London Passenger Transport Board v Upson [1949]

A pedestrian was crossing a street at a controlled pedestrian crossing. The lights were red.

The pedestrian started to cross the road. The driver of a bus moving along the road had their view obscured by another vehicle which was also stopped at the crossing. Not seeing the pedestrian, the bus continued and only noticed the pedestrian at the last minute. The pedestrian, whose view was also obscured by the same vehicle at the crossing, did not see the bus and a collision occurred. 

The plaintiff (the pedestrian) argued that the defendant’s bus driving breached statutory law concerning pedestrian crossings. Specifically, the defendant should have approached the crossing at a speed which would have allowed them time to stop if necessary before reaching the crossing.

It was held that the defendant did breach the statutory provisions for pedestrian crossings. The driver, having their view obscured, should have been prepared to stop at the last moment in case someone were to emerge from behind the obstruction.

In order to be prepared in this manner, the driver should have been going at a more appropriate and cautious speed.


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