KELOWNA (NEWS1130) – The BC Court of Appeal has decided a jaywalker isn’t completely to blame after being hit by a motorcyclist in Kelowna.

The driver was found to be 40 per cent at fault because she was in a school zone and should have realized there could have been jaywalkers.

News1130 Legal Analyst Michael Shapray says this ruling is putting a higher standard on drivers. “They have to be aware of everything that’s going on around them. In that particular case, the person did not cross at a crosswalk, but the driver is still held responsible for a portion.”

He says these cases are dealt with in a similar way to rear-enders. The driver in the back is almost always to blame even if the first car stops for no apparent reason.

Shapray adds all drivers need to use caution, especially in places with lots of jaywalkers like the Downtown Eastside:

“All drivers need to be aware… of not just what’s going on on the road, but… what’s going on on the sidewalks and if people are going to jump out in front of them. They may be held responsible, civilly.”