Kite v Nolan (1982)

Mr Nolan was driving his car when he saw an ice-cream van parked on the offside of the road in front of him.

There were also three cars parked on the opposite side of the road ahead of the van. He slowed almost to a standstill to allow an approaching car to pass. He then accelerated to about 15mph.

A young boy, aged five, ran out in front of Nolan's moving car from between the parked cars and was struck by the moving vehicle.

At first instance, the Judge found that Mr Nolan could not have avoided striking the boy unless he had been travelling at less than 5mph. He therefore came to the conclusion that the car driver was not negligent.

On appeal, it was argued that Mr Nolan should have realised the serious risk of a child running across the road bearing in mind it was a sunny day and the attraction of the ice-cream van.

This case was appealed but the appeal was dismissed. It was agreed that it was a matter for the judge at first instance to determine what was a reasonable standard of care in all the circumstances of the case, and unless there was a good reason to differ from him, his decision should stand.


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