Violence with a vehicle: something I missed

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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Violence with a vehicle: something I missed

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2020, 3:12pm

I've mentioned before that something for cyclists to look out for is a review of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861.

That was a good year for consolidating legislation, but the OAPA is the only one to survive, although it's been amended over the years, in particular s39, Criminal Justice Act 1988 which fundamentally changed the law on common assault.

One thing I've completely missed is that a review of this legislation by the Law Commission reported in 2015 and so is just waiting for some finger extraction. ... 55_Web.pdf

One section which has caused some controversy among cyclists has been s35 "Drivers of carriages injuring persons by furious driving."

The only direct reference I can find to vehicles is this:-

8.44 As noted in the SCP,50 the offence of furious driving is generally used to prosecute cases where the vehicle involved is a bicycle or cart rather than a motor vehicle, and for incidents taking place off the public highway, where offences under the Road Traffic Acts are not always available. We recommend retaining this offence.
(SCP = Scoping Consultation Paper, second link below)

Conviction for this offence led to a rider being imprisoned for eighteen months in 2017 ie after the publication of this report. A campaign involving the bereaved widower was reported to be triggering a review of road traffic legislation including a proposed offence of causing death by dangerous cycling. A comparison has been drawn between that case and the death of Michael Mason when the Metropolitan Police decided that a driver crashing into the back of a cyclist did not even merit the submission of a file to the CPS.

A view has been expressed on this forum that the inherent danger caused by driving motor vehicles should be recognised by the criminal law. The nearest this report comes to that is a discussion of "endangerment offences" which touches on dangerous driving but then simply refers to the earlier consultation document. My impression is that our learned friends would like to leave bad driving under the Road Traffic Act. ... person.pdf

There's a lot of legal discussion in those two documents and it may be too late to achieve anything. Incidentally, I can't see any sign that any groups representing vulnerable road users were either consulted or contributed without being asked.

I'll conclude this waffle with two points.

1. Offences of violence are receiving increasing attention
2. Enforcement of most traffic legislation has collapsed

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Joined: 25 Apr 2015, 9:37pm

Re: Violence with a vehicle: something I missed

Postby Manc33 » 28 Jul 2020, 3:29pm

thirdcrank wrote:That was a good year...

You're making laws sound like fine wines. :lol:
When two cyclists get married, they should throw anodized cable crimps instead of confetti.

Posts: 29076
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Violence with a vehicle: something I missed

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2020, 3:38pm

I forgot to mention, no mention anywhere in the report of the late Lord Bingham's régime for the drivers of motor vehicles