English Travel Law Case: Coach Travel

Welsh v Messenger, 13 September 2005, [CLYB] 2875W, aged 68, suffered serious neck and hip injuries when the coach she was travelling on veered off the road and rolled down a bank. She had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time and was thrown from the coach. In 2001, a regulation had been introduced requiring all coaches made after that date to be fitted with 3 point seatbelts. The accident occurred in 2002. The regulation did not require that passengers use the seatbelts but the Highway Code 2004 advised that passengers should do so where they were available. The 2002 version of the code contained no such advice. M claimed that W had been contributory negligent in that she had not worn a seatbelt. W pointed out that she was a frequent coach traveller and had never been warned of the requirement to wear a seatbelt. Although she always wore a seatbelt when travelling by car, she believed that she was relatively safer in not doing so in the environment of a large car. The court dismissed the claim of contributory negligence. There was no general public perception of the importance of wearing seatbelts in coaches and W had not been negligent. John J Downes

Leave a Comment