'Strict Liability' laws

thirdcrank
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Oct 2012, 5:11pm

It seems to me that one of the many problems people have with this is that both "strict liability" and "presumed liability" is the fear that it favours negligence by cyclists and pedestrians: it's really quite threatening language even for really careful people. I think most people would be happy with the idea that all road users must take care. There is a feeling, however, in some quarters that that the drivers of motor vehicles, especially big / heavy / powerful motor vehicles should be under the biggest, heaviest, most powerful requirement to take care.

I wonder if "proportionate liability" or "appropriate liability" sound a bit less threatening. :?

reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2012, 6:30pm

pete75 wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Regulator wrote:........You have a very rosy (or perhaps we should say biased) of how the law works. Those of us on the other side know that cyclists are routinely ignored and most police officers will automatically take the word of a motorist over a cyclist.

Agreed
On the four occasions when I've reported motorists to the police and had a wittness to their dangerous driving,nothing has been done.
It leaves one with very little or no confidence in the police.
As for punishment when cases do come to court this makes interesting(if somewhat sickening) reading:- viewtopic.php?f=6&t=50829



Not always. My son was knocked off his bike last August and, based on his evidence and that of the friend he was riding with , the driver was duly charged, tried and found guilty of careless driving.
It took exactly a year and a fortnight for the offence to get to trial. Some of the delay was because the driver was initially offered the chance of a course and driving assessment which would have cost him under 200 quid and taken a day of his time. Foolishly he turned this down and ended up with a £550 fine , four penalty points and, presumably, increased insurance costs.


Your son was lucky motorists have got off with less for killing cyclists,even four at once,Rhyl?
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reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2012, 6:44pm

Geriatrix wrote: ......Cyclists are presently too low in number to have the political clout to influence priorities in police action and the system as it stands is inherently unfair..........


This is something that always gets my back up,the very fact that that a minority group,however right their actions or legitimate their behaviour they need politrickal clout to have any kind of recogition of that legitimisation,eg;if theres no votes in it they don't count.
Something which I find appalling and disgusting in a,so called,democracy or perhaps that should read demockcracy :twisted: .
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anothereye
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby anothereye » 15 Oct 2012, 6:53pm

thirdcrank wrote:I wonder if "proportionate liability" or "appropriate liability" sound a bit less threatening. :?
If I remember correctly, RoadPeace want Stricter Liability.
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reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2012, 6:53pm

kwackers wrote:The Germans like rules and red tape more than we do, the main difference is having created it they also obey it instead of thinking it only applies to others.


Isn't this the major problem in the UK?
We seem to be a society that operates on the premise that there are laws but it's a case of get away with as much as you can.
There seems to be an inherent selfishiness and oneupmanship that I find lacking on the continent.
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Mick F
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Mick F » 15 Oct 2012, 8:53pm

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.
Mick F. Cornwall

pete75
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby pete75 » 15 Oct 2012, 9:10pm

reohn2 wrote:
pete75 wrote:

Not always. My son was knocked off his bike last August and, based on his evidence and that of the friend he was riding with , the driver was duly charged, tried and found guilty of careless driving.
It took exactly a year and a fortnight for the offence to get to trial. Some of the delay was because the driver was initially offered the chance of a course and driving assessment which would have cost him under 200 quid and taken a day of his time. Foolishly he turned this down and ended up with a £550 fine , four penalty points and, presumably, increased insurance costs.


Your son was lucky motorists have got off with less for killing cyclists,even four at once,Rhyl?


Lucky?
I don't think he was lucky - he's got permanent scarring to arm, hand and leg and the fine and points make bugger all difference to that.
If the chappy who killed the Rhyl cyclists had got life in prison would you regard those four as lucky?

pete75
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby pete75 » 15 Oct 2012, 9:14pm

Geriatrix wrote:
Mick F wrote:I've been to all those countries and crossed the road where and when I wanted. I never got reprimanded.

I have been a frequent visitor to Germany and I don't chance it. As mentioned, two colleagues have been reprimanded and the German cops can get very awkward. 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.


Sounds like they wasted their own time.

reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2012, 9:28pm

pete75 wrote:Lucky?
I don't think he was lucky - he's got permanent scarring to arm, hand and leg and the fine and points make bugger all difference to that.

I think you miss the point,I wasn't saying your son was lucky he didn't have worse injuries,I meant he was was lucky the culprit was caught and correctly punished for his crime.
BTW I do hope you persued the culprit through his insurance and or courts for compesation for your sons pain suffering and any loss of earnings and other damages.

If the chappy who killed the Rhyl cyclists had got life in prison would you regard those four as lucky?

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?
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thirdcrank
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Oct 2012, 9:36pm

For the last few pages, the discussion has been clouded by mixing criminal and civil law.

The former is about enforcement - largely by the police - and as I keep saying, that has gone out of the window so far as "traffic" offences are concerned. The situation may have been confused by speed camera tickets and the like but the proportion of police resources committed to traffic enforcement is only a tiny part of what was once the case. That's at a time when traffic levels have been rising so the effect is even greater.

