CASE LAW - Petes v Peterson

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of Petes v Petersen illustrates the dangers of making a lane change at or near an intersection. The collision that gave rise to this occurred at the intersection of Marshall Road and Guilford Drive in Abbotsford. James Petersen was driving his Ford Fusion westbound on Marshall and Laszlo Petes was driving his Suzuki pickup southbound on Guilford, turning right onto Marshall.

Madam Justice Norell examined the evidence and made the following decision:

I find that Mr. Petersen breached the standard of care by: not seeing the Suzuki at the intersection and observing the Suzuki to be making a right turn into the curb lane; by not signalling his intended lane change; by not shoulder checking and observing the Suzuki beside the Ford prior to commencing the lane change; and by making an unsafe lane change. Mr. Petersen was not the dominant driver because he was not established in the curb lane. Mr. Petersen had a clear view of the intersection and had an obligation to yield to the Suzuki which was already in the curb lane and had either completed or nearly completed its turn at the time Mr. Petersen commenced his lane change. He had the time and opportunity to observe the Suzuki making the turn and to avoid it by not changing lanes. But for these breaches, the accident would not have occurred. I find Mr. Petersen was negligent and is 100% liable for the accident.

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