Reasons for judgement have been released by the BC Supreme Court for the case of Charlton-Miner v. Hedgecock (2020 BCSC 86). The case highlights the duties of cyclists and motorists respecting the use of dedicated bike lanes.
On the day of the collision, the plaintiff cyclist was cycling northbound in a dedicated bike lane, approaching an intersection on a green light. At the intersection, the designated bike lane was to the right of a designated right-hand turn lane. The cyclist entered the intersection, intending to travel straight through, when the defendant motorist, travelling northbound in the designated right-hand turn lane, turned right at the intersection across the cyclist’s path. The motorist struck the cyclist’s left shoulder, causing her to fall.
ICBC argued that the motorist should not be found at fault for various reasons, including that the cyclist should have left the designated bike lane and moved into the lane intended for vehicles travelling straight through the intersection. The Court rejected this argument and found the motorist 100% at fault.
In making his decision, the Court examined the law and clarified the duties of cyclists and motorists with respect to the use of designated bike lanes. In the absence of signs indicating that cyclists should do otherwise, cyclists are intended to remain within the designated bike lane, regardless of whether they intend to turn right or continue through an intersection. Cyclists can expect that vehicles will not drive in the dedicated bike lanes and will yield to cyclists using those lanes, just as drivers can expect that cyclists will use dedicated bike lanes where available. In this case, the Court held that the cyclist was entitled to use the designated bike lane. The motorist should have allowed the cyclist to cross the intersection before commencing his turn.
Please click here to read the full judgement.