosswalk and pedestrians are likely to jaywalk on a multi-lane street.

Meanwhile, the City of Vancouver recently created a new one on Thurlow Street at Barclay.  And of course, demonstrating their usual lack of comprehension of how synchronized arterial one-way streets are supposed to work, and contempt for drivers over pedestrians, no attempt has been made to ensure the timing of it is in sequence with all the other traffic lights. 

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