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August 21st 2015

Andrew Petherbridge

Importance of ensuring roads remain clear to avoid accidents

Andrew Petherbridge

Andrew Petherbridge

Legal Executive and Head of Civil Liberties

Importance of ensuring roads remain clear to avoid accidents

By Andy Petherbridge, Associate of Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Hudgell Solicitors  

By Andy Petherbridge, Associate of Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Hudgell Solicitors  

Mud roadKeeping the roads in good condition and making sure there is nothing to obstruct motorists is absolutely vital to ensure the safety of other road users.

Often, we assume the council is responsible for debris, such as mud, left on the carriageways or country roads.

But sometimes, this is not the case and others, such as local farmers, are responsible.

Hudgell Solicitors recently secured £10,000 for 18-year-old Carrie Dickinson, who was thrown from her motorcycle when it hit mud on the road near her home in Belton, near Doncaster, in 2013.

After initially pursuing the local council to find it was not their fault, an insurance company admitted a breach of duty in terms of leaving mud on the road on behalf of one of two farmers it represented in the area.

Use of country roads, the weather, the size of farming vehicle used and cropping patterns could all be factors in the state roads are left in and when this could happen.

But farmers who leave mud on the roads are liable for a range of actions and need to take care, such as keeping to their own farm roads wherever possible and keep written records on whether or not to put warning signs up, or clean the road afterwards.

Those using the roads, including farmers, should do everything in their power to ensure mud is not left and make sure any signage put up to warn other road users of potential hazards is clearly displayed, allowing maximum visibility.

Cleaning or clearing the roads in question should take place throughout the day.

Failure to do so could result in civil action, or an outcome like Carrie’s, due to personal injury, damage to property, loss or inconvenience, resulting in a claim for negligence.

As specialists in personal injury claims, we see negligence on the roads on a regular basis.

Taking responsibility for health and safety and adhering to basic safety rules should be carried out across the board.

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