'Strict Liability' laws

Shootist
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Shootist » 15 Oct 2012, 11:36pm

reohn2 wrote:No,again you miss the point entirely!
It was obscene in the Rhyl case that someone who drove a motorvehicle at the permited 50mph speed limit on an ice covered road that was signed as such,with three defective tyres,only to be excused of his abhorant deed and insult added to the families of the deceased and injured,when he was convicted of three defective tyres,which IIRC were deemed by the "judge" :twisted: not to have had any influence on the crash!!!!!!!!!,fined less than £200 plus points and allowed to drive home from the courts of "justice".
Is that any clearer?


You seem to miss a few points yourself. This incident occurred at 10am on what was described as a fine day. The police will have had a top 'accident' investigator assess the situation and their opinion was that excessive speed was not an issue either on the road or because of the conditions. ad you may accept (but probably won't) that these investigators are damned good. Tread on road tyres is there for one purpose only, and that is to disperse water (and some debris). On a dry road a slick tyre will give the best possible grip. On black ice there will be no significant difference at all between bald tyres and brand new ones freshly scrubbed in. Speed was not an issue. The bald tyres did not contribute in any way to the collision. The driver got what is the standard punishment for three bald tyres. A punishment that in itself and regardless of circumstances I regard as inadequate but that is a separate issue.

The incident itself was tragic, it goes without saying, but any driver on that road at that time could have experienced exactly the same result. It was one of those very rare traffic collisions that was actually an accident. The only way of ensuring such a thing can never happen again is to close the road off completely whenever the temperature is likely to fall below a certain point. Or perhaps have a man with a red flag walking in front of each vehicle as it proceeds. To describe the driver's actions as 'abhorrent' implies deliberation on his part. There is no evidence for this that I am aware of.
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meic
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby meic » 16 Oct 2012, 12:02am

Black Ice was so bad that he completely lost control, despite driving perfectly safely, and mowed down a peloton of cyclists who were all able to balance on two wheels quite happily on this treacherous black ice covered road.
Yma o Hyd

Shootist
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Shootist » 16 Oct 2012, 5:27am

meic wrote:Black Ice was so bad that he completely lost control, despite driving perfectly safely, and mowed down a peloton of cyclists who were all able to balance on two wheels quite happily on this treacherous black ice covered road.


OK. Neither of us were there, and neither of us are privy to the accident reports. So we have to consider possible options. At the beginning of this year I had a call from one of my lads to pick him up one morning on a main road where he had put his car through a hedge. The stretch of road where this happened actually had black ice on one side while the other was perfectly clear. It would have been around 10am as it happens. The ice had melted where the sun had been on it, and remained where the road had been in shade. Also, a road is not necessarily either completely covered in black ice or, as if by magic, then suddenly not.

One memorable experience of black ice for me was driving at a very leisurely pace one morning, about 4am this time. My car suddenly, and fortunately sedately, slowly drifted into a completely uncontrollable skid. Now the word 'skid' always implies something dramatically sudden. Apart from being completely out of control on a min road, this was totally undramatic. Eventually the car straightened itself and nothing bad came of it. Why? I haven't a clue. But there is something on a car that is not on a bike. A differential. A car might drive quite successfully over a patch of ice but if there is a small ice free area this could easily allow the differential to slip enough to affect the stability of the car, and all control will quickly be lost. I have never knowingly cycled over black ice, but I think it entirely possible that for a short distance in a straight line such a thing could be quite possible without incident. If that side of the road had black ice upon it.

Another alternative is patchy black ice. enough to make you slide briefly before tyres bite again but in a direction for which they were never designed. Under such circumstances even the best of drivers are likely to lose control.

Or suppose an alternative scenario where the ice was on the side of the road where the cyclists were, but absent from the other side. suppose the cyclists slid off on curve and fell onto the other side of the road to be hit by an oncoming car. Would anyone then be howling for the blood of the driver?

There is no doubt that with such a serious accident as the Rhyl incident that a highly qualified accident investigator would have been involved in investigating what happened. All of these things would have been examined. Such examinations are a science, and truly remarkable to observe. It is obvious that the Rhyl incident was a tragedy, but there appears to be no evidence to show the driver was at fault, only that with three tyres that had tread depth below the level required by law (not necessarily even 'bald') he was a berk. And if being a berk was a capital offence then the gallows would be as busy with cyclists as with any others.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
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thirdcrank
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Oct 2012, 8:03am

Shootist

I know nothing about the details of the Rhyll tragedy beyond what's been in the media and subsequent comment on here.

The main thing that stands out in my mind was the BBC TV report from the scene, apparently in the immediate aftermath. When there could have been no time for the full and detailed examination that both of us know is normal after a "fatal," a chief inspector who was not a traffic specialist was shown giving an explanation along the lines that this was only a tragic accident. ie Keeping an open mind - not.

