£200 fine for killing

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Xpamh, May 31, 2003.

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  1. Simon

    Simon Guest

  2. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

  3. John B

    John B Guest

    Dave Kahn wrote:

    > On 31 May 2003 05:09:47 -0700, [email protected] (Xpamh) wrote:
    >
    > >http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,1271,-2735544,00.html
    >
    > How much longer can this sort of thing be allowed to go on for?

    As cyclists I think we need to start taking a much more aggressive stance than in the past. For far
    too long we have been subjected to the relatively petty issues of riding on footpaths, wearing
    helmets and not having bells, while the motoring fraternity rides roughshod over our society.

    Who can fail to be disgusted at items such as this. Following the Baxter case we need to start being
    much more pro-active in our campaigning - but not in the way that Reclaim the Streets and other
    militant groups act.

    Ordinary people, ordinary cyclists need to wake up to the fact that sentencing being handed out to
    those who kill and maim on the roads is derogatory. It is a disgusting reflection on our society
    that it has been allowed to become the norm. Even my youngest sees the damage such sentencing does
    and recognises the damage inappropriate and dangerous car use has.

    In another thread I have suggested that the risk to our rights on the road is potentially at serious
    risk and I hope at last the CTC may be waking up to this.

    Well, I want to cycle - I enjoy it. My whole family regularly rides bikes - they enjoy it and it is
    good for their health and independence. It is our pastime and our main mode of transport.

    It sounds cliched, but if we are not to lose our rights on the roads we need to take action NOW. As
    the CTC is now admitting, working behind the scenes doesn't work. We need to start staging publicity
    stunts and to reach the national and local media. Write to your MPs, councillors, newspapers, radio
    stations. Use shock tactics if you like.

    Let the abhorrence of these sentences be made known and let the disgust at how this reflects on our
    society be publicised.

    You ask "How much longer can this sort of thing go on for?"

    It will be as long as we let it.

    John B
     
  4. Congokid

    Congokid Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, John B <[email protected]> writes

    [snip]
    >Who can fail to be disgusted at items such as this. Following the Baxter case we need to start
    >being much more pro-active in our campaigning - but not in the way that Reclaim the Streets and
    >other militant groups act.
    [snip]
    >It sounds cliched, but if we are not to lose our rights on the roads we need to take action NOW. As
    >the CTC is now admitting, working behind the scenes doesn't work. We need to start staging
    >publicity stunts and to reach the national and local media. Write to your MPs, councillors,
    >newspapers, radio stations. Use shock tactics if you like.

    I take it you mean that 'Reclaim the Streets and other militant groups' aren't militant enough?

    --
    congokid Eating out in London? Read my tips... http://congokid.com
     
  5. John B

    John B Guest

    congokid wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, John B <[email protected]> writes
    >
    > [snip]
    > >Who can fail to be disgusted at items such as this. Following the Baxter case we need to start
    > >being much more pro-active in our campaigning - but not in the way that Reclaim the Streets and
    > >other militant groups act.
    > [snip]
    > >It sounds cliched, but if we are not to lose our rights on the roads we need to take action NOW.
    > >As the CTC is now admitting, working behind the scenes doesn't work. We need to start staging
    > >publicity stunts and to reach the national and local media. Write to your MPs, councillors,
    > >newspapers, radio stations. Use shock tactics if you like.
    >
    > I take it you mean that 'Reclaim the Streets and other militant groups' aren't militant enough?

    Um not really.

    RTS too often aligns itself with violent protest and in a manner that does not attract reasonable
    discussion of the issues. As a result their arguments are not taken too seriously. They also seems
    to be infiltrated by other groups or individuals who have other agendas of a more political nature.

    IMO they tend to do more harm than good to the image of cycling.

