Comment 98461

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted March 15, 2014 at 07:16:15 in reply to Comment 98446

It is best to design the street to lower speeds, make it easier for pedestrians to cross and force drivers to pay attention. Unfortunately, as a society we are still refusing to do this.

But there is still a role for the courts in enforcing laws against obviously unsafe behaviour, especially when it leads to death.

Are you really more concerned about the driver who claimed not have noticed the woman until she bounced off his car than the woman who died?

In any case it is not my suggestion that there should be a reverse onus on drivers, it is already Ontario law:

The Highway Traffic Act imposes a reverse onus on a driver who impacts a pedestrian on a public roadway. The duty of care is outlined in section 193(1), which section reads as follows:

"When loss or damage is sustained by any person by reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle.

I guess you disagree with the rules of the road, but the problem from my point of view is that the courts refuse to effectively apply the law by having such a low standard for the driver to prove they are not at fault ("I didn't see her" is apparently enough).

This reverse onus makes sense because by driving one is deliberately choosing to engage in an activity that is a high risk to others. Because driving is so common we tend to forget this. Walking is not dangerous to others!

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-03-15 07:27:23

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