On 21st June 2014 at around 1am, Mr Jayson Craven was trying to flag down a taxi after leaving the pub that he had been in. He attempted to cross the Fletchamstead Highway in Coventry. The speed limit of this road was 40mph.
Sadly, as he attempted to cross the highway, he was hit by a vehicle travelling at 86mph and was killed.
Liability was admitted, but the defenders alleged contributory negligence in respect of:-
- Failing to use a pedestrian crossing that was 87.2 metres from the accident location, and
- Failing to observe the defender’s vehicle approaching and crossing into its path.
Judge Freedman rejected the first allegation of contributory negligence.
He stated “it is prudent for a pedestrian to use a designated crossing point. But in my judgement, not using one does not constitute negligence… Much will depend upon the construction of the carriageway, the volume of traffic, the time of day, lighting and visibility. Given that this accident occurred at about 1am, it is virtually certain that the volume of traffic would have been light…It would not be reasonable to conclude that the deceased failed to take reasonable care for his own safety by not using the Puffin crossing.”
Judge Freedman also rejected the second allegation of contributory negligence.
Mr Craven was found to have been intoxicated as he had 202 milligrams of alcohol in his blood. However, being intoxicated did not expose him to criticism. A sober person could not have appreciated the driver of the vehicle was travelling at more than twice the speed limit. It was reasonable for Mr Craven to have believed the vehicle to have been travelling within the speed limit.
Judge Freeman concluded;
“The accident was caused wholly by the negligent driving of the defendant.”