What is the legal test for a driver who drives through a yellow light and is struck by another driver?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Shahidi v. Oppersma, 1998 CanLII 5551 (BC SC):

In Aerabi-Boosheri v. Retallick (25 January 1996), Vancouver B933703 (B.C.S.C.), the plaintiff turned left on a yellow light and was struck by an on-coming car. The facts are not dissimilar from those in the case at bar. At page 5, Madam Justice Dillon said: In this case, the relative duties of the defendant and plaintiff as drivers depend on the proximity of the defendant to the intersection when the light changed colour and whether he could have stopped if he had seen the plaintiff's car earlier. Certainly, the plaintiff's car was there to be seen and the defendant was not keeping a proper lookout. The fact that the independent witness had already stopped at the intersection and was ahead of the defendant's vehicle suggests that the defendant could have slowed down. No doubt he would have if he had seen the plaintiff. Instead, he proceeded to enter the intersection on the yellow light. Also, the light had been yellow for at least 2 seconds. The defendant entered the intersection on the end of the yellow light without any adjustment to his speed until he saw the petitioner's vehicle. This was obviously too late. She found for the plaintiff.

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