Dangerous driving

The Mechanic
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby The Mechanic » 17 Apr 2013, 11:50am

There is a difference between activities that are "dangerous" and activities that are "hazardous". Driving is one of them. There is no doubt that driving or using the road in/on any vehicle is hazardous. But with the correct competence and attention, these hazards can be adequately controlled for the activity not to be "dangerous". Just because an activity has the potential to kill or injure you, it doesn't make it dangerous. There are more deaths and injuries in the home and garden than on the roads but I doubt if anyone would say that their house was a dangerous place.

Many of us work in so called Hazardous industries, including me, but I would never work anywhere that was dangerous. IMHO, anyone who thinks that their job is dangerous should get a new job, unless they are in the armed forces, in which case, they knew what they were signing up for.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Apr 2013, 2:00pm

stewartpratt wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:I would argue that all driving is inherently dangerous. Fairly low risk, assuming that proper care is taken, but significant danger imply from a large mass object travelling at significant speed.


Then it would follow that travelling on a train or an aeroplane is dangerous. I would argue that "danger" is a product of probability and consequence.

Trains and planes are not moving in close proximity to others (with the exception of "at stations", where if at speed there is a warning before they pass, and a marked area for the pedestrians - the yellow line), so they are inherently different situations - even ignoring the training and monitoring of the Pilots/Train drivers, their navigation requirements and external assistants (ATC, signalmen...)

But yes - they are dangerous, just very low risk.

And so it is for driving. Collisions can always have severe consequences, but if the probability of the occurrence of a collision is reduced to a level that is "low enough" (let's just use that abstract phrase for the sake of argument rather that try to define what it might be) - by some combination of infrastructure, vehicle characteristics, driver aptitude - then I would contend it is not dangerous.
I would suggest that the risk has been lowered - the danger is defined by the road layout and speed.
The issue is that the drop in driver aptitude required to make driving become dangerous is fairly small; more to the point, such drops are readily effected by the sorts of behaviour that many people view as perfectly acceptable.

And I would argue that labelling such behaviours as "careless" is to dramatically understate the effect that they have on the level of danger.


Possibly - but the current labelling suggests that you can be careless without danger - and that's clearly wrong.
You can be careful and you still present significant danger.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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RedfishUK
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby RedfishUK » 17 Apr 2013, 2:54pm

Vorpal wrote:It doesn't much matter what you call if no one does anything about it.


Too true after all there is one fairly common factor that makes driving dangerous (or more dangerous) and that is speed.
It's simple a black and white decision, you are either above or below the legal limit. There is no subjection to it, we even have machines that can detect it. But the motoring lobby has pushed back on even this basic law enforcement measure. So much so that my partner who works in Leeds mag court tells me very few camera in Leeds are actually functioning.

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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby stewartpratt » 17 Apr 2013, 3:20pm

Vorpal wrote:It doesn't much matter what you call if no one does anything about it.


True to a point, but people's understanding of - and attitude towards - things is communicated through language, and is influenced by language. Society turned against racist or other discriminatory terms because of the attitudes that they persist, and because that persistence was hindering the "doing something about it" bit.

There is an endemic understanding amongst road users, juries and judges that it's ok to expect to keep ploughing on along a road in spite of slow moving vehicles ahead, that it's ok to do so with the sun in your eyes, that it's ok to drive so close to the van in front that you can't see hazards in front, that being prevented from driving a car is an extreme measure. These things are all fairly tacit on a day to day basis, but they manifest themselves quite palpably in court cases. Language is part of this. We're all careless. Everyone's careless. Last night I opened a pouch of cat food and it squirted gravy in my face - that was careless. Silly me. If I were to drive into a cyclist because the sun was in my eyes, labelling that as careless trivialises it. Driving into space you cannot see is patently dangerous. If the law labels it "careless" then in doing so it quite explicitly labels it as not dangerous: they are two distinct and quite separate offences.

