Who's at Fault? (Yes Another One of These Posts)

So, mates daughter driving in a Westfield shopping centre car park. Comes up to a give way sign, proceeds through the intersection and a car going against the flow that is marked on the road and sign posted hits the rear of the car. Her whole car had cleared past the give way line and she was almost through the intersection when the accident happened. Now GIO are saying shes at fault for fail to give way even know she was:

a) Almost through the intersection
b) No part of her car was still behind the give way line
c) other vehicle was driving the wrong way

So does this mean I can be driving down a one way street in the incorrect direction in Sydney and if a car fails to give way to me they are at fault?

https://ibb.co/WgqwC5N - Damage to rear of mates vehicle
https://ibb.co/dWz76jc - Poorly drawn mud map

Hopefully I have satisfied everyone's needs with photos and a poll. Sorry, no Ms Paint drawing.

!!! EDIT 09/12 !!!

More photos taken today. In the time we were there today taking the photos, not one driver looked left to check for a car coming the wrong direction.

https://ibb.co/qjmK74P - Notice the pole marked "Q", look at the size of it, hard to see something coming the wrong direction.

!!! EDIT 10/12 !!!

So got confirmation today that Casey’s car is a total loss write off. Now do you thinks it’s possible to write a car off if the other driver was following the posted speed limit of 10km/h? Still no word from GIO yet on the review of the case.

And to the people who are saying the road rules don’t apply in a private parking lot or private land or that’s its only an recommend and blah blah, I’m afraid you’re incorrect according to the law.

“The Australian Road Rules (ARR) apply to ‘vehicles’ and ‘road users’ on ‘roads’ and ‘road-related areas’. Each of these terms has a defined meaning – of which ‘road’ is the most commonly misunderstood.”


!! EDIT 12/12 !!!

Wrong way signs


Poll Options

  • 68
    Mates daughter at fault
  • 282
    Other drive at fault
  • 34
    Each drive at fault
  • 34
    Cyclist at fault


  • She drove past a give way sign without giving way, shown by the fact someone hit her. "Give way" means exactly that, and not "give way unless you can mostly make it through the intersection".

    Someone driving the wrong way doesn't make their car invisible. They'd be liable to the police who enforces the one-way, but doesn't change anything else.

    • That's where it's so shit sometimes.

      If the guy wasn't going the wrong way in the first place, then there wouldn't have been an accident also…but then you could keep going back forever…if the guy's parents hadn't met, he wouldn't have been born…etc

      Still think it's the other driver's fault in this case given they hit the back left of the car.

      • Unless mate's daughter's car is some kinda one way semi permeable membrane, would've been hit by a car going the other direction just the same I'd reckon.

        • +2 votes

          Unless mate's daughter's car is some kinda one way semi permeable membrane, would've been hit by a car going the other direction just the same I'd reckon.

          She could have seen a car coming from the correct direction and waited… ?

          (Assuming she knew it was a one-way thing)

          • @abb: Ah, but the give way sign and road rules don't specify where she has to look. She has to make sure that it's clear - in all respects.

            • +1 vote

              @HighAndDry: Sure, she made an error and bears some fault. But I don't think it's fair to conclude she would have been hit by a car coming from the expected direction.

            • @HighAndDry: I disagree. I don't check for traffic that would be going in the wrong direction in a one way street (in a car park I would still be extra careful though)

      • Still think it's the other driver's fault in this case given they hit the back left of the car.

        That's a big point I made, if the damage was to the front left or even the front parsonage door then I would be happy to say no you didn't give way. Given the damage is to the rear door, tyre and rear quarter panel it shows how far through the intersection the vehicle travelled.

    • I spoke to someone I know who works for NRMA, they said if any part of the car was still behind the giveway line then yes, mates daughter would be at fault, or held accountable for her own damage.

      • Well if you spoke to someone who works at NRMA (presumably in insurance area) why are you wasting your time posting here are you looking for ppl to just agree with you pov and make you feel you're right?

        There are many factors we don't know, did your mates daughter confirm she came to a complete stop checked all entries and then moved off? or was it a quick glance and gun it through, were we there? no, were YOU there ? did the other driver have ample time to stop was the road wet was any driver texting or distracted

      • I remember one time a few years back, I ran a red light, T-boned another driver. The fella at NRMA told me that because I had my whole car in the intersection, all of it was over the white line. That the other driver was at fault. Great loop hole that one.

