Road deaths 'not taken seriously'



D

Danny Colyer

Guest
Hardly news to most of us, of course, but it's nice to see politicians
starting to get the idea:

<URL:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3968583.stm>

A group of MPs has accused the government of failing to take deaths on
Britain's roads seriously.

A Transport Select Committee report says there is public anger that a
death is apparently regarded as less serious if it is caused by a driver.

Drivers are often charged with careless driving, over dangerous driving,
as it is easier to convict them on, it says.

The report calls for an urgent overhaul of the motoring offences system,
with tougher sentences and higher fines.

One police officer reportedly told the committee that a driver who
punched another motorist could end up spending five years in prison, but
he would only get two years for causing serious injuries while at the wheel.

The Home Office is currently reviewing the road safety laws, but the MPs
said the government did not seem to understand that a tougher approach
was needed.

"Where death or injury is involved, it appears that police and
prosecutors take a more lenient view of drivers' behaviour than does the
general public," the report said.

A change of police attitudes should be part of a "radical" overhaul of
the system, it added.

"The Association of Chief Police Officers' road death investigation
manual sets out admirable principles which should be applied to cases of
serious injury, as well as death.

"But the best manifesto in the world will not produce results unless
individual forces and individual police officers take road deaths and
injuries as seriously as they take cases of manslaughter or grievous
bodily harm," it concluded.

The committee also said transferring the responsibility for policing the
main road network from police to the Highways Agency was "fundamentally
misguided" and that the drop in police breath tests was "extremely
disturbing".

The MPs criticised attempts to make speed cameras more acceptable
through tough guidelines and said it would have been better to push the
message that speeding is dangerous and offenders will be punished.

They rejected "outright" a government proposal for lower penalties for
speeding in built-up areas and said variable penalties were only
meaningful if speed limits were enforced.


--
Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
 
T

Tumbleweed

Guest
"Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hardly news to most of us, of course, but it's nice to see politicians
> starting to get the idea:
>
> <URL:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3968583.stm>
>
> A group of MPs has accused the government of failing to take deaths on
> Britain's roads seriously.
>
> A Transport Select Committee report says there is public anger that a
> death is apparently regarded as less serious if it is caused by a driver.
>
> Drivers are often charged with careless driving, over dangerous driving,
> as it is easier to convict them on, it says.
>
> The report calls for an urgent overhaul of the motoring offences system,
> with tougher sentences and higher fines.
>
> One police officer reportedly told the committee that a driver who punched
> another motorist could end up spending five years in prison, but he would
> only get two years for causing serious injuries while at the wheel.
>


And why not if one was intentional, and the other was due at least partly to
a numpty who ran into the road?

Otherwise, the logical consequence is that if you drive incredibly
dangerously and happen not to kill someone, you should get a lighter
sentence than someone who drives less dangerously but does kill someone. If
the driving dangerously was punished of its own accord irrespective of the
consequences (which are often random) people might at least think twice
about doing it if they knew it was regarded seriously to begin with, rather
than thinking* 'i know this is daft but the chances I'll actually kill or
injure someone are pretty low"
--
Tumbleweed
*if they are thinking which I suppose they often arent

email replies not necessary but to contact use;
tumbleweednews at hotmail dot com
 
P

Pyromancer

Guest
Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Tumbleweed
<[email protected]> gently breathed:
>"Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]


>> Hardly news to most of us, of course, but it's nice to see politicians
>> starting to get the idea:
>>
>> <URL:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3968583.stm>
>>
>> A group of MPs has accused the government of failing to take deaths on
>> Britain's roads seriously.
>>
>> A Transport Select Committee report says there is public anger that a
>> death is apparently regarded as less serious if it is caused by a driver.
>>
>> Drivers are often charged with careless driving, over dangerous driving,
>> as it is easier to convict them on, it says.
>>
>> The report calls for an urgent overhaul of the motoring offences system,
>> with tougher sentences and higher fines.
>>
>> One police officer reportedly told the committee that a driver who punched
>> another motorist could end up spending five years in prison, but he would
>> only get two years for causing serious injuries while at the wheel.
>>

>
>And why not if one was intentional, and the other was due at least partly to
>a numpty who ran into the road?


I don't think that is the point.

I've certainly formed the impression, from reading reports of various
murders, and deaths caused by drivers, that should I ever wish to kill
someone and avoid a lengthy time in jail, the thing to do would be to
get slightly drunk, drive fast to where my target was walking on the
pavement / waiting at a bus queue / cycling, and then deliberately
swerve off the road and flatten them before whacking the car into full
lock and letting it crash, then quickly down a half bottle of spirits to
ensure I was really drunk when the emergency services arrived.