Language is important. It's true that "doing something about it" is of greater importance, but doing something about the language is a part doing something about it.


RedfishUK wrote:It's simple a black and white decision, you are either above or below the legal limit.


Going too fast or otherwise for the circumstances is not a black-and-white decision. The legal limit is just that and nothing more. In the context of danger/risk is is arbitrary at best, irrelevant at worst.

RedfishUK
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby RedfishUK » 17 Apr 2013, 4:06pm

stewartpratt wrote:
RedfishUK wrote:It's simple a black and white decision, you are either above or below the legal limit.


Going too fast or otherwise for the circumstances is not a black-and-white decision. The legal limit is just that and nothing more. In the context of danger/risk is is arbitrary at best, irrelevant at worst.


I know what you are saying, and I do agree. But what I meant was in legal terms .As I said my other half is a lawyer and i hear the tourtured arguements they go through about what is careless/dangerous etc etc..and the quality of evidence. As with speeding you are either under or over a set limit.
It was more the push back against cameras a simple measure that actually works but is labelled a "war on motorists".

reohn2
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby reohn2 » 17 Apr 2013, 4:43pm

The Rhyl incident :- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/th ... 12717.html

The driver wasn't over the speed limit but it was icy and conditions below freezing the driver had three defective tyres,yet he was fined less than £200 plus points.
There was never any question raised as the fact that he shouldn't even have been on the road at all!
With this kind of judicial system we'll never ever stop or even reduce road crime to a minimum.
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Vorpal
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby Vorpal » 17 Apr 2013, 7:43pm

stewartpratt wrote:
Vorpal wrote:It doesn't much matter what you call if no one does anything about it.


True to a point, but people's understanding of - and attitude towards - things is communicated through language, and is influenced by language. Society turned against racist or other discriminatory terms because of the attitudes that they persist, and because that persistence was hindering the "doing something about it" bit.

There is an endemic understanding amongst road users, juries and judges that it's ok to expect to keep ploughing on along a road in spite of slow moving vehicles ahead, that it's ok to do so with the sun in your eyes, that it's ok to drive so close to the van in front that you can't see hazards in front, that being prevented from driving a car is an extreme measure. These things are all fairly tacit on a day to day basis, but they manifest themselves quite palpably in court cases. Language is part of this. We're all careless. Everyone's careless. Last night I opened a pouch of cat food and it squirted gravy in my face - that was careless. Silly me. If I were to drive into a cyclist because the sun was in my eyes, labelling that as careless trivialises it. Driving into space you cannot see is patently dangerous. If the law labels it "careless" then in doing so it quite explicitly labels it as not dangerous: they are two distinct and quite separate offences.

Language is important. It's true that "doing something about it" is of greater importance, but doing something about the language is a part doing something about it.


You make a valid point. The problem is, however, that the terms are effectively defined by practice and the application of of law. It is easy to prove someone has been careless and difficult to prove they have done something dangerous. Unless something in the system changes to allow 'Driving into space you cannot see to be clear' to be considered patently dangerous, I cannot see how usage matters.

Lots of people think cycling is dangerous, but driving isn't. Maybe we should fix that first.
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stewartpratt
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby stewartpratt » 17 Apr 2013, 10:00pm

Vorpal wrote:Unless something in the system changes to allow 'Driving into space you cannot see to be clear' to be considered patently dangerous, I cannot see how usage matters.


That's largely my point, I think: that the system really should change so that the terminology reflects the reality of the situation. Usage of the terms matters if that change is to occur, since their usage is inherent to that change.

Vorpal wrote:Lots of people think cycling is dangerous, but driving isn't. Maybe we should fix that first.


Indeed. But that simply boils down to perspective. Cycling amongst traffic can understandably be believed to be dangerous to oneself; driving is primarily dangerous to others. Nature dictates that danger to oneself is always palpable; danger to others need not be so.

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Phil_Lee
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby Phil_Lee » 3