    • So from the evidence and you yourself has said, she has drove past a giveway sign.

      And an accident has occurred, so how many meters past a giveway sign does one need to be before they are considered part of the regular flow of the lanes traffic.

      It would seem from the description and the damage to the vehicle given the environment she was well past the dotted line expected of Casey to stop and give way.

      • so how many meters past a giveway sign does one need to be before they are considered part of the regular flow of the lanes traffic.

        Past the intersection. If you're hit while crossing the intersection, you've failed to give way.

        • I’ve looked for the definition of the “intersection” but can’t find it, given there are no lines detailing the end of the intersection, only a line where one must stop to check to give way, it seems entirely subjective where you consider “past the intersection” is appropriate.

          • @cloudy: What. The intersection ends when the other road no longer intersects the road you're traveling on.

            • @HighAndDry: That's exactly my point. Once Casey went past the pillar, which holds the giveway sign (and dotted line), her road has ended, and she is part of the flow of the cars which has right of way. Hence any incident where some car crashes into her from side or behind is their fault, because Casey is part of usual flow of traffic on which she is traveling.

              • @cloudy: Wait, she was going through the intersection - look at the crudely drawn diagram. She wasn't turning into and joining the intersecting road.

    • Someone driving the wrong way doesn't make their car invisible.

      No, but the 1 meter concrete pole's and the row of SUV's that normally park next to it do.

  • grabs popcorn

  • fact: she didn't give way. otherwise, she wouldn't have been hit.

    • She did give way to the cars that came from the right ( literally ) side.
      Being in a parking, the person who drove the wrong way must have been a huge <profanity>,
      because the car of your mate must have been well visible, and the other driver must have almost intentionally hit her car.

    • This is not an indisputable fact - what if she gave way, only moved under completely clear traffic and someone tore out at triple the speed limit and hit her? Is that "not giving way" as evidenced by the collision? What a silly thing to say under the assumption that the other driver is doing things correctly

  • Dashcam footage would be helpful in this situation

  • Not giving way is the first sin, and only sin that matters unfortunately.

    It's probably worth at least arguing though, if the other driver was going the wrong way down a one way road. But I wouldn't expect a positive result.

    Are the roads marked/signed "one way" or just arrows painted on the road? I wonder if this makes a difference?

    Give my best to Casey.

    • Arrows painted on road, one way signs and wrong way, to back signs hanging from ceiling.

      • Hmm the plot thickens. Surely somebody driving against "one way" signs is at least 50% fault here.

        I would advise your mate to explain this to the insurance company and advise you will be letting a judge decide as its plainly absurd to be "100% at fault" if the other vehicle disobeyed one way signage.

        (but you still may lose).

  • Yeah I think your friend's daughter is out of luck this time.

    My guess is that GIO looked at the case and determined that, if not for the fact that she went through a give way sign, that accident wouldn't have occurred. While there obviously could have been some form of accident given the other driver was going the wrong way, it looks like your friend's kid's action were the most 'obvious' in a series of mistakes and therefore she is left holding the can.

  • Give way, you're supposed to give way so it's safe to proceed. Yeh the guy went the wrong way, but she didn't give way.

    • Shouldn't common sense apply here? Both drivers erred here. One was going the wrong way and one technically didn't give way (but who can blame her if a car is coming from a direction that it shouldn't/she is not expecting?)

      I would argue that the driver going in the wrong direction is doing the "worse offence" in this specific situation.

      At the very least it should be 50:50/repair their own.

      Lastly, this I suppose is a good learning experience for the daughter, because she will learn never to make the same mistake and to check both directions from now on, experienced drivers know already that d*ckheads will travel in the wrong direction especially in car parks (eg because they are gunning for a spot or trying to exit quicker) hell, people even drive the wrong direction on actual roads!

      • +3 votes

        I can see where you and some people here are coming from.

        However, as a driver, you are supposed to be aware of your surrounding, not selectively looking at one or two things. I understand that the other driver is also in the wrong in regards to driving the wrong way, but I believe that is a separate incident. His driving in the wrong way did not directly cause the accident.

        If she had cleared the way by giving way (as the sign suggested), then the accident would not have happened.