    John B
     
  6. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 31 May 2003 21:46:19 +0100, John B <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Write to your MPs, councillors, newspapers, radio stations

    Yes indeed. And write to Alistair Darling and Shagger Norris and anybody else you can think of.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  7. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guest

    On Sun, 1 Jun 2003 00:03:40 +0100, "Richard Goodman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Xpamh" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,1271,-2735544,00.html
    >
    >Words are inadequate to express the outrage I feel at sentences like this, in this sort of case.
    >Causing death by careless driving should at least be dealt with as manslaughter.
    >
    AIUI the driver wasn't/couldn't be charged with causing death by dangerous driving as the victim was
    wearing dark clothing, was not using lights and got hit after dark.

    Tim
    --
    I understand very little of what's being discussed but for some reason it's fascinating.

    (Jon Thompson, urs)
     
  8. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On 31 May 2003 05:09:47 -0700, [email protected] (Xpamh) wrote:

    >http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,1271,-2735544,00.html

    There are two offences here; killing the cyclist and driving whilst banned.

    The first one I don't know the details of. There's a huge range of possible scenarios here, from a
    blameless cyclist and an evil driver, to an innocent driver and a lemming-like cyclist. I don't know
    what this case was, but I do know how easy it is to mis-represent it either way for an easy
    newspaper headline. We've all seen cyclists who do their damnedest to make themselves hard to see,
    especially in October.

    Until I see some evidence otherise, I'm inclined to trust the court in their judgement on the fine
    imposed for careless driving. Maybe he should have been charged with other offences too, but that
    sounds more of an issue for the CPS.

    Secondly, he wasn't let off the charge of driving whilst banned because it hadn't happened yet !
    Maybe he now needs dragging off to the Tower in chains, but using this _later_ misdemeanour as an
    excuse for a "our courts are too soft" story is pure Daily Mail hysteria.
     
  9. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On Mon, 02 Jun 2003 13:42:11 +0100, Andy Dingley <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On 31 May 2003 05:09:47 -0700, [email protected] (Xpamh) wrote:
    >
    >>http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,1271,-2735544,00.html
    >
    > There are two offences here; killing the cyclist and driving whilst banned.
    >
    <snip>
    >
    > Until I see some evidence otherise, I'm inclined to trust the court in their judgement on the fine
    > imposed for careless driving. Maybe he should have been charged with other offences too, but that
    > sounds more of an issue for the CPS.
    >
    > Secondly, he wasn't let off the charge of driving whilst banned because it hadn't happened yet !
    > Maybe he now needs dragging off to the Tower in chains, but using this _later_ misdemeanour as an
    > excuse for a "our courts are too soft" story is pure Daily Mail hysteria.
    >

    I don't know about driving while banned but according to the Gruaniad article, he had never passed
    his test and had a string of driving convictions. So in one way he couldn't be banned anyway. He was
    never entitled to drive on the road in the first place.

    Regards,

    Tim.

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  10. Paul Kelly

    Paul Kelly Guest

    "Tim Hall" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 1 Jun 2003 00:03:40 +0100, "Richard Goodman" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >"Xpamh" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]...
    > >> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,1271,-2735544,00.html
    > >
    > >Words are inadequate to express the outrage I feel at sentences like
    this,
    > >in this sort of case. Causing death by careless driving should at least
    be
    > >dealt with as manslaughter.
    > >
    > AIUI the driver wasn't/couldn't be charged with causing death by dangerous driving as the victim
    > was wearing dark clothing, was not using lights and got hit after dark.
    >

    Correct.

    A while ago a friend of mine was traumatised when he pulled out in his car across a T-junction in
    the dark and hit a cyclist.

    Said cyclist had no lights and was wearing black/very dark clothing. None the less my friend was
    upset and concerned but the police recommended he make a claim against the cyclist for damage to his
    car as the cyclist was in the wrong.

    I cycle and I drive - and I see just as many irresponsible lunatics on two wheels as on four!
    Regularly at night I see unlit cycles with virtually invisible riders.
     
  11. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Mon, 2 Jun 2003 13:00:42 +0000 (UTC), Tim Woodall <[email protected]> wrote:

    >So in one way he couldn't be banned anyway.

    You can be issued a licence, just to standardise the paperwork of having it banned.