I get the impression that I'd be unlucky to get more than five years for
that, far better than the 20 or so that a stabbing or shooting would
result in - which is clearly wrong as both would be murder.

--
- Pyromancer Stormshadow.
http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk <-- Pagan Gothic Rock!
http://www.littlematchgirl.co.uk <-- Electronic Metal!
http://www.revival.stormshadow.com <-- The Gothic Revival.
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 17:32:13 -0000, "Tumbleweed"
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>> One police officer reportedly told the committee that a driver who punched
>> another motorist could end up spending five years in prison, but he would
>> only get two years for causing serious injuries while at the wheel.


>And why not if one was intentional, and the other was due at least partly to
>a numpty who ran into the road?


Most are not, and in the case of the numpty who ran out it is unlikely
that any charges would be brought in the first place.

They are right: if you want to kill someone and escape serious
punishment, the weapon of choice has to be a car. Remember the woman
who, in a deliberate and calculated act of selfishness, killed
teenager Jason Salter. She acknowledged that she knew at the time she
should have waited. Fine £135, nine points.

Driving is one of the few areas where lenient sentences for causing
deaths through culpable negligence do not generally cause outrage in
the popular press. Probably because lenient sentences are the norm in
such cases.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
S

Sniper8052(L96A1)

Guest
Danny Colyer wrote:
> Hardly news to most of us, of course, but it's nice to see politicians
> starting to get the idea:
>
> <URL:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3968583.stm>
>
> A group of MPs has accused the government of failing to take deaths on
> Britain's roads seriously.
>
> A Transport Select Committee report says there is public anger that a
> death is apparently regarded as less serious if it is caused by a driver.
>
> Drivers are often charged with careless driving, over dangerous driving,
> as it is easier to convict them on, it says.
>
> The report calls for an urgent overhaul of the motoring offences system,
> with tougher sentences and higher fines.
>
> One police officer reportedly told the committee that a driver who
> punched another motorist could end up spending five years in prison, but
> he would only get two years for causing serious injuries while at the
> wheel.
>
> The Home Office is currently reviewing the road safety laws, but the MPs
> said the government did not seem to understand that a tougher approach
> was needed.
>
> "Where death or injury is involved, it appears that police and
> prosecutors take a more lenient view of drivers' behaviour than does the
> general public," the report said.
>
> A change of police attitudes should be part of a "radical" overhaul of
> the system, it added.
>
> "The Association of Chief Police Officers' road death investigation
> manual sets out admirable principles which should be applied to cases of
> serious injury, as well as death.
>
> "But the best manifesto in the world will not produce results unless
> individual forces and individual police officers take road deaths and
> injuries as seriously as they take cases of manslaughter or grievous
> bodily harm," it concluded.
>
> The committee also said transferring the responsibility for policing the
> main road network from police to the Highways Agency was "fundamentally
> misguided" and that the drop in police breath tests was "extremely
> disturbing".
>
> The MPs criticised attempts to make speed cameras more acceptable
> through tough guidelines and said it would have been better to push the
> message that speeding is dangerous and offenders will be punished.
>
> They rejected "outright" a government proposal for lower penalties for
> speeding in built-up areas and said variable penalties were only
> meaningful if speed limits were enforced.
>
>> Just zis Guy, you know?
>> Driving is one of the few areas where lenient sentences for causing
>> deaths through culpable negligence do not generally cause outrage in
>> the popular press. Probably because lenient sentences are the norm in
>> such cases.



This is an area I have banged on about for years. The correct action is
to always charge the highest offence possible and list all the other
offences under so in effect if you don't get one you have others to fall
back to.
Thus a road rage attack involving the deliberate running down of a
cyclist would be attempted murder,GBH with intent, dangerous driving,
careless driving...
The problem I see is that the CPS are reluctant to move outside the
motoring laws because it may cause problems with insurance claims. As
one CPS lawyer put it to me
'You can't insure a person to commit an illegal act I.E. Mmurder with a
motorcar, and the insurance company may argue a case that they do not
have to pay out as such an instance would not be covered by insurance.'
His point being that the payout under insurance is unlimited where as
otherwise it would be down to criminal injuries compensation or not very
much.
Whether this is arguable or not I haven't a clue it's way to convoluted
for me.

