Photography while driving

Geriatrix
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby Geriatrix » 5 Sep 2012, 1:34pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Mobile phones and handheld devices
In cases where the driver was avoidably and dangerously distracted by that use, a charge of dangerous driving will be the starting point for our charging decisions.


http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/pros ... y.html#_33

Anybody able to quote cases where this didn't happen should bear in mind that the current guidelines were only published some three months ago. There's a lot more to go at where this came from. It also seems to illustrate the importance the CPS attaches to the responses to its consultations.


What circumstances would be considered as "avoidably and dangerously distracted"? I have found that some close overtakes could be attributed to mobile phone use. Do you think that prosecutions could result if there is supporting video evidence?
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

thirdcrank
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Sep 2012, 2:04pm

Geriatrix wrote: ... What circumstances would be considered as "avoidably and dangerously distracted"? I have found that some close overtakes could be attributed to mobile phone use. Do you think that prosecutions could result if there is supporting video evidence?


I simply don't know.

For most of the history of driving, prosectuions for "due care" etc., were largely restricted to cases invoving a collision. (I did check the stuff in my link carefully to see if it was only referring to cases involving serious injury before I posted.) Then we reached a stage where even that counted for little. There was a downward spiral in the enforcement of road traffic law and the attitude of the CPS played a significant part in that. ie police officers anticipated the CPS "no action" decision and saved themselves a lot of trouble.

I presume that the DPP, Keir Starmer, is a decent sort of a chap and confronted with evidence of what was happening under his leadership, he decided to demonstrate some. (I'm not suggesting that what went on from the establishment of the CPS was anything to do with him: the organisation never got to grips with traffic from the start.)

The fly in the ointment here is that the CPS can only act on the cases referred to them (although it's a positive step that they have declared they will be proactive in seeking more information and evidence from the police.) Police resources dedicated to the enforcement of road traffic legislation - both in the form of specialist traffic officers and the time spent by uniform patrol officers more generally - have been reduced and that trend will continue. (Although in some serious cases, the involvement of experienced detectives should ensure that evidence if of a good standard.) In terms of video evidence, when that's obtained from equipment in a police car, it must strengthen the police case immeasurably. OTOH, I suspect that in many cases, amateur cameramen will continue to be fobbed.

I know there are all sorts of cases where people will point to this and that going wrong - all I'm saying is that the leadership of the CPS is now sending out a better message in this context.

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meic
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby meic » 5 Sep 2012, 2:13pm

Then you have the further hurdles of juries acquitting defendants on the "could be me" basis and judges handing out penalties that make the whole process not worth the effort.
Yma o Hyd

Geriatrix
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby Geriatrix » 5 Sep 2012, 2:52pm

meic wrote:Then you have the further hurdles of juries acquitting defendants on the "could be me" basis and judges handing out penalties that make the whole process not worth the effort.

Yes I think you are right but I suspect that depends on the quality of the defence lawyer.
Some time ago I remember one of the broadsheets polling judges views on the jury system. They questioned the judges whether they themselves would prefer a jury or non jury trial and one of them tellingly answered "jury if I'm guilty but non-jury if I'm innocent"
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

thirdcrank
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Sep 2012, 3:09pm

I suspect that one of the main things with juries is that they reflect a tendancy among may people to be tough when looking at things in general, but less so when determining the future of somebody depending on their compassion / mercy / wooly thinking / whatever.

When it comes to sentencing, judges don't have much latitude. Politicians of every stripe want to talk tough to appeal to that part of public opinion which is impressed by it, but they don't want the associated costs. I mentioned the CPS consultations and the Sentencing Council runs consultations too. Anybody who is really concerned should contribute when these are carried out.

There is a line of reasoning which says that the more severe the anticipated punishment, the more likely a jury is to be lenient in a particular case.

Fasgadh
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby Fasgadh » 5 Sep 2012, 6:55pm

Thank you all for some well considered and informative replies. The reason I asked is that it is now common for many photographs loaded onto the geograph.org.uk site to be taken through a windscreen of a moving vehicle. There has been some discussion of the legalities, but nobody is too sure over there. I would have thought and expected "'Driving without Due Care & Attention" would cover it.

Thanks again.

PS I never do it!

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meic
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby meic » 5 Sep 2012, 7:22pm

They would probably claim that the photograph was taken by a passenger rather than the driver.
Yma o Hyd

iviehoff
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby iviehoff » 6 Sep 2012, 12:36pm

I was recently driven by a minicab driver who used a handheld smartphone as a satnav, at 70mph on the M25. It emerged that he wasn't even competent to do that, because I had to tell him where to go, as I discovered when he was just about to go past the relevant exit on the M25. It was apparent he had no idea where he was when we arrived. Which is curious since you get to my house by proceeding 3 miles along an A road from the M25, and then turning left at a well marked location a short distance from the minicab firm's office.

bencolman
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby bencolman » 18 Sep 2012, 5:40pm

How can we get the evidence? If we see a car driver on their mobile, can we take a photo of them and post it somewhere to be picked up? Our local police force? Is there anything illegal with taking a photo of someone else which shows them on the phone and their car registration plate (assuming, of course, that they're not topless)? And what sort of camera would be best?

Geriatrix
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Re: Photography while driving

Postby Geriatrix » 18 Sep 2012, 7:43pm

bencolman wrote:How can we get the evidence? If we see a car driver on their mobile, can we take a photo of them and post it somewhere to be picked up? Our local police force? Is there anything illegal with taking a photo of someone else which shows them on the phone and their car registration plate (assuming, of course, that they're not topless)? And what sort of camera would be best?

A number of cyclists (including myself) record their commutes on a helmetcam. The camera points where you look so it records what you see. YouTube is used as a name and shame site for incidents. The MET provides a site where you can report incidents: http://www.met.police.uk/roadsafelondon/, but this is just for the greater London area. You would need to find your local police website if you don't live in London.
If you view the YouTube footage you will hear that a number of cyclists shout out the registration number of the offending vehicle/driver. This is in case the video footage is too shaky or dim to read the number.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman