Smith v Bluebird Buses (2014)

Smith v Bluebird Buses Collision LocusSmith was under the influence of alcohol when he approached a stationary car at a set of traffic lights.

The car was positioned within the outside lane. The car was being used as a campaign vehicle for the SNP in the general election and it had two Saltire flags on either side flying from the exterior of the car.

As the lights turned to green, Smith grabbed the flag from the nearside of the car and quickly turned to cross to the pavement.

SNP Campaign CarAs he crossed he was struck by a bus owned by Bluebird Buses. The driver of the bus could see Smith on the road and intentionally slowed the vehicle as well as moved to the left with the intention of manouvering past Smith.

The Judge confirmed that there is always a heavy onus on drivers to look out for pedestrians on the road even when they were behaving with a disregard for their own safety.

Nevertheless, Smith had to bear the heaviest responsibility and he was held to be 85% contributory negligent.

Interestingly, this is a lower percentage than the case at first instance of Jackson v Murray despite the cases being quite distinct.

In this case, Smith was under the influence of alcohol and behaving recklessly. However, in the case of Heather Jackson, she was a young girl crossing the road behind a marked school bus.

The full judgement from the Scottish Courts can be read here


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