Sniper8052
 
T

Tumbleweed

Guest
"Pyromancer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Tumbleweed
> <[email protected]> gently breathed:
>>"Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>>news:[email protected]

>
>>> Hardly news to most of us, of course, but it's nice to see politicians
>>> starting to get the idea:
>>>
>>> <URL:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3968583.stm>
>>>
>>> A group of MPs has accused the government of failing to take deaths on
>>> Britain's roads seriously.
>>>
>>> A Transport Select Committee report says there is public anger that a
>>> death is apparently regarded as less serious if it is caused by a
>>> driver.
>>>
>>> Drivers are often charged with careless driving, over dangerous driving,
>>> as it is easier to convict them on, it says.
>>>
>>> The report calls for an urgent overhaul of the motoring offences system,
>>> with tougher sentences and higher fines.
>>>
>>> One police officer reportedly told the committee that a driver who
>>> punched
>>> another motorist could end up spending five years in prison, but he
>>> would
>>> only get two years for causing serious injuries while at the wheel.
>>>

>>
>>And why not if one was intentional, and the other was due at least partly
>>to
>>a numpty who ran into the road?

>
> I don't think that is the point.
>
> I've certainly formed the impression, from reading reports of various
> murders, and deaths caused by drivers, that should I ever wish to kill
> someone and avoid a lengthy time in jail, the thing to do would be to
> get slightly drunk, drive fast to where my target was walking on the
> pavement / waiting at a bus queue / cycling, and then deliberately
> swerve off the road and flatten them before whacking the car into full
> lock and letting it crash, then quickly down a half bottle of spirits to
> ensure I was really drunk when the emergency services arrived.
>
> I get the impression that I'd be unlucky to get more than five years for
> that, far better than the 20 or so that a stabbing or shooting would
> result in - which is clearly wrong as both would be murder.


I agree, my point was that whether you hit or missed the queue/cyclist you
should get an equally long sentence, why should you get lenient treatment
just because you were too incompetent or too drunk to hit.
--
Tumbleweed

email replies not necessary but to contact use;
tumbleweednews at hotmail dot com
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 20:29:46 GMT, "Sniper8052(L96A1)"
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>The problem I see is that the CPS are reluctant to move outside the
>motoring laws because it may cause problems with insurance claims. As
>one CPS lawyer put it to me
>'You can't insure a person to commit an illegal act I.E. Mmurder with a
>motorcar, and the insurance company may argue a case that they do not


One of the things which I seem to recall the fifth EU insurance
directive was designed to stop. But it was squashed because it might
have given cyclists too much protection. And pedestrians, but there
was never quite space to mention that...

On the other hand there is always the Criminal Injuries Compensation
Board. Always assuming it hasn't been wound up or privatised.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
D

David Hansen

Guest
On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 20:29:46 GMT someone who may be
"Sniper8052(L96A1)" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

>Thus a road rage attack involving the deliberate running down of a
>cyclist would be attempted murder,GBH with intent, dangerous driving,
>careless driving...


Quite right.

>The problem I see is that the CPS are reluctant to move outside the
>motoring laws because it may cause problems with insurance claims.


A clear example of the tail wagging the dog.

However, the police are not squeaky clean in this respect and able
to blame the CPS/PF regarding such matters.


--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.


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D

Dave Larrington

Guest
Pyromancer wrote:

> I've certainly formed the impression, from reading reports of various
> murders, and deaths caused by drivers, that should I ever wish to kill
> someone and avoid a lengthy time in jail, the thing to do would be to
> get slightly drunk, drive fast to where my target was walking on the
> pavement / waiting at a bus queue / cycling, and then deliberately
> swerve off the road and flatten them before whacking the car into full
> lock and letting it crash, then quickly down a half bottle of spirits
> to ensure I was really drunk when the emergency services arrived.


Better yet, don't bother with the drink business at all and when the Old
Bill turn up, claim you sneezed, were distracted by a wasp or were shouting
abuse at Boris Johnson on the radio. Then you'll probably get a derisory
fine, a few points and a whole load of sympathy from the judge.

--

Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
World Domination?
Just find a world that's into that kind of thing, then chain to the
floor and walk up and down on it in high heels. (Mr. Sunshine)
 

Sniper8052

New Member
Sep 1, 2004
79
0
0
David Hansen said:
On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 20:29:46 GMT someone who may be
"Sniper8052(L96A1)" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

>Thus a road rage attack involving the deliberate running down of a
>cyclist would be attempted murder,GBH with intent, dangerous driving,
>careless driving...


Quite right.

>The problem I see is that the CPS are reluctant to move outside the
>motoring laws because it may cause problems with insurance claims.


A clear example of the tail wagging the dog.

However, the police are not squeaky clean in this respect and able
to blame the CPS/PF regarding such matters.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sniper8052:

Could you explain your meaning please?

Thanks

Sniper8052