Q&A - Yellow Light Collision
A vehicle cannot stop safely before the intersection - as per MVA article 128
And this is where the controversy begins. I am going to try to make this concise and not bore you with too many details.
Sep 27-2015, at the Intersection of Willingdon and Moscrop.
I am driving WB on Moscrop, approaching the intersection with Willingdon. There is a cop car in the right turn lane waiting for pedestrians to clear, so I am careful not to go over the speed limit. I am however doing 50km/hr. The light turns yellow. This was not a complete surprise, but my instant assessment is that I am already beyond the point of no return, in other words I may not have enough time to stop. There is a slight slope and my foot is still on the gas so I can maintaing speed. I do not slow down and I do not accelerate. There is a vehicle waiting to make a left turn and I am watching it like a hawk as I am about to enter the intersection and that's when the unexpected happens. The driver of the other car (a woman - and I make this mention only so I can refer to her as "her" in this post) decides to make the turn. I am now exactly at the intersection Stop Line (still doing 50k). I steer left and my foot flies on the brake pedal, ABS kicks in but can't cope, there is some slipping (the road is wet) and the accident is unavoidable at this point. I hit the right side of her car with my right corner of the front bumper. The impact is minimal but there is damage - broken headlight, damaged front bumper and front fender, etc.
I pull over and walk up to her to exchange information. The cop is there too and he tells me right away that I had enough time to stop and it is my fault. I am not there to argue, so we wrap up pretty quickly and drive off, both cars are still driveable. I do have a dash camera and if there is any dispute, the footage will no doubt prove me right - I say to myself.
The call to ICBC goes as expected, they say that the other driver admitted to making a left turn while the traffic light was still yellow and the fault will be assigned 100% to her, unless she can prove that I did have time to stop before the intersection. And there is a witness, of course, the police officer, which I already know what will have to say. A decision can only be made after the police report is received and we now must wait for that report.
Nov 20th, 2015
A few weeks go by while I try to get a hold of the adjustor and make my case. I submit another email stating the following facts (based on footage from my dash camera):
- When the traffic light changed to yellow I was 33m away from the intersection stop line
- I was not speeding
- Length of time the traffic light was yellow is 3.5s
- It took me 2.3s to reach the intersection (Stop Line) from the moment the light turned yellow.
- the other vehicle turned abruptly in front of me (with 1.2s left on the yellow light) just when I was about to cross the Stop Line.
According to ICBC's own document, the safe stopping distance when driving at 50km/hr is 37m.
A few days later I also send them the video showing the moment of the accident.
Jan 21, 2016
After I place another call to ICBC, they inform me the that after reviewing the video clip they now consider me 75% at fault (and they also have the statement from the police officer).
Jan 22, 2016
I dispute this finding right away with a supervisor and request some kind of justification from them, but the supervisor doesn't seem to budge, giving me some laughable (in my view) reasons which I didn't want to list so this post doesn't become too long.
At this point I am willing to go to court with them, but I wouldn't mind hearing other informed opinions.
- what do you think about the facts presented?
- how difficult (easy) is it to fight ICBC in court and what do you think my chances are?
- should I do it alone or hire a lawyer?