A question on negligence


Bonjour tout le monde. There's this video over here which shows I arrived safely at St Albans, and that I'm happy looking at the Soapbox page. Thanks for all the feedback, guys. : ) Now, I'm writing about what happened this morning...

Every morning I get up at 6:30, put the alarm on snooze until it's 6:50, then wake up and drag my battered trunk to the sink, and then to the shower room and back, get dressed, check my mail for the morning, and close to 8, I leave Chapman Hall to get bus #602 to St Albans. Today was a slightly different story, though. I wanted to record all that had happened but by the time I even got to the record button, the buses had already moved... -___-

So after getting a hot chocolate and a double chocolate muffin at Café Forum, I went to Stop 5 hoping to catch 602 at the usual time - 8:02 a.m. Now it so happened that there were three buses waiting behind the bollard, which just wouldn't move. 602 was right at the front. I watched all that had happened - 602 attempted to reverse, and right behind it was the inter-campus shuttle (I think ?), and behind it was another bus going to Welwyn. I didn't hear what had happened, but I did see the drivers of 602 and the shuttle getting down and gesturing to each other. Not good. 602 came to Stop 5, but we were told to get another bus. The driver for 602 even asked if anyone was injured. The next 602 arrived within minutes and we left for St Albans. It was then that I realised that the first 602 bus which came could've possibly been damaged...... I began to think about what could've happened.

Negligence in law happens when a duty of care is breached. In this bus case there'd obviously be a duty of care - each road user owes a duty of care to the passengers, pedestrians and other road users. We're not expected to go around knocking other people and taking them home as roadkill. :P

But here lies my question... I'm actually wondering, was it too difficult for the two buses behind 602 to just move backwards ? From where we were standing, it seemed that they had the entire road to themselves, and it only would've taken a few moments of patience for everything to go well. As much as it is understandable that drivers are in a hurry and passengers need to be picked up and dropped off every few minutes, I'd rather come safely than get jolted by a collision with a double-decker bus. What's more, if ever the drivers were to sue each other for negligence, or if the bus company were to be brought to court for negligence, I fail to see the justification that they would bring in their defence. Necessity ? The buses behind could've moved, since they had the whole road. Contributory negligence ? The bus in front couldn't have been negligent by reversing when the bollard did not go down.

I praise the Lord that I arrived safely in the law school, though I arrived twenty minutes later than I usually would. That means twenty minutes of my preparation time have been cut off. Regardless of whatever the outcome might've been, I'm putting that behind me, and I'm hoping that it doesn't happen again.


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