Relying on another motorist waiving you through an intersection is no defense to an allegation of negligence if the intersection is in fact not clear. Motorists must keep their own proper and clear lookout and relying on representations of others that ‘all is clear’ does not displace this duty. This principle was demonstrated in reasons for judgement published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry.
In today’s case (St Denis v. Turner) the Defendant was stopped attempting to turn left at an intersection. The first 2 of the 3 oncoming lanes of traffic had vehicles backed up at the intersection and these motorists apparently ‘waved on’ the Defendant. As he proceeded with his turn and entered the final oncoming lane the plaintiff drove into the intersection and a collision occurred. The Court found both motorists liable with the Defendant shouldering more of the blame. In finding that relying on ‘waving on’ motorists was no defence to negligence Mr. Justice Funt provided the following reasons: