Motorist Found Fully At Fault For Clipping Cyclist While Attempting to Pass
Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing fault for a collision involving a cyclist and a motorist.
In this week’s case (McGavin v. Talbot) the Plaintiff had merged onto the roadway where a bike lane ended. Shortly thereafter the Defendant, proceeding in the same direction of travel, clipped the Plaintiff’s bike while a vehicle attempting to pass causing him to lose control and crash. The motorist denied fault. Mr. Justice Masuhara found fault rested fully with the motorist in these circumstances and provided the following reasons:
 I find that Mr. McGavin had merged on the roadway at the end of the bike lane. Mr. McGavin estimates he was riding at about 20-25 kmph which I accept. I also find based on the testimony of Ms. Talbot, that Mr. McGavin was ahead of the Mr. Talbot’s pickup when the bike lane ended. In my view, Mr. McGavin had the dominant position on the roadway beyond the end of the bike lane, and Mr. Talbot passed Mr. McGavin when there was not a safe distance between his pickup and Mr. McGavin to do so. Mr. Talbot did not pass at a safe distance.
 I find the passing occurred before the X in the lane and before the start of guard rails for the Colquitz Bridge (Exhibit 1, Tab 4) and that the rear of the pickup driven by Mr. Talbot struck or clipped the handle bar of the bicycle ridden by the plaintiff causing the plaintiff to fall at about the start of the guard rails by the Colquitz Bridge.
 As a result, it is my determination that Mr. Talbot is entirely at fault for Mr. McGavin’s fall.
 My finding here is made on the bases that:
(a) A cyclist has the same rights and duties of a driver of a vehicle pursuant to s. 183(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, s. 318;
(b) A driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle must cause its vehicle to pass to the left of the other vehicle at a safe distance and must not cause or permit the vehicle to return to the right side of the highway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle pursuant to s. 157(1); and
(c) A driver of a vehicle must drive with due care and attention and must have reasonable consideration for other drivers pursuant to s. 144.