September 19, 2014

Negligent driving charges: Police v KPP

Facts:

KPP was charged with negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm after an motor vehicle accident at an intersection. The police case was that KPP had driven to an intersection where she was turning right, had been blinded by the sun and had then after stopping turned into the path of an oncoming motor vehicle. The collision caused a passenger in the oncoming motor vehicle to suffer a broken left clavicle, ligament damage on both ankles, whiplash and general bruising.

KPP argued that a car had collided with her from behind forcing her into the path of the oncoming vehicle and thereby causing the crash. KPP argued that her driving was not negligent and that she could not possibly have avoided the collision given the impact from the car behind her.

Outcome:

The Court determined that KPP was not guilty of negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. Her explanation to police at the scene and in Court was consistent with her innocence in relation to the charge. It could not be established by the prosecution that the collision had been caused by KPP’s negligence.

It was open for the Court to conclude that the collision had been caused by the car which collided with the rear of KPP’s car, forcing KPP’s car into the path of the oncoming vehicle thus causing the injuries to the passenger in the other car.

KPP was successful in a cost application against the police who ought not to have instituted proceedings against KPP in circumstances where she had provided her account to police at an early stage and had failed to properly investigate her claims to police at the outset.