Yet another derisory fine for killing a cyclist...



I

Ian W

Guest
On 2004-03-27 11:54:21 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
<[email protected]> said:

> On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 11:27:58 +0000 (UTC), Ian W
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> <[email protected]>:
>
>> If you look on Transportt 2000's website they point out
>> that UK car accidents kill so many people that it's like
>> having a Paddington rail crash twice a week. But we
>> ignore it. Might it be that it's more 'spread out'?
>
> I think it's more that the Padidngton crash was "them" not
> ensuring safety, whereas dangerous driving is about "them"
> trying to stop us getting to work on time. The fact that
> most of the delays are caused by traffic not speed limits
> seems not to have occurred to those concerned. Or if ti
> has, they also consider traffic to be due to "them" not
> building more roads.

Good points.

Incidentally, for the benefit of those advocating better
driver training as a panacea to our problems, I've just
popped into town where I saw a car go through a red light,
stop in a box junction, and then almost hit a pedestrian,
just so it could get to the back of stationary a queue of
cars as quickly as possible. My point? It proudly
displayed the owner's Institute of Advanced Motorists
badges all over it...
--
www.drianwalker.com

Remove the nice brown paste in my signature if you
want to reply!
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 11:38:06 -0000, "Jon Senior"
<jon_AT_restlesslemon.co.uk> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>> >If you are reckless and cause a death, it is not the
>> >same (Morally, or in law) as intending to kill someone.

>> So, explain the vast disparity in sentencing between
>> people whose reclkessness at work causes injury, and
>> people whose recklessness on the roads causes injury.

>I can't and I don't. I have not denied a disparity in law.
>I'm concerned that the general attitude here is baying for
>blood, for a crime without intent.

Baying for blood? I don't see that. Apart from the
inevitable and entirely reasonable call to cut off his
goolies, that is.

What people are incensed about is that a crime is committed
which has fatal consequences, a crime which is known in
advance to carry a risk of such consequences, where the
outcome is reasonably foreseeable though not inevitable, and
the punishment is significantly less than would be the case
for many lesser crimes where there is not even a theoretical
risk of death or serious injury.

What really puzzles me here is that we are happy to see
drink driving subject to a mandatory ban and substantial
fine because it is known that drink-driving risks causing
death, but when faced with other risky driving which clearly
has caused death, the courts are happy to impose small fines
and a few points, often allowing the criminal to drive away
from court. This is inconsistent. It's a bit like the helmet
debate; it sends out the message that as long as you are
sober you have done everything you can to avoid crashing and
anything else is in the lap of the gods.

In an industrial context if you engage in a known risky
behaviour and it results in death or serious injury the
consequences can be severe. Special pleading has exempted
driving in the course of work from these regulations.

--
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
 
A

Ambrose Nankive

Guest
In news:[email protected],
Ian W <[email protected]> typed:
> On 2004-03-27 12:00:22 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
> <[email protected]> said:
>
>> On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 11:38:23 +0000, David Hansen
>> <[email protected]> wrote in message
>> <[email protected]>:
>>
>>> 5) We know that his solicitor claimed it was a
>>> "momentary aberration". Precisely how someone can
>>> have a momentary aberration that causes them to enter
>>> a bend far too fast I don't know. Perhaps his
>>> solicitor has a different definition of momentary.
>>
>> This one gets me every time. Who seriusly believes that
>> this is the first time this young man has driven too
>> fast? It's as if just because he got away with risk-
>> taking every other time, the fact that he didn't this
>> time is some kind of aberration, whereas in reality he's
>> probably been pushing closer and closer ot the limits for
>> some time.
>
> Plus, of course, when solicitors and defendents say this
> stuff in court cases after accidents, they're just doing
> the accepted 'dance'. Of course they're going to say these
> things. Everyone does. It's a cliche really. Has anyone -
> even the most hard-core boy racer - ever stood in court
> and said. "Yes, I really meant to speed round that corner
> and don't regret what happened"? Of course not.

