CRI/A/88/86 IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the Appeal of:
THABANG KHEOANE Appellant
Delivered by the Honourable Sir Peter Allen, on the 14th
day of April, 1987.
The Appellant, a 23 years old driver, was convicted by a
resident magistrate at Teyateyaneng on 5 May, 1986, of negligent
c/s 90(1) Road Traffic Act No.8 of 1981. He was fined M100 or
imprisonment for five months in default and his driving licence was
suspended for six months.
It is clear to me from the evidence on record and the
police sketch plan that the Appellant was driving his vehicle on the
from Teyateyaneng to Maputsoe. The road is a busy one and
it is straight and the Appellant was going down hill at that place.
complainant, Sakoane (P.W.1), was driving his Toyota van from a
side road eastwards into the same main road. He said he waited for
one vehicle to pass and then he turned into the main road. The police
sketch plan shows that the point of collision was almost in
centre of the main road at the "T" junction. The
magistrate found that the Appellant was to blame.
However, in such cases, it is always the vehicle on the
main road which has right of way and the vehicle attempting to enter
road from a side road which must wait until the main road is
clear and safe to enter before actually entering. That is the Rule of
the Road. There is thus a prima facie case of careless or reckless
driving against the driver who enters the main road and is involved
in a collision in these circumstances. The speed of the vehicle
already using the main road and the way in which it is being driven
is not usually relevant because the side road driver must in any case
wait until the main road is clear before commencing his entrance
turn' into the main road. If he does not observe this requirement
then clearly he is to blame for a subsequent collision.
I am surprised that the police chose to prosecutethe
Appellant rather than the complainant in this caseand I consider
that they were mistaken. The Appellanthad the right of way and
the trial magistrate should haveso held.
The Crown does not support the Appellant's conviction
for the same reasons and I agree that this conviction cannot be
allowed to stand.
Accordingly this appeal is allowed and the conviction of
the Appellant for negligent driving is quashed and the sentence is
If the fine has already been paid, then it must now be
refunded to the Appellant.
I note that the suspension of the Appellant's driving
licence has already been cancelled.
P.A.P.J. ALLEN JUDGE
For Appellant : Mr. Mpopo For Crown : Mr.
Thetsane Appellant present. Judgment delivered.
P.A.P.J. ALLEN ALLEN
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