23.01.2022

Eight-year-old child recognized as a driver and accused of collision with BMW

At 8 years old, you least expect that you will be charged with a claim for not missing an obstacle on the right. The accident happened back in May last year: a crossover and a schoolboy on a bicycle collided in a narrow garden lane.

The parties’ versions about what happened differ, but the district court sided with the driver of the foreign car, and the boy was found guilty of violating two points of the Road Traffic Rules: he did not yield to an obstacle on the right and did not apply emergency braking during the time.

How justified is it to present a child with traffic violations, which even adults do not always remember, we asked the experts.

The law of the gardens, but it’s the law

The accident occurred in a garden partnership at the T-shaped intersection of garden driveways. The car turned left, the cyclist turned right, that is, in theory, they should have driven parallel courses, without interfering with each other.

The width of the carriageway is in the region of 3 meters. View from the side of the driveway along which the child was driving

But there was a clash, and the sides diverge. The driver of the BMW, judging by the case file, claims that he drove into the intersection, saw the boy and stopped, and the child, not having time to brake, crashed into the side of the car.

The boy’s mother, Alevtina, tells a different version from the words of her son:

– At first, my son could not speak, he was so scared, but then he walked away and said that he was driving along the road as usual. This is the outskirts of the partnership, there is almost no traffic, children ride bicycles here all the time, moreover, this is not a public road, but, in fact, a residential area. The son began to turn right on his side of the road, but BMW, which did not have enough room to turn, cut the corner. In fact, he drove into the oncoming lane that my son was driving in.

The owner of the car told Alevtina that the traffic police did not come to the call, and he filed the incident with the help of the emergency commissioner.

“Backed up to hide the reason”

Auto lawyer Boris Stukov, representing Alevtina’s interests in court, notes that the BMW driver drove away from the place of the real collision, which, according to him, is evidenced by traces of braking of the rear wheel: when registering an accident, they were at the level of the front wheel.

– The driver, apparently, tried to mislead everyone and drove back from the place, in the end he dug a hole for himself, because from the position in which he parked the car, there is no visibility of the intersected passage. This means that from this point the BMW driver has not yet seen the child and could not, as he describes, slow down due to the detection of danger, – says Boris Stukov.

The lawyer draws attention to the nature of the damage to the car: there are traces in the area of ​​the front mirror, as well as longitudinal scratches and marks along the entire left side. This suggests that the impact was not punctual, as in the case of a cyclist hitting a stationary car, but sliding.

“In fact, both BMW and the cyclist were moving along parallel trajectories and would not have interfered with each other if BMW had not moved in the direction of the oncoming lane and pushed the boy to the side of the road,” says Boris Stukov. – There is a local widening at this intersection, and the BMW driver had to go on a wider trajectory, leaving room for the child.

When making the decision, the court relied on the results of the examination, which Alevtina’s side petitioned for – the woman paid 24 thousand rubles for the service. But the expert came to the conclusion that just before the impact BMW was already standing, and the hit was made by a child. As a result, the court found that the boy had violated two points of the traffic rules: 13.11 (did not concede to an obstacle on the right) and 10.1 (did not apply emergency braking).

The BMW driver demanded from the child’s family a total of about 100 thousand rubles: 70 thousand – damage, another 30 thousand – the services of a representative. The court ordered Alevtina to pay the car owner 72 thousand rubles.

Boris Stukov notes multiple, in his opinion, flaws in the expert’s work. For example, the issue of visibility of the intersected roadway has not been studied at all. Could the BMW driver see the child in advance and stop as he describes it? Could the boy himself have stopped in time if the BMW appeared suddenly?

Is it generally legal to lure a child for traffic violations?

And how reasonable is it to impute to an eight-year-old boy specific traffic rules that relate specifically to drivers and are studied by them before passing the driving license exam. The ironic thing is that both points are often forgotten even by experienced drivers: many do not consider it necessary to give in to the obstacle on the right at T-shaped intersections and in yards, and violation of paragraph 10.1 of the traffic rules is the most frequent reason for accusing adult drivers. Are such requirements adequate for a child who, obviously, did not pass on the rights?