    Friend of mine had one at age 14, having been arrested whilst blind drunk in the back seat of a
    stolen Escort (the others had legged it). Seems a bit unfair really - his defence that he'd been
    unconscious when placed in it was _entirely_ in character.
     
  12. Paul Kelly wrote:
    >
    > Correct.
    >
    > A while ago a friend of mine was traumatised when he pulled out in his car across a T-junction in
    > the dark and hit a cyclist.
    >
    > Said cyclist had no lights and was wearing black/very dark clothing. None the less my friend was
    > upset and concerned but the police recommended he make a claim against the cyclist for damage to
    > his car as the cyclist was in the wrong.
    >
    > I cycle and I drive - and I see just as many irresponsible lunatics on two wheels as on four!
    > Regularly at night I see unlit cycles with virtually invisible riders.
    >

    It's funny but as far as I can tell the fact that he was unlit was a major issue and the fact that
    the driver was speeding a relative non-issue. The fact that you regularly see unlit cyclists
    suggests that perhaps they are not really much more difficult to spot than unlit pedestrians at
    sensible speeds?

    The cyclist in your anecdotal story was clearly at fault but when all is said and done I'd rather be
    traumatised by a bike than terminated by a car. YMMV.

    Daniel.
     
  13. "Tim Hall" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > AIUI the driver wasn't/couldn't be charged with causing death by dangerous driving as the victim
    > was wearing dark clothing, was not using lights and got hit after dark.
    >

    I know the charge was 'only' careless driving and not causing death by dangerous driving, and it may
    be that the cyclist was unlit - that wasn't reported in the Guardian article - but the point to my
    mind is that death was caused and this driver was held largely responsible as the conviction shows,
    even if only for the lesser offence of careless driving. Not only that but this driver was an
    unlicensed driver with a string of other offences behind him. Even leaving aside all the previous,
    the fact that this driver's carelessness resulted in death surely merits more than a £200 fine.

    Rich
     
  14. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sun, 1 Jun 2003 00:03:40 +0100, "Richard Goodman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Words are inadequate to express the outrage I feel at sentences like this, in this sort of case.
    >Causing death by careless driving should at least be dealt with as manslaughter.
    >

    Unfortunately, Rich, one cannot be jailed for careless driving. The offence has to be dangerous
    driving at the very least before a custodial sensence can be handed down.

    The problem in this case, IMO, lies with the CPS who elected not to bring the charge of
    dangerous driving.

    I heard today that the driver was travelling at 60mph in a 30mph limit and was overtaking a van
    which had stopped to let the boy cross the road when the crash happened. The driver's actions were
    far more than careless to my mind. Carelessness implies to me a momentary lack of attention, whereas
    dangerousness implies acting with deliberate intent. His [the driver's) action fell into the latter
    category as far as I'm concerned.

    The incident happened at dusk, I understand, and I doubt whether the car would have been able to
    miss the young lad even if he'd been wearing light-coloured clothing and had been lit up like a
    football stadium.

    Surely the driver's attitude in flouting his many bans could be treated as contempt of court, which
    is worth four years if you're Jeffery Archer.

    James

    --
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c.butty/Dscf0632.jpg
     
  15. "James Hodson" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > Unfortunately, Rich, one cannot be jailed for careless driving. The offence has to be dangerous
    > driving at the very least before a custodial sensence can be handed down.
    >

    Yes, it is unfortunate. You can, however, be jailed for manslaughter. The CPS, the Courts etc,
    always seem to pussyfoot around when it comes to dealing with death by seriously negligent motoring
    offences. In other areas of life manslaughter probably is the normal charge for causing death by a
    seriously negligent act. Why not in motoring?