        The whole sotry would have changed IF there was no give way sign. In that situation, then the person driving in the wrong way would be completely at fault.

        It's sh*t, but that's why defensive driving is important.

        • It's sh*t, but that's why defensive driving is important.


        • Yup. Plus, looking only for what you expect would lead to a lot of accidents, including running over all jaywalkers.

        • His driving in the wrong way did not directly cause the accident

          I would argue that it did cause the accident

          • @AndrewCh: Indirectly…Maybe,

            But she didn't give way. She didn't look. You can't 'expect' on the roads. You have to make sure it's safe to proceed.

            Let's change that wrong way car to a truck, would you still go speed straight and ignore the truck just because it was going the wrong way?

            You may be able to report the guy to the police for driving the wrong way (evidence being the actual incident). But in regards to the insurance, the girl is wrong


        • Defensive driving is important not to get hit in the first place. That is not the topic though, it's about who's at fault given the accident has occured. You can't expect a car going down the wrong way in a one way road to be not at fault.

          To say a driver is at fault because they didn't exercise defensive driving when another car is going down the wrong way in a one way road is similar to saying sexual assaults are the fault of the victim because of the way they dress.

  • We are not supposed to give way to someone driving on the wrong way… That's nonsense! You stop at the sign, you look at the direction where the cars are supposed to come from, and then you go… I'm pretty sure 99% of drivers would not even understand what's happening - because a car coming from the WRONG way is unexpected…

    I'm sorry for Casey, but I'm even sorrier for having to discuss this here and seeing that most people here think she is the one at fault. That makes no logical sense to me…

    • Well, it would be in your own best interests to give way to them, but they shouldn't be there in the first place.

      • That's my first thought too, but then I remembered, there are legitimate reasons for a car to reverse in and out of a parking spot, so they may indeed come from the "wrong" direction.

        In this scenario, suppose the other driver's car was reversing against the arrow, daughter would have caused an accident too. Not looking good for her.

      • Give way to cars that are coming from where they are supposed to… Not to cars on the wrong way, or cars coming from the sky.

        Different scenario:
        Casey is coming from a two way road and wanna turn left at the corner… Simple like that… She is at the corner, she has to give way to everyone… She look at the right, no cars, so she turns left… Then there is an idiot driving on the wrong side of the road (because there was a queue and the driver wanted to turn right on the street where Casey is coming from) and he/she hits Casey…

        That's, again, not Casey's fault… That's the "wrong way" fault… Wrong way is ridiculous, unacceptable, unjustifiable I would say… We are not talking about two meters rear to get into a parking bay but driving wrong way.

        Anyway, I am not the judge here but I would go to court with those arguments, and I doubt a reasonable judge would say Casey was at fault. I think GIO is at fault here…

        • Give Way rules trump everything. It is NOT, never was and never will be give way to "cars that are coming from where you expect they are suppposed to come from." This is often how lazy people end up driving but it is not how it is taught or how the law is worded. The Give Way rules worded as something like "Give way to all vehicles" or "Enter the roundabout only when it is safe to do so"

          There are scenarios where vehicles can be in the carriageway you're about to turn into. An emergency vehicle can legitimately be travelling or parked on the "wrong" side of the road. Other times a car might fall out of the sky and be there for no legitimate reason but in BOTH scenarios you still have to Give Way.

          • @wannagrababargain: Not quite sure if I quite agree with this statement. Yes I agree Give Way generally trumps everything. However I believe some general common sense should also be applied and take into consideration. If there are vehicles in the carriageway you're about to turn into, yes you should always check and give way if there's any vehicle because you ARE turning into that road.

            However, if I'm going straight and the cross road is one way only (with signs an line marking clearly outlined), and I only check for vehicles coming down that direction, why should I be liable if some idiot hit me from the other direction? Yes it would've been best practice to check both ways before you cross regardless but would I reasonably expect vehicles coming from the opposite direction? No.

            That's just my thought but happy to be convinced if there's other viewpoints.

        • That's exactly the scenario I wrote. Agree with you.

    • There's no mention in the road rules about Give Way signs about direction of the interacting street.

      Good reminder to look both ways.

    • Gotta give way to any vehicle coming from either direction by assessing the road for hazards and risks. It doesnt matter that the other vehicle was traveling the wrong way, you cant pull out in its path.

    • Please hand in your license.

