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LIGHTS ? According to the view of two High . Court Judges in an important appeal / '/case, tbe law does not compel sheep to carry lights when walking along a ~' highway in England at night. --"| Mr Raymond J. Catcbpole, a farmer} ' fj of Darsham, Suffolk, sued Mr George ~ ; : A. Mindter, motor-cab proprietor of " Lowestoft,' for £5 in respect of three .; sheep run over by one of the defend- '} ant' 3 cabs on a dark night when a v| flock of sheep was being driven along " : 'fj a country lane in Suffolk, Judge Mulligan in tbe County Court, nonsuited the plaintiff on the ground that the motor driver was not negligent. In these circumstances tbe farmer appealed to the High Court to order a J new trial, and Mr Gerald Dodson, on bis behalf, said that, in effeot, the County Court Judge held that it was negligent to drive sheep on the highway after dark without a light. j J&j The drover was in front of the flook, ''"ill and his dog brought up the rear, counsel explained, and it was com- r "| plained that the sheep did not keep the left hand side of the road. /'-ill! " Ought school children coming "W home from a treat to carry lights? asked Mr Justice Lush. Mr Dodson said he knew of no law compelling animals to do so " „; ; Mr Claughton Scott, for tbe cab /|M proprietor, said that what his Honour *JP evidently thought was that the negli- •- ?;-} gence was on the part of the drover ~ :-'?<' .^sa

of the sheep. Mr Justice Bray: And in my opmiocTlbit n wrong. «• One knows the way of sheep, urgßd counsel. " Tbey are proverbially silly creatures—not like intelligent school children who know the right from the wrong side of the roan*." "I should say," commented Mr Justice Bray, " that the running into a flock of sheep is prima facie, some evidence of negligence. I know some thing about motor car 3, and every motor driver who knows his duty reduces his speed to the slowest possible rate the moment he see 3an animal on the toad." Counsel arguad that the very nature of tbe .accident showed that the car must have been going slowly. Mr Justice Bray : But three lambs were run over. Mr Justice Lush : How many would you expect to kill at PO miles an hour? (Laughter). Counsel: If tba'car bad been going at anything like '&> speed suggested, I should have thought it would have "gone into the brjwn," so to speak. (Laughter). Mr Justice Lush: But three lambs was not a bad "bag," (Renewed Laughter). "One does not expesfe to run into a flock of sheep after dark ; it is not a usual thing to do," remarked Mr Scott, who proceeded to suggest tbat when a big flook was on tbe road there ought to be a boy on ahead to give warning. Mr Justice Bary: You might as well say a man should have two or three people on ahead when he is driving in bis trap. Motorcars ought to have lights sufficiently Btrong to enable the driver to see some distance ahead. Counsel pleaded that there was no danger to ordinary traffic in this case. "Sheep, cows and pigs can be said to be ordinary traffic on a country road," commented Mr Justice Bray. Giving judgment, Mr Justice Bray said ths County Court Judge men tioned that be had ruled in a similar way in a previous case, and if he were wrong he desired to be corrected. He obviously treated the question before bim as one of law. Tbe point was : Ought anyone to have a 100 sheep on a high road on a very dark night with out any light ? The County Court Judge held tbat doing so wa9 contrbutory negligence. 'In my opinion he was wrong," added his Lordship, "and therefore there must be a new trial." Mr Justice Lush concurring, ex pressed the opinion that the County Court Judge "misdirected himself." The' farmer was given the costs of tbe appeal.

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Bibliographic details

RULES OF THE ROAD., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4362, 6 January 1914

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RULES OF THE ROAD. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4362, 6 January 1914

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