He wouldn't be human unless he regretted it. It's just a
question of whether he's learnt enough to feel scared of
killing someone next time he gets in the car. And the fact
that he allows his solicitor to pretend that it was a
momentary aberration, when my keen and sharp instinct for
human nature (bows humbly) tells me it's not, suggests to
me that he's not taking responsibility, and hasn't learnt
his lesson.

Of course, the fact that the solicitor is (almost certainly)
wilfully telling a lie in court gets to me as well.

A
 
D

David Hansen

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 12:36:02 GMT someone who may be Andy Leighton
<[email protected]> wrote this:-

>Well the apology was probably genuine

We do not know if he made one. His solicitor did at the
trial, but that is a very different thing.

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

David Hansen

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 12:28:31 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be Ian W
<[email protected]> wrote this:-

>Incidentally, for the benefit of those advocating better
>driver training as a panacea to our problems,

One reasonably well known film is of two very well trained
motorcyclists, filmed by a friend from a following car.
Being very well trained, skilled and experienced they were
happy swerving from side to side as they rode along the
road, weaving across each other. This demonstration of their
training, skill and experience continues, until they crash
into each other. Both died in the crash.

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

David Hansen

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 12:29:03 +0000 someone who may be "Just zis Guy,
you know?" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

>What really puzzles me here is that we are happy to see
>drink driving subject to a mandatory ban and substantial
>fine because it is known that drink-driving risks causing
>death, but when faced with other risky driving which
>clearly has caused death, the courts are happy to impose
>small fines and a few points, often allowing the criminal
>to drive away from court. This is inconsistent.

Society is happy to feel superior to "others". These
"others" can be demonised and not only does this provide an
outlet for anger but it also allows a feeling of superior.

Drunks driving are an interesting example, because they were
moved from "one of us" to "others" following concerted
government action.

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

Ambrose Nankive

Guest
In news:[email protected],
David Hansen <[email protected]> typed:
> On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 12:36:02 GMT someone who may be Andy
> Leighton <[email protected]> wrote this:-
>
>> Well the apology was probably genuine
>
> We do not know if he made one. His solicitor did at the
> trial, but that is a very different thing.

And the apology was mitigated by the denial of the
likelihood that he was a systematically reckless (oops,
sorry, careless) driver before the crash.

A
 
I

Ian Smith

Guest
On 27 Mar 2004, Mark Thompson <[email protected]> wrote:
> > H&S legislation is explicit that teh consequence of teh
> > lapse in question should be taken into account in
> > sentencing. That is, if your lapse causes death, then
> > you should be sentenced more severely than if it does
> > not. There would be no fundamental problem with doing
> > teh same for motoring offences - it doesn't require any
> > change of fundamental or universal principle.
>
> We're already doing it for driving aren't we?

It's always trumpeted as we can't. Indeed, my posting was in
response to just that assertion - that you can't lock 'im up
for killing someone because it was just a momentary lapse of
concentration and it wouldn't be fair to punnish him
severely for a momentary lapse of concentration which opther
people get away with.

Which is bollards in two respects - one being that quoted
above, and teh other being that you _shoul_, in any case,
punnish the people that offend but by fluke get away without
killing someone.

regards, Ian SMith
--
|\ /| no .sig
|o o|
|/ \|
 
G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 17:44:29 -0000, "Thomas" <tom [at] greysheep [dot]
co [dot] uk> wrote (more or less):

>I can understand that kind of argument as far as murderers
>and rapists are concerned, but for this...

Are you really saying that a killing should be treated
lightly when carried out by means of a car?

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk)
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 21:53:46 +0000, BenS <[email protected]> wrote
(more or less):

>He had an accident. People have accidents. If someone
>dies in an accident, then sure, it's a tragedy but to
>punish the person who had the accident with prison?
>Utterly over the top.

Why so?

If you look at the stats, having a vehicle accident is a
driver is something that happens multiple times over the
typical driver's lifetime.

Having an accident is therefore hardly an unforeseen side-
effect of driving.

Neither is it a rare side-effect of driving.

Given that it is relatively frequent, and foreseeable, why
should we be minded to let off those who drive and cause
death by only a token fine?

After all, it's only earlier this week that someone was
given a small fine for driving beered-up and 50% over the
speed limit on the wrong side of the road while speaking on
a mobiile phone and killing three people he crashed into.

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk)
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On 26 Mar 2004 22:59:15 GMT, Mark Thompson
<[email protected]> wrote (more or less):

>Who was it that recently posted about the near SMIDSY he
>had? Let us pretend that he did hit the cyclist. Why would
>his innattention be less deserving of punishment if there
>was no cyclist passing at that moment in time?

It's similiar to the speeding arguments.

Killing someone is an easier fact to check than SMIDSy-ing.

But if people were being constantly reminded via newspaper
articles pointing out the swinging penalties meted out for a
fatal SMIDSY, perhaps they'd be more likely to spend their
attention on avoiding SMIDSY-ing.

Just as speed cameras have had a major effect on the
attention people pay to their speeding. (and conseqently, to
teh actual speeds).

No one claims that speed cameras will eliminate speeding.

I don't claim tough sentences for fatals SMIDSYs would
eliminate SMIDSYs.

I do claim I believe it would affect the frequency of
SMIDSYs.

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk)
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 00:01:05 +0000, BenS <[email protected]> wrote
(more or less):
>...driving is a skill, just like riding a bike. With more
>training and practice you can become better at it. This
>means you can drive/ride faster than someone less trained
>and practised.

You can drive faster without losing control of the vehicle
/in the absence of unforeseen circumstances/.

In fact, one of the problems with traffic law is that it is
enforced as if encountering non-motorised traffic is somehow
a bizarre, wacky and unforeseeable event.

>He didn't need to stop in that corner. He needed to get
>round the corner safely. Trying to stop is the worst thing
>you can ever do in a corner.

He neede to be travelling around that corner at a speed from
which he was competent to stop should the way not be clear.

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk)
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 21:58:14 +0000, BenS <[email protected]> wrote
(more or less):
>Because driving is a skill that can be improved. According
>to that article he has now improved his driving. So by that
>measure he is not a danger.

Someone can improve without improving sufficiently.

Someone starting from a por enough base can even improve
significantly, without improving sufficiently.

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 21:54:22 +0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
<[email protected]> wrote (more or less):

>Subcounsciously at least the driver is looking solely at
>the perceived threat to himself. That's why they speed
>(because it's not as dangerous to them as it is to others)
>and that's why they behave in a crass manner around
>cyclists even though they /know/ for the most part that
>what they are doing is wrong (as per recent TRL report).

Could you give me 'directions' to that report?

Ta in advance.

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 00:20:17 -0000, "Jon Senior"
<[email protected]_REMOVE_lemon.co.uk> wrote (more or less):

>"Ian W" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]...
>> No, you're not *intending* to kill. But when you get in a
>> car and drive, you know that there is a risk you will
>> kill someone. If the idea of killing someone was
>> *utterly* abhorent to you then driving would be one of
>> the first things you would stop doing. For most, killing
>> is not desirable, but nor is being late for work or
>> whatever.
>
>Are you seriously suggesting that most people, if given the
>choice, would rather kill than be late for work? Is that a
>personal viewpoint?

They'd rather /increase the risk to other road-users by a
substantial amount/ than be late for work. (That's what
they /do/).

However, I suspect they just don't think of the additional
risk to others that they are creating. They're likely
focussed on the fact that they are going to be late, and the
consequences of that.

Even if they think about the risks, people's view of risk is
typically pretty unsophisticated - they view experiences
they have had personally as likely, and experiences they
have not had personally as unlikely.

As they have not previously personally experienced a crash
while speeding to avoid being late for work, they feel they
are not doing anything particularly risky...