IIRC, it was a bank holiday when support is thin on the ground. I remember thinking he was probably on call to provide cover: dragged out from miles away to make an unnecessary journey on dangerous roads just to satisfy the demands of the media. I suppose he wanted to reassure viewers was that this wasn't the outcome of a high speed chase or the like. And he didn't actually say, "Sorry, there's nothing we can do about it."

(Perhaps somebody can link to a clip of the interview on youtube or the like which will show my memory is incomplete or completely wrong. It would be reassuring if they could.)

Shootist
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Shootist » 16 Oct 2012, 9:09am

One thing is certain. In the history of police 'spokespersons' I have yet to see one that hasn't turned good to mediocrity, bad to worse, and worse to a crisis of confidence. What it is about them I can't say, but it seems a remarkable constant that they only seem to open their mouths in order to change feet.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

Geriatrix
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Geriatrix » 16 Oct 2012, 9:16am

Mick F wrote:
Geriatrix wrote: It is for example obligatory to carry ID with you in Germany. On a separate occasion a colleague was stopped & asked for his passport which he had left in the hotel. He was escorted back to the hotel to fetch it & reprimanded for wasting their time.
They never told us that when we went to Berlin a couple or three years ago. We left all our documents in the hotel and were encouraged to do so too.

Strange.


That's quite possible. Germany like America is a federal republic and there are regional differences in law and attitude. My experience comes mainly from Munich which is ideologically conservative.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 16 Oct 2012, 9:29am

Rhyl
If this were a country that had a justice system interested in justice :?
The court where this judge presided would have realised that anyone with three illegal tyres shouldn't have even been on the road in the first place,to drive on an icy road at the legal 50mph limit not mention the subsequent results of their action should not be allowed to drive for a very long time.
And before they are allowed to drive again would need to prove to the same judiciary that they are capable of driving a motorvehicle safely by resiting the driving test.
As it is in this mad country,this loonie walked to his car after the sham(trial) and drove home!

Worse than that,to rub salt into the already deep and raw wounds of the cyclists families the "judge" declared that the defective tyres had no bearing on the accident!!!!!!!!!!!
Weep! jutice is dead!
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meic
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby meic » 16 Oct 2012, 9:37am

How can anyone can use such a machine in such a dangerous state in such circumstances and not even be banned from driving is completely beyond me.


Because a very large proportion of the population, probably a majority, would have been just as likely to do exactly the same thing as he did (without bald tyres). Those of us that set off on an icy morning, having made ourselves aware of the fact it is icy and driving in a manner which is suited to icy conditions are a distinct minority.
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Shootist
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Shootist » 16 Oct 2012, 9:51am

reohn2 wrote:Rhyl
If this were a country that had a justice system interested in justice :?

We do not and never have. Best summed up by Oliver Wendell Holmes - "This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice."

The court where this judge presided would have realised that anyone with three illegal tyres shouldn't have even been on the road in the first place,to drive on an icy road at the legal 50mph limit not mention the subsequent results of their action should not be allowed to drive for a very long time.

Agreed, although the icy road's relevance to bald tyres has been disposed of as irrelevant to the collision. The court would also be bound by the sentencing guidelines.

And before they are allowed to drive again would need to prove to the same judiciary that they are capable of driving a motorvehicle safely by resiting the driving test.

A driving test does not prevent stupidity or negligence. The driver was stupid and negligent, but in this case there is no evidence that either quality contributed to the collision. It is quite possible that the driver in this case was absolutely competent, if he chose to be.

As it is in this mad country,this loonie walked to his car after the sham(trial) and drove home!

Again, there is no evidence whatever that this was a 'sham' trial. The facts were presented, and the law was complied with.

How can anyone can use such a machine in such a dangerous state in such circumstances and not even be banned from driving is completely beyond me.


Agreed. but again, in the Rhyl incident this is not relevant to the collision. These issues are as irrelevant as would be that the driver had been shoplifting the previous day. (Not that he was). Yet you have suggested, in so many words, that he was the cause of the deaths and injuries in this collision when there is no evidence whatever that this was the case. By doing so you reduce the credibility of any similar claims where the motorist was fault. An independent reader seeing this and able to think for himself might well see a valid comment on another case as merely the Pavolvian response of one who seeks to blame car drivers regardless of the facts, thus damaging genuine complaints.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

Shootist
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Shootist » 16 Oct 2012, 9:56am

reohn2 wrote:Worse than that,to rub salt into the already deep and raw wounds of the cyclists families the "judge" declared that the defective tyres had no bearing on the accident!!!!!!!!!!!

Salt rubbing exists only in the fevered imaginings of one who cannot understand facts.

Weep! jutice is dead!


It certainly would be if a court decided to punish an offender for things that were totally irrelevant to the crime committed. Perhaps the driver should have received a stiffer sentence if he was ugly.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 16 Oct 2012, 10:28am

The "law" is an ass and needs to be changed.
Which begs the question.Will it be? We all know the answer.
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meic
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby meic » 16 Oct 2012, 10:40am

I agree with Shootist, the tyres were probably not material to the crash occurring. The science of it may even show that bald tyres are beneficial on ice at certain temperatures and pressures for all we know.

