Man who drove vehicle into parking lot post at Abbotsford arena must pay deductible, tribunal rules

Man said he couldn’t see post, but tribunal rules he should have been paying attention

The city doesn’t have to pay the deductible of a man who drove his car into a post at a city-run arena parking lot last December.

The man had claimed the city should pay his $500 deductible and $166 in insurance premium increases because the “post posed a risk and should not have been there,” according to a Civil Resolution Tribunal ruling. But the tribunal found the driver should have been watching for things he might crash into, and ruled that he is still on the hook for costs linked to the crash.

The man had said that on the night of Dec. 22, heavy rain left the road surface glistening with water and the visibility poor. He told the tribunal road markings were worn and could barely bee seen. Cars were parked on both side of the lot when he drove into the post, which was used to separate the parking lot at times. No separator chain was attached to the post when the man ran into it, he said.

A lawyer for the city noted that the pole was marked with reflective tape, although the driver said it was still hard to see. The man said that he was focused on watching for families and kids when he hit the post.

But the ruling tribunal member said the driver should have been able to see the post despite the rain and darkness.

“I infer the post would have been illuminated by the applicant’s headlights because he collided into it with his vehicle’s front end,” the tribunal ruled. “I find it more likely than not that the post would have been reasonably visible to a prudent driver approaching it head-on at the time of the collision.”

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