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Hannah BennettI was shocked and saddened to read about the death of a spectator at a recent Highland Rally who sustained fatal injuries while enjoying the event. The circumstances of the road traffic accident, which lead to the spectator’s death, make for harrowing reading and thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.

The accident happened in the forest section of a 44 mile rally during which cars are racing each other against the clock. An eight year old boy and one other person were also injured in the accident but their injuries are described as non life threatening.

This accident, along with a number of others reported over the weekend, highlights the vulnerability of pedestrians.

In a well know personal injury legal case named, Baker V Willoughby 1969 Lord Reid recognised that a pedestrian is rarely a danger to anyone else but a motorist travelling at a considerable speed must not relax their observation, for the consequences of doing so may be disastrous. This case has been followed on many occasions in other personal injury road traffic accident cases involving vehicles and pedestrians.

The duty of care placed on a motorist by the courts, quite rightly in my opinion, is higher than that placed on a pedestrian as it is widely recognised a motor vehicle is a dangerous machine, which can cause significant injury. Tragic accidents like that at the Highland Rally serve to reiterate this.


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