Unsuccessful claim against motorist


imagesIn the Court of Session on Wednesday 25th November 1931, before the Lord Justice Clerk and Lords Ormidale and Hunter, judgement was given in a reclaiming note for the pursuers in an action by Victor Augustine, 151 Stonefield Road, Blantyre, and his neighbour, William Houldsworth, jun., 153 Stonefield Road, Blantyre, against Thomas Shanks, Beechfield, Denny, for payment of £657 in name of damages for injuries to person and property.

The action arose out of head-on collision on October 22, 1930, between the Shanks’s motor car and Augustine’s motor cycle  / side-car, in which Houldsworth was the passenger and on to which he was holding a dirt-track motor cycle belonging to Augustine. The vehicles met on the road between Hamilton and Bellshill.

At the time of the collision the motor cycle and side-car was far as possible on its wrong side of the road, and the Shanks’s car was on its proper side. The driver of the motor-cycle and side-car drove on the offside of the road because this part of the road was smoother than on his own side, and he chose it because the awkward burden of towing another bike from the sidecar.

Mr Shanks stated that the driver of the cycle signalled to the him by putting out his right hand and arm, that he proposed to continue on his wrong side, and that the Mr Shanks intended to follow road safety, paid no attention to the illegal signal.

Lord Moncrieff, in the Outer House, dismissed the action as irrelevant, remarking that it appeared to him to be nothing short of sheer effrontery to suggest that Shanks or his motor car was at fault, or that the Blantyre men, who was driving the cycle and towing the vehicle in the wrong side of the road, was not in fault. His Lordship said he recognised no signals which might be given by motorist as proper signals and indicated that he proposed to disregard the claim.

Pictured a side car and cycle of the era. Imagine leaning out the side car and towing a broken cycle from the back of that! Takes a Blantyre man to try such a feat then try to claim when it all goes wrong. lol.

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