In this context, civil law is about who, if anybody, picks up the tab when there's injury or damage. In one sense, this isn't anything to do with the police; it's the province of personal injury lawyers and insurance companies and rules about liability can be altered like the offside and LBW rules in the respective sports. In another, it really does involve the police since their investigation into driving offences connected with a collision can make a considerable difference to the outcome of a civil case. There is also an argument - to which I subscribe - that visible police enforcement can reduce the number of collisions. Unfortunately, IMO the recent concentration of effort on so called KSI investigations can only lead to vulnerable road users being seen as the problem because any of the shunts and scrapes between vehicles and between vehicles and inanimate objects, which are now routinely ignored, might be life threatening if they were between a motor vehicle and a human being.

As I've said before, at a time of financial cuts, I can't see any prospect of more traffic enforcement by the police.

The other theme which continues to emerge is the implication that it should somehow be easier to mount prosecutions for traffic offences. I cannot see any prospect of a reduction in the standard required at the moment: "beyond reasonable doubt."

It seems obvious to me that sooner or later, our police service is going to be radically restructured. I could imagine a "judicial police / CID" probably with direct entry for people with relevant legal qualifications. A lot of basic policing could then be undertaken by people without detailed training in the rules of evidence etc since they would only take initial action and the more seriouis stuff would be taken over by the investigators. Most traffic offences should be drastically simplified to make them easier to understand by all sides. There's no real reason IMO why they shouldn't be decriminalised - in the same way as yellow line parking - and enforced by fixed penalties. As with parking offences, there would have to be an appeal system but that would operate to the civil standard of proof: "the balance of probabilities." The main effect of that would be to concentrate on what had actually happened, rather than whether the correct rigmarole had been followed. That leaves anti-terrorism, serious public order and the like. All that's moving away from local policing anyway.

Gasps of horror all round but I think I've just described a version of the basic European system.

pete75
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby pete75 » 15 Oct 2012, 9:46pm

reohn2 wrote:
pete75 wrote:Lucky?
I don't think he was lucky - he's got permanent scarring to arm, hand and leg and the fine and points make bugger all difference to that.

I think you miss the point,I wasn't saying your son was lucky he didn't have worse injuries,I meant he was was lucky the culprit was caught and correctly punished for his crime.
BTW I do hope you persued the culprit through his insurance and or courts for compesation for your sons pain suffering and any loss of earnings and other damages.

If the chappy who killed the Rhyl cyclists had got life in prison would you regard those four as lucky?

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?


Mmmm you're missing my point. The fact that someone is prosecuted after an accident which injures or kills someone isn't lucky for the injured party. It doesn't diminish the injury pain or suffering in any way shape or form.
I suppose a vindictive individual might take some pleasure in the culprit being punished.

Personally I think the best outcome in my son's incident would have been for the driver to have taken the offered driving course and assessment. According to the sergeant in the case those courses do have a proven affect for the better on an individuals driving.
Last edited by pete75 on 15 Oct 2012, 9:54pm, edited 1 time in total.

reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2012, 9:54pm

TC, Agreed.
And could if administered properly, cut out the fancy lawyers getting people off with offences they've clearly commited.
If we could have a three strikes and you're out(banned),resit you're test please if that ban is over six months and more short 6week driving bans imposed for serial speeders(gross speeding over say 20% of the limit being dangerous driving and an automatic ban as a more a serious offence) and other minor offenders.

The strict liability should apply as civil law,unless there is serious injury to involved parties,in which case it should become a subject of criminal law
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reohn2
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby reohn2 » 15 Oct 2012, 10:07pm

pete75 wrote:Mmmm you're missing my point. The fact that someone is prosecuted after an accident which injures or kills someone isn't lucky for the injured party. It doesn't diminish the injury pain or suffering in any way shape or form.

As someone who two months ago lost their lovely grandaughter to a maniac on motorcycle when he ploughed into her at great speed causing her untold pain at the scene and so many injuries that she never regained consciousness,believe me,myself and my family know full well the pain and suffering as much as anyone and more than most.

I suppose a vindictive individual might take some pleasure in the culprit being punished.

Unfortunately that's not an option in our case,the madman managed to kill himself in the process,at least I'm assured he won't kill anyone else,but it's of little comfort,especially to my grandaughter's indentical twin sister.

Personally I think the best outcome in my son's incident would have been for the driver to have taken the offered driving course and assessment. According to the sergeant in the case those courses do have a proven affect for the better on an individuals driving.

He had a choice,IMHO he shouldn't,he should have had the fine+points and still should have had to attend the driving course!
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pete75
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby pete75 » 15 Oct 2012, 10:40pm

That is tragic indeed Reohn. I lost a young son several years ago so believe me when I say time diminishes the pain if not the sense of loss.

Regulator
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Re: 'Strict Liability' laws

Postby Regulator » 15 Oct 2012, 11:12pm

anothereye wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:I wonder if "proportionate liability" or "appropriate liability" sound a bit less threatening. :?
If I remember correctly, RoadPeace want Stricter Liability.


[Pedantic rant]

Why not just go with the correct term - 'Presumed Liability'?

We're not talking about strict liability, or stricter liability, or proportionate liability - we're talking about a presumption of liability, which in itself is a well established legal principle.

RoadPeace, CTC et al should learn what they're actually talking about, instead of trying to create new terms for something which already exists.

[/Pedantic rant]

:wink: