CASE LAW - Through Cyclist vs Left Turn Driver Crash

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of Okines v Mr. Rent-A-Car involves a collision between Justine Okines, a cyclist riding through, and Brodie Davison, a driver turning left in the intersection Davie Street and Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver. Contact occurred on the crosswalk in the southeast corner of the intersection.


Prior to the crash, Mr. Okines was cycling northbound beside Davie Street using the crosswalk. He had come from the Express Post on Pacific Boulevard riding on the sidewalk and had turned right to cross in the marked crosswalk.

Mr. Davison was driving southbound on Davie Street intending to turn left on Pacific Boulevard. He signalled his turn but did not see the cyclist until just before they collided.

Mr. Davision was came to a complete stop across Mr. Okine's path but Mr. Okines was unable to stop in time and collided with the Mr. Davison.

Who Is At Fault - The Cyclist or The Driver?

Mr. Okines says that Mr. Davison is at fault because he was driving carelessly. He needed to be especially careful because he was turning left over a crosswalk and failed to keep a proper lookout for traffic using the crosswalk.

Mr. Davison says that Mr. Okines is at fault because a cyclist was not supposed to be in this crosswalk. Because Mr. Okines had ridden into the crosswalk suddenly and he had stopped his car before the collision, he had done all that he could in this situation.

The Decision

Justice Tucker found that Mr. Okines did not give up his right of way to travel through the intersection when he rode in the crosswalk, contrary to section 183(2) MVA. Mr. Okines did have a duty to make sure he was seen by drivers and failed to exercise reasonable care.

He found that Mr. Davison had two duties, to use extreme caution when approaching the crosswalk and to not make a left turn across opposing traffic unless the turn could be made in safety. Mr. Davison also failed to exercise reasonable care.

Mr. Davison was 85% liable for the crash and Mr. Okines was liable for the remaining15%.

Damages awarded to Mr. Okines totalled $131.001.83. 

But the biker was illegally riding on the crosswalk. Either it is legal and the law should be changed or 100% fault should go to the cyclist. I see many bikes using pedestrian crosswalks daily. Many actually walk their bikes. Young school children are very guilty of this. Perhaps the schools should train the kids.

My two cents!

We do teach the kids in BC primary schools. You can learn about the programs at . Be aware there are crosswalks that permit cyclists to ride through. These are demarked with “Elephants’ feet” or rectangular dashes. I find my young students are keenly aware of the regs so if you see them violating it’s because they are emulating adults like the cyclist litigant.

I always thought that cyclists must dismount when using a pedestrian crossing.  Is this not so?

While the law is clear that drivers have to watch for people in or about to enter the crosswalks I must admit that on many occasions I have seen cyclists launch into crosswalks at the last moment, not giving drivers an opportunity to respond safely.  some riders seem to want to have their cake and eat it too.   In my opinion the judge should have given more responsibility to the cyclist than just 15%.  

I personally disagree with the Judges decision.  Cyclist are suppose to walk their bicycles on a marked crosswalk.  Had this been the case, he would not have run into the vehicle. Yes, some blame should go on the driver, but not 85 percent.

I cycle about 7000km a year, so it should qualify my next statement of disagreement with the Bench.

Mr Okines appears to have behaved as many ill educated cyclists conduct themselves. When it is convenient they use the crosswalk(much to the chagrin of pedestrians), rather than be consistent within the traffic flow, stop and go, turn signals, owning the lane...

 Yes the driver should have been more aware. Having a pedalling cyclist moving faster than a walking group or individual can be quite surprising. Was Mr. Davidson distracted? Maybe. Was Mr Okines smart? No, but probably a smart aleck, one of those guys that flip off the driver or pedestrian who gives advice. In all, he was lucky he wasn't seriously injured. Mr Davidson is happy too. Which one will be more cautious and which one learned the hard way?  

Agreed. These behaviors endanger those of us that follow best practices while riding in traffic. They are largely uneducated and/or ill behaved. Miscreants of the highest order. The problems this manuever creates are exacerbated by the rising popularity of e-bikes and their attendant increases in speed.
Think about it. Cyclists are the only roadway users that are not required to demonstrate competence. 

Never heard of elephant feet nor have I ever seen anything that is supposed to represent them. I have seen green blocks as wide the path in some area but I again have no idea what they stand for. I know some cyclists day that when the road is wet, they slip on these green sections.

I still think cyclists b have to obey the rules of the road and be ticketed for offences. But when motorists run stop,signs, tailgate and not fined why should cyclists! The excuse is a lack of man power.

I have spoken to friends and neighbours about Elephant Feet cross walks and they have never heard of them let alone see them. If they do exist I wonder if they are sign posted.

I was not on this site in 2016 so I will plead ignorance!