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Afouzar v First Centre West Buses Limited [2014] EWHC 3426 (QB) - 23/10/14


HHJ Coe QC considered a claim by a pedestrian who had run into the path of an oncoming bus causing him significant injuries, including a head injury. The issue being determined was whether the bus driver had been negligent. The Judge considered that ignoring the 'red man' at the pedestrian crossing would not in of itself be negligent, but, "The red signal is at least a warning to stop and look and had he done so he would have seen the bus. I find that the Claimant simply ran out into the road in front of the bus."

The Judge took into account the importance of the safety of passengers on the bus when deciding whether a failure to emergency brake was negligent. She ruled, "It was not negligent as I find for him not to have seen the Claimant but even had he done so at the point at which I find he could reasonably have anticipated a risk it was already too late for the collision to have been avoided at all or the collision to have been avoided without serious risk to others ... I do not consider it negligent for the driver not to have braked at a rate which might have been in excess of the bus's capability anyway and which would have given rise to a real risk of serious injury to passengers. I heard evidence that maximal braking is rarely achieved." The claim was dismissed.