At most they are indicative of the driver's attitude to road safety generally.

Next thing you will be wanting peoples' nationality and residency status to be taken into account as factors in a sentencing.
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reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 16 Oct 2012, 10:57am

meic wrote:I agree with Shootist, the tyres were probably not material to the crash occurring. The science of it may even show that bald tyres are beneficial on ice at certain temperatures and pressures for all we know.

At most they are indicative of the driver's attitude to road safety generally.

:wink:

Next thing you will be wanting peoples' nationality and residency status to be taken into account as factors in a sentencing.

well,if he was Welsh.............. :mrgreen:
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pete75
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby pete75 » 16 Oct 2012, 12:33pm

Shootist wrote:
You seem to miss a few points yourself. This incident occurred at 10am on what was described as a fine day. The police will have had a top 'accident' investigator assess the situation and their opinion was that excessive speed was not an issue either on the road or because of the conditions. ad you may accept (but probably won't) that these investigators are damned good. Tread on road tyres is there for one purpose only, and that is to disperse water (and some debris). On a dry road a slick tyre will give the best possible grip. On black ice there will be no significant difference at all between bald tyres and brand new ones freshly scrubbed in. Speed was not an issue. The bald tyres did not contribute in any way to the collision. The driver got what is the standard punishment for three bald tyres. A punishment that in itself and regardless of circumstances I regard as inadequate but that is a separate issue.

The incident itself was tragic, it goes without saying, but any driver on that road at that time could have experienced exactly the same result. It was one of those very rare traffic collisions that was actually an accident. The only way of ensuring such a thing can never happen again is to close the road off completely whenever the temperature is likely to fall below a certain point. Or perhaps have a man with a red flag walking in front of each vehicle as it proceeds. To describe the driver's actions as 'abhorrent' implies deliberation on his part. There is no evidence for this that I am aware of.


Here's what the top 'accident' investigator said at the inquest . In his opinion the state of the tyres was irrelevant but the speed the man drove at was excessive for the conditions.


Driver ‘could have avoided' cyclists
Jun 26 2007 By Roland Hughes

THE driver of a car who killed four members of Rhyl Cycling Club when he lost control on ice "could have avoided them" – an expert claimed yesterday.

A collision investigator told the inquest into the deaths of the cyclists on the A547 near Abergele that Robert Harris should have had full control of his car after the initial skid.

PC George Skinner also blamed Mr Harris, of Abergele, for failing to drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and said that had he done so, the accident could have been avoided.

PC Skinner arrived on the scene within half an hour of the tragedy and confirmed some ice on the road.

But he said yesterday that the ice was on the road only in patches, and that there were enough dry patches on the road for Mr Harris to regain control of his vehicle.

He said Mr Harris should have paid attention to freezing conditions that morning, and not driven at 55mph, his estimated speed before the crash.

"It would have to be accepted that he failed to observe the ambient temperature display in his vehicle," the officer said.

"He set off on his journey having scraped ice off the window of his car, and subsequently drove through countryside where visible frost lay.

"He drove in an inappropriate manner for the prevailing conditions."

But he added: "In my opinion, there was sufficient grip available to the driver to control the vehicle.

"Had he driven according to the prevailing road conditions, as had the vast majority of motorists before this collision, then I am of the opinion this collision could have been avoided."

Mr Harris had told the hearing last week that his car slipped on ice and he was powerless to stop the vehicle veering into the cyclists’ path on the A547.

He had been driving from his Abergele home to work as a security guard at B&Q in Rhyl when the collision happened last January. He told police in the days after the crash: "I just lost control – I tried to counter the skid.

"All I could think of was not to hit them."

Last August, Mr Harris was fined and handed points for having three defective tyres, although PC Skinner said they played no part in the handling of the car on the day of the tragedy.

The inquest also heard that the force of the collision projected Wayne Wilkes 37 metres into an adjoining field, and Dave Horrocks 31 metres.

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/in-dept ... -19356834/
Last edited by pete75 on 16 Oct 2012, 12:48pm, edited 1 time in total.

thirdcrank
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Oct 2012, 12:47pm

meic wrote:I agree with Shootist, the tyres were probably not material to the crash occurring. The science of it may even show that bald tyres are beneficial on ice at certain temperatures and pressures for all we know....


We are just repeating the discussion we had at the time, of course. On that basis, I'll repeat that while I know both from experience and what I've read that on black ice the tyre tread (intended to clear away surface water) has no effect, I can imagine that one lawful tread out of four, might well be the one to spin a vehicle if the ice were to be patchy, with even quite small areas of unaffected road.

On the broader issues, to end up with three bald tyres through gradaual deterioration, rather than fitting them deliberately, normally takes quite a while. It's probably symptomatic of the state of enforcement that a car can get to that state without attracting official attention and when it does, a driver will chance it on the road in the almost total certainty that unless they do something to attract attention, they can drive about with impunity.