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Amber Legality {nsw}

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Not4Resale, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Hi people,

    Need some random legal advice...

    One vehicle is travelling straight (Motorcycle) and another vehicle (Car) is waiting in the right hand turning bay in the oncoming direction of the motorcycle.

    The lights are green for straight travelling vehicles as the motorcycle approaches the intersection. At this point a car may complete a turn if it is safe to do so.

    The lights turn amber and the motorcycle continues towards the intersection believing that it is too late to stop in a safe manner but notices the car accelerate from a stationary position across the motorcycles path. The motorcycle buffers across a lane and brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision but the vehicles collide.

    If the motorcycles braking caused the motorcycle to cross the lines after the lights turned red is the motorcyclist or the car driver in the wrong for the collision.

    Both vehicles attempted to navigate the intersection on an amber light. The motorcycles speed was constant until it took evasive action, the car accelerated from a standstill behind the white line into an amber light.

    How does the law see this scenario? It is possible that the motorcycle crossed the lines before the lights turned red however, in order to factor in timing, judgement and evasive changes to the conditions, it is important for me to know the implications of crossing the lines on a red.
  2. Entering an intersection on a red does not stand in your favour but I understand it was due to the emergency braking. Generally the person making the turn is at fault because they must wait until it is safe to make the turn. If it came to a court hearing I would say they would apportion blame as 50/50 or possible 60/40 in your favour. If you have full insurance let them deal with it.

    I am not a lawyer though, perhaps best to get a professionals advice. :)

    Good Luck.
  3. Get a lawyer. A good one should be able to show that it was not safe for the motorcycle to stop at that time, clearly evidenced by the resulting collision. As for the car driver, one would assume he has entered an intersection while not safe to do so, hence the collision.

    Maybe even check with tramp, but I would consider paying a lawyer for this one. Even if you ran the red as a result of having to brake to avoid a collision that you could see coming from a distance, combined with information about speed and braking distance, non optimal braking conditions on the painted intersection lines, etc, you should stand a good chance of being not at fault.
  4. Actually the driver making the right turn is required to give way to all oncoming vehicles with no mention of Red lights!!

    Speaking for Victorian rules I was driving through an Amber and nailed a right turning vehicle. I eventually got my insurance excess back (after 18 months) when my insurance company successfully argued the other driver was at fault for failing to give way (He tried to use the I ran the Red excuse).

    This whole intersection stuff can get interesting as you're not supposed to enter on Amber (to make a turn for example) and you cant enter if you cant immediately exit so it could take a long time to make a 100% legal turn at busy times of the day......
  5. I'm not qualified to give legal advice on NSW law, but if you are happy to read ramblings then consider the following - remembering that it is not legal advice.

    From the scenario you have presented I would have a look at:


    Paying attention to - "and the driver cannot stop safely" in the 3 subsections of Section 1.

    Then looking down to Section 3.

    So by that if you couldn't stop safely then you would be abl to enter under an amber and exit as soon as you can safely.

    Looking at it from the other drivers perspective - Have a look at the rule relating to "Giving way when turning at an intersection with traffic lights"


    Particularly - Section 1(c)
    [QUOTE="subsection(c)] if the driver is turning right-any oncoming vehicle that is going straight ahead or turning left at the intersection (except a vehicle turning left using a sliplane). [/QUOTE]

    What ever you choose to make of the above is up to you. Please be aware that austlii is not updated as regularly as it should be and this version mentioned was updated in Sept 09. There may be a more recent version.

    Good luck.
  6. Cheers for the replies.

    What pvda and Day have said about the legalities of amber lights in intersections is what my understanding of it was. I am sure I crossed the lines on the amber but I wanted to make sure that I had my legal facts straight.

    Once the cops get their arses into gear and charge this chick with neg driving and once my body starts healing up from this I'll give everybody a full write up. It's a pretty interesting story but we'll all have to hang in there till the legal bollocks gets sorted.
  7. a) you had right of way
    b) car was safely stopped when lights went yellow. car should have stayed there

    if you thought it was to late to stop in a safe manner chances are good you went through on yellow. Which intersection was it? How is the vtr?

    Did she admit fault? Or have the cops stated who is at fault?
  8. only thing i can think of is admit no liability, don't even mention the red light from braking possibility to police or insurance, unless you are handed a red light camera photo of you running the red, it never happened
  9. I'll give more details about where it was later. Bike is pretty mangled and she left me with a broken wrist, a gash in my leg and a sprained ankle.

    I'll keep everyone posted as the legalities unfold. This has the potential of getting messy due to certain parties suggesting that the facts were not as they were so I don't want to risk anything going wrong by accusing anyone of anything. I'll be sure to post when I think its safe to do so ;)

    Can't leave my favourite community out of the loop! :p
  10. I know. I remember an amber light and I remember seeing the woman crossing the amber. As far as i'm concerned I crossed on an amber and I saw her looking at the lights the entire time until just before we made contact. I just wanted to see how the legal system saw it just in case I was mistaken. I wasn't hooning through the lights so I really doubt that I am mistaken. I was riding pretty sedatedly.
  11. My understanding of the law is your in the right, but a lawyer I aint.

    Best of luck with the battle!
  12. besides all the legal stuff, hope you heal quick and are back on the bike soon
  13. What waedwe said.
  14. Just got the all clear from the plod! :D :D :D :bannanabutt::biker::deal::dance::beer: :roses:


    Thanks for all the well wishes and advice, it helped me piece it together in my head but at the end of the day the witnesses saw what I saw and not what the other driver allegedly saw so I get to claim it all back and if she takes it to court there is strong enough evidence to make it not worth the risk to her.

    I'll give a full write up soon that will cover the whole experience, how I could have avoided the whole thing, how I reacted, my thought processes, my experience with the legalities, my experience with the law, insurance companies, towing companies etc. as well as how i'm coming along with my healing.

    Yewwww!!!! Man i'm pumped! I can finally sleep at night again!!!!!!!!
  15. glad it worked out mate.
  16. good to hear, now hope the bike is repaired quick and you healed, or a new bike bought with the payout
  17. Great news. Thanks for the update.