    • Yeah! Who cares if there is a small child walking the 'wrong' way through a parking lot…

      Just because somebody shouldn't be doing something, doesn't mean they wont be doing it.

      • So I suppose when you drive on a road in which the limit is 60km/h you actually drive at 5km/h just in case a child jump in front of your car, right? Because a child shouldn't be there but that doesn't mean he/she is not there.
        I understand hazard and how we have to be aware of everything that is happening around when we drive, but that doesn't mean we have to drive at 5km/h all the time, or give way even when nothing is supposed to come from that side.
        Some people mentioned emergency services, which is ridiculous… We always give way to emergency services even if there is no give way sign… They can drive wrong way or do whatever they want because they are emergency services. The give way signs are obviously to show that the drivers coming from the crossing (not Casey, but not the other guy either) have the preference, not to say that cars can illegally come from whatever side and we should give way to them.

    • My mummy always told me to look both ways before crossing a round. I'm not sure what's so different here that would make the other car unexpected.

    • Well, good thing I do check both directions regardless. Also when I am the first at traffic light, just in case someone runs red like @Ace Ventura

    • Agreed. I don't know the exact acceleration/braking pattern but you'd seriously be blind (or ignorant) by hitting someone on rear quarter panel. Even if she didn't give way, the other driver in wrong direction should've clearly seen the car ahead and should've braked. So part of me assumes that car was driving fast or irresponsibly. I'm sticking with Casey here. She did her due diligence.

    • removed by publisher

  • There both at fault:

    1. “Mates Daughter” should have been watching both ways.
    2. “Other Driver” should have been going the correct way down the road.

    In terms of insurance I believe that “Mates Daughter” should be eligible to make a claim as depending on the speed the “Other Driver” was going it may have been Impossible/unlikely for “Mates Daughter” to move her car as there could have been a car waiting at the give way sign making it impossible to reverse, etc.

  • Well, just looked up the NSW road rules:

    Not give way to vehicle is 3 demerit points and $344 fine. Rule 67 (1)

    Drive contrary to direction of traffic lane arrow is 2 demerit points and $268 fine. Rule 92 (1)

    So if they are only judging based on "seriousness" of offence, then the daughter is out of luck.

    So stupid, should be equal or the other way around I reckon.

    • The other driver is in the wrong and can be fined, but it's two separate issues.

      • So can the daughter. So what?

        Two separate offences resulting in one accident.

        You can say that about many accidents. IMO it's a grey area.

        • In terms of risk management, suffice to say both drivers' negligence contributed to the accident.

          I think it's unfair the daughter got all of it. It should have been both at fault, in my opinion.

        • No. Driving wrong way is one. Daughter not giving way and being hit is another.

          • @HighAndDry: No, they both contributed to the accident. To test my statement, I ask you to imagine two scenarios:

            1) daughter drives over the give way sign with no traffic about
            2) guy drives against the arrow with no traffic about

            Neither scenario results in a collision because there's only one part of the equation. You need both to have a collision.

            So, both contributed to the accident.

            The point of argument should be who should get more blame. I previously thought the other driver should get more blame, but after some more thinking, I think daughter should get more blame instead: there are legitimate cases of car going against the arrow for a short distance in a car park, therefore daughter's failure to give way to legitimate reversing cars would have got her into trouble anyway.

            • @Bad Company: Ok, but change those:

              1. Daughter didn't run give way sign, other driver goes the wrong way - no accident, but

              2. Other driver drives correct way and daughter runs give way sign - still an accident.

              The only change that prevents the accident, and so what caused it, was the daughter running the give way sign.

      • +3 votes

        While in my opinion, the other driver should be 100% responsible for being a moron, the law might not agree with my opinion.

        Perhaps you should have a read on "Contributory Negligence" in the link below. The case study provided is very similar to this incident.


    • ah but more people don't give way at give way signs so more $$$ for RMS.

      but yeah it should be the other way around.

    • Drive contrary to direction of traffic lane arrow.

      This is when you don't turn while in the turning lane, or turn when in the straight through only lane etc

      Driving down the wrong side of the road is called Dangerous Driving - and is a crime you can be jailed for.

      • Oh, you're right! This one then?

        Drive wrong way on one-way service road
        Penalty $344
        Points 3
        Rule 136

        Maybe not, it is for service roads specifically…

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