Even if they have a more sophisticated view of risk, they
view the risk as tiny, and if they're driving, say 10mph
faster in say a 50mph limit, they view the new risk as being
an extra fifth of 'tiny', i.e. that the risk accumulates
linearly with their speed.

However, the risks are not tiny, and they do not increase
linearly with speed.

Braking to a standstill gets more difficult with the square
of the speed.

The energy involved in a collision increases with the square
of the impact speed.

The risk of fatality in a crash varies with the square /of
the square/ of the impact speed.



Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
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G

Gawnsoft

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 11:36:33 -0000, "Jon Senior"
<jon_AT_restlesslemon.co.uk> wrote (more or less):

>"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]>
>wrote in message
>news:p[email protected]...
>> Have you ever ridden a bike in rush-hour traffic? I would
>> say that the idea that at least some drivers think
>> exactly like that is inescapable.
>
>Every day for the last 2 years. Some drivers are bad. But I
>don't think a single one of them has actually decided to
>try and kill me.

And would that be your measurement if they had killed you?

Cheers, Euan Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122 Smalltalk
links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk)
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J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 16:48:58 +0000, Gawnsoft
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>>that's why they behave in a crass manner around cyclists
>>even though they /know/ for the most part that what they
>>are doing is wrong (as per recent TRL report).

>Could you give me 'directions' to that report?

TRL 549 summary at:
<url:http://www.trl.co.uk/abstracts/549summary.pdf>

Some useful things here which I found when looking for it:

<url:http://www.parliament.the-stationery-
office.co.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmtlgr/557/557ap34.htm>
<url:http://www.thebikezone.org.uk/thebikezone/campaigning/-
attitudesresearch.html>

--
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
 
T

Thomas Buck

Guest
"dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]...
> >Hang on... you're saying that we should imprison people
> >purely for the purpose of scaring people into inaction? I
> >can understand that kind of argument as far as murderers
> >and rapists are concerned, but for this...
> >
> >Tom.
> >
>
> Isn't that what prison is *partially* designed for - its
> deterent value?

Partially - I mean, there's not exactly a lot else you can
do about murderers and the like, but I'm curious to know,
what do you think will have a bigger effect on the kid's
peers: him in jail or him standing there talking about the
fact he's killed people through stupidity?

> The guy in question "He drove too fast at a corner on the
> unclassified Burnhervie to Inverurie road on June 21 last
> year." This was *not* an
accident
> that could not have been avoided - he drover too fast.
> Perhaps if he
controlled
> his speed better he wouldn't have killed someone. When
> behind the wheel of
a
> car we *need* to be *particularly* aware of the
> potentially lethal nature
of
> what we are doing.

And perhaps if he had controlled his speed better he *would*
have killed someone - who's to say?

Tom.
 
T

Thomas Buck

Guest
"Ian W" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]et.com...
> On 2004-03-27 00:14:10 +0000, "Jon Senior"
> <[email protected]_REMOVE_lemon.co.uk> said:
>
> >
> > It would be interesting to compare the sentences for
> > manslaughter with
those
> > for killing with cars. Manslaughter because the crime
> > was not
premeditated.
> > Intent is everything in law.
> >
>
> I looked into this once, as it happens. Apparently in the
> early days a careless driver wh killed somebody was, quite
> rightly, charged with manslaughter. Problem was that
> juries - made up of 'there but for the grace of god'
> drivers - refused to convict. So what did the politicians
> do? Introduce guidelines for the courts? Brief juries on
> their responsiblities? No, they made killing with a car
> less serious so that people would be convicted. Wonderful.

The people decide the laws; democracy at its finest, that
is.

Tom.
 
T

Thomas Buck

Guest
"Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Thomas wrote:
> >
> > Hang on... you're saying that we should imprison people
> > purely for the purpose of scaring people into inaction?
> > I can understand that kind of argument as far as
> > murderers and rapists are concerned, but for this...
> >
>
> Why else would you jail a mother for having her daughter
> play truant?

Were I in government, converting Tory voters would have a
large part to play.

Tom.