    > The problem in this case, IMO, lies with the CPS who elected not to bring the charge of dangerous
    > driving.
    >
    > I heard today that the driver was travelling at 60mph in a 30mph limit and was overtaking a van
    > which had stopped to let the boy cross the road when the crash happened. The driver's actions were
    > far more than careless to my mind. Carelessness implies to me a momentary lack of attention,
    > whereas dangerousness implies acting with deliberate intent. His [the driver's) action fell into
    > the latter category as far as I'm concerned.
    >
    > The incident happened at dusk, I understand, and I doubt whether the car would have been able to
    > miss the young lad even if he'd been wearing light-coloured clothing and had been lit up like a
    > football stadium.
    >

    If that's the case then it is far worse than others suggested and I would surely agree that the
    wrong charge was brought. Just that pussyfooting around in dealing with serious motoring
    offenders again....

    Rich
     
  16. Richard Goodman wrote:
    > "James Hodson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>I heard today that the driver was travelling at 60mph in a 30mph limit and was overtaking a van
    >>which had stopped to let the boy cross the road when the crash happened. The driver's actions were
    >>far more than careless to my mind. Carelessness implies to me a momentary lack of attention,
    >>whereas dangerousness implies acting with deliberate intent. His [the driver's) action fell into
    >>the latter category as far as I'm concerned.
    >>
    >>The incident happened at dusk, I understand, and I doubt whether the car would have been able to
    >>miss the young lad even if he'd been wearing light-coloured clothing and had been lit up like a
    >>football stadium.
    >
    > If that's the case then it is far worse than others suggested and I would surely agree that the
    > wrong charge was brought. Just that pussyfooting around in dealing with serious motoring offenders
    > again....

    Really? To me, it sounds a more reasonable (in as much as they ever are) accident than it
    did before.

    A van stops in the road to let the boy cross, without consideration for how this might be
    interpreted by the boy and other road users. Well, a stopping van's not unusual, so the vehicle
    behind overtakes, without wondering why the van's stopped. A cyclist/pedestrian (as he's crossing
    the road, it's unclear whether he's riding or pushing) assumes that because one vehicle's stopped,
    it's safe, and continues out into the path of the overtaking vehicle, without checking to see if
    it's as safe as the van driver implied. Classic case of all parties making minor errors of
    judgement, with a horrible cumulative effect. FWIW, this kind of scenario is why I very rarely stop
    to let other road users (of any kind) do anything unless I'm 100% sure that I'm not inviting them to
    do anything that any other visible users may not expect.

    Having said that, I'd say that the defendant did deserve to have the book thrown at him, as imo,
    it's pretty dangerous driving by not being demonstrably in control of a vehicle (no licence), and to
    be 100% over the speed limit is reckless, not careless.

    w
     
  17. William Turner wrote:
    > Richard Goodman wrote:
    >
    >> "James Hodson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>
    >>> I heard today that the driver was travelling at 60mph in a 30mph limit and was overtaking a van
    >>> which had stopped to let the boy cross the road when the crash happened. The driver's actions
    >>> were far more than careless to my mind. Carelessness implies to me a momentary lack of
    >>> attention, whereas dangerousness implies acting with deliberate intent. His [the driver's)
    >>> action fell into the latter category as far as I'm concerned.
    >>>
    >>> The incident happened at dusk, I understand, and I doubt whether the car would have been able to
    >>> miss the young lad even if he'd been wearing light-coloured clothing and had been lit up like a
    >>> football stadium.
    >>
    >>
    >> If that's the case then it is far worse than others suggested and I would surely agree that the
    >> wrong charge was brought. Just that pussyfooting around in dealing with serious motoring
    >> offenders again....
    >
    >
    > Really? To me, it sounds a more reasonable (in as much as they ever are) accident than it
    > did before.
    >

    You must be a magistrate.
     
  18. Daniel Wilcox wrote:
    > William Turner wrote:
    >> Really? To me, it sounds a more reasonable (in as much as they ever are) accident than it did
    >> before.
    >>
    >
    > You must be a magistrate.
    >

    I'm not sure whether you think that's good or bad...

    To put it simply, as a driver/cyclist/pedestrian, I'm aware that the class of transport is
    irrelevant to the competence level of the controller, and as such, assume everyone to be in the
    least level of control of their charge unless otherwise proved. Just because I like class X of
    transport does not automatically make them "in the right" or exonerate them from being stupid.

    w
     
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