“If we open the traffic rules and look at the definition of the term“ driver ”, we will not find there an indication of age: if a person drives a power-driven vehicle, to which a bicycle belongs, he is a driver,” explains lawyer Andriy Savchenko. – And being on the road, the child must comply with the traffic rules on an equal basis with everyone else.

Well, how legal is it to impute a violation of the administrative code to a child? You can, after all, bring the situation to the point of absurdity and imagine, for example, a two-year-old kid crossing the road in the wrong place. It’s one thing to catch a parent’s oversight, but can a baby himself become guilty?

“There are peculiarities of the application of laws and punishments to minors, for example, if a child commits an administrative violation, he is not punished with a fine,” continues Andrei Savchenko. – But in this case, we are not talking about a fine as such, but about civil office work. Even if a child driver is considered a traffic offender, this does not mean that he is obliged to pay – according to the law, the damage is reimbursed by his parents or guardians.

The lawyer emphasizes that this logic can be applied to a two-year-old child on a bicycle – age alone does not give an “indulgence” to violate traffic rules.

Could a schoolboy drive on the road?

The court also noted that a child under 14 years old, in principle, could not drive on the carriageway. Clause 24.3 of the SDA requires children to ride a bicycle only on sidewalks, pedestrian, bicycle or bicycle paths, as well as within pedestrian zones.

But we do not consider it a violation if a child cyclist rides on a field or, for example, on a sports field – they, after all, do not belong to sidewalks or cycle paths either. Boris Stukov, for example, is sure that the closed territory of SNT “Health” is a residential area, and therefore children can ride their bicycles anywhere.

But the question is not so straightforward. Children can really ride on fields or playgrounds, especially since they do not belong to roads and therefore traffic rules do not apply to them in principle. But on the roads, the aforementioned paragraph 24.3 of the SDA is in effect, which de facto prohibits children under 14 years of age from entering the roadway.

– If there are no signs “Living zone” in the gardening partnership, then there is no reason to consider their territory as such, – explains Andrey Savchenko. – In this case, the garden passage is a carriageway, unless the movement of cars on it is separately prohibited. And children under 14 are really not allowed to drive on the carriageways, even if they are in a territory closed for through passage.

By the way, the same logic applies to courtyards and residential areas: they are also crossed by roadways, which are prohibited for young cyclists to enter. Children can ride on sidewalks or playgrounds, but not driveways. But for pedestrians in residential areas, an exception has been made: paragraph 17.1 of the SDA allows them to walk on carriageways.

“The guilt of the BMW driver was not even considered …”

At the same time Alevtina complains that they made her son an extreme, without even considering the question of at least partial guilt of the BMW driver:

– The car was driving along a garden lane, where there are many children, and the owner of a source of increased danger should have expected the appearance of a child. It has not been considered at all whether he did his best to prevent collisions and leave the child with enough room to turn.

Andrey Savchenko also agrees with this message:

– It is important to understand what caused the accident, considering the issue in full. For example, was the visibility of the intersection ensured? What trajectory did the BMW driver follow and did he not allow him to enter the oncoming part of the road for him? Did it maintain lateral spacing before the cyclist?

The key document in the analysis of an accident is a diagram, but in this case it is drawn up very conditionally: for example, it does not reflect the width of the roadways and traces of BMW emergency braking. The very fact that the scheme was drawn up by an avarcom raises questions, because collisions with cyclists do not fall under the requirements of the European protocol, which means that notification of the traffic police is mandatory. But in this case it is difficult to ruin the case on this basis.

– If in the court of first instance the boy or mother did not deny the fact that the accident happened, then the illiteracy of the registration of the accident does not play a decisive role for the court, because the incident itself is confirmed, – said the auto lawyer Lev Voropaev. – If the statute of limitations had not expired, the BMW driver could have been prosecuted for leaving the accident scene without notifying the police, but in this case it’s too late.

Alevtina’s party plans to challenge the decision on this incident in the regional court. If she fails to do this, the total costs, taking into account the expertise, will amount to about 100 thousand rubles.

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