Legal Cost Specialists

Definition of road traffic accident

By on Sep 26, 2014 | 8 comments

Is an accident concerning an elderly lady being hit by a mobility scooter in the fruit and vegetable aisle of a Tesco superstore a “road traffic accident” under CPR 45.7 (now CPR 47.9) such that fixed predictive costs apply; a road traffic accident being defined as:

“an accident resulting in bodily injury to any person or damage to property caused by or arising out of the use of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place”
“‘motor vehicle’ means a mechanically propelled vehicle intended for use on roads”
“‘road’ means any highway and any other road to which the public has access and includes bridges over which a road passes.”

Yes, said Deputy District Judge Dawson in Scott v Malcolm (Liverpool County Court, 5 April 2013).

Thanks to Patrick Driscoll at Shakespeares for providing a copy of the judgment.


  1. I wonder whether the Police were called as this appears to be a ‘reportable accident’ under the RTA!!

    Andrew Brasher

    26th September 2014

  2. What an idiotic decision!

    “A broader meaning of public space or place includes also places where everybody can come if they pay, like a café, train, or movie theatre. A shop is an example of what is intermediate between the two meanings: everybody can enter and look around without obligation to buy, but activities unrelated to the purpose of the shop are not unlimitedly permitted.”

    People only have permitted access to a shop, subject to the shop owners rules and definitions; including when they choose to shut the door! It is not a true public place, which has no such restrictions . On this ruling, everyone’s house is a “public place” as long as the front door is open. Lets see that one stand up as a defence in the Mags Court!


    26th September 2014

  3. I love DDJ decisions.

    Suck my costs

    26th September 2014

  4. It must be Friday.

    Monkey #2

    26th September 2014

  5. Ridiculous decision!


    26th September 2014

  6. Odd as not a road but an aisle but these decisions never seem to reach the obvious conclusion that the claim is one for theRTA insurers or another liability for the MIB

    Rob Carter

    2nd October 2014

  7. Not a ridiculous decision – Ridiculous wording of the CPR lead to these decisions.

    “or other public place” should never have been inserted as there is many precedents in common law which suggest that the definition of “public space” is wmuch wider than most people, especially cost draftsmen, realise or appreciate.


    3rd October 2014

  8. definition of RTA. For insurance purposes- rider falls from motorcycle no other damage to other vehicle is classed as RTA. the only person injured was rider.


    20th April 2017

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