The vexed question of who has to do what on traffic roundabouts came before the highest court of the state last week by way of an appeal by Suncorp concerning peak hour comings and goings in a Mackay suburb.
Kristy Anderson had recovered $247,000 in a district court judgment for personal injury damages based on Alison Connelly being held 75 per cent responsible for the 2008 accident. Ultimately, after a lengthy examination of the facts, the appeal judges considered Alison had failed to give way and to keep a proper lookout but Kristy had also failed to give way. The liability apportionment was altered to 50 – 50.
If you must know the details, the episode unfolded as follows.
Kristy’s Kia Rio had entered the roundabout from the south and drove in the inner lane with her right-hand indicator flashing. Intending to do go straight ahead (i.e. take the second exit) she switched the traffic indication to show left.
Alison’s Hyundai Getz arrived at the roundabout from the west in the left-hand lane, intending to proceed straight ahead (i.e. take her second exit). Observing the give-way sign, she saw Kristy’s Kia come towards the centre of the roundabout indicating right. She did not see a switch to a left-hand indication from the Kia and joined the roundabout going straight ahead into the side of the Kia as it proceeded into the exit.
If you find that hard to follow, a sketch plan of the roundabout has been thoughtfully included as an appendix to the published judgment. Suncorp had argued on appeal that there was no negligence on Alison’s part and that judgment should be entered against Kristy.
The orders were that the appeal is allowed and the judgment for $165,000 was substituted.
Anderson v Connelly & Suncorp Metway Insurance Limited  QCA 037 (10/6628) Margaret McMurdo P and Fraser and White JJA 8/03/2011