Pedestrian Rights


George was late for his appointment with his girlfriend at Centre Point Shopping Centre. He was driving recklessly at eighty kilometers per hour along Orchard Road when he was supposed to be driving at sixty kilometers per hour. He did not notice that the traffic lights had turned red for him to stop. He drove past the red light and hit Rhio who was crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing causing him severe bruises on both his arms and fractured right leg. Rhio wants to sue George for negligence. Will he succeed? Discuss.

George seems to be reckless in driving simply because he was late for his appointment with the girlfriend. This recklessness was him to drive at a very speed above the acceptable limit. He went through Red lights without stopping at the traffic lights. This reckless led an accident which left the pedestrian, Rhio with severe bruises and fractured right leg.  The victim of this accident, Mr. Rhio has blamed this accident on reckless driving and has vowed to sue George for negligence. Just like in any country in the world, the law requires the driver to be on the lookout while driving as his priority, failure to which would attract hefty fine or imprisonment if found guilty.

The issue of negligence has been dealt with in the case law of Donohogue v Stevenson (1932) AC562. In this case, the Lord Judge look the facts from the perspective of  the neighbor principle which is derived from the biblical rule, which stipulates that one should not cause harm or injury through the acts of commission or omission. The facts here shows clearly that the neighbor who in this case is Rhio was injured through negligence and dangerous driving. The Lord Judge who presided over this case, established the facts showing that duty of care was exercised by the driver (Legrand & Machado, 1998).

The pedestrian, Mr Rhio would succeed in suing George before the courts of law because, there is the burden of proof to show that Mr. George was on the wrong, while he was on the right. Mr. Rhio would win this case on the basis of negligence and failure to comply with his duty of care. On, this basis, Rhio would sued George and win the case for damages caused on his body like bruises and the fractured right leg which was caused by George’s dangerous driving (Steele, 2007).  The laws governing the drivers are duly covered on the Road Traffic Act 1961. And the same time, any driving related crimes are covered in the Criminal Law Consideration Act 1935 which stipulates about the time of sentences one would get in the event of reckless driving.

According to Aussie Legal (2013) dangerous driving is prohibited in Australia and causing bodily harm through dangerous driving is in itself unlawful. The “danger in the context of driving has been described as a real potential danger arising out of a substantial possibility of injury to persons who might be reasonably expected to come up the street (Morton V Bervis (1993) 19 MVR 181). Therefore, in the light of all the factors considered, dangerous driving which is likely to cause bodily harm would attract a maximum fine of $4000 and Maximum 18 months in jail (Aussie Legal, 2013. It appears that Rhio would win the case and George would get done for causing grievous bodily harm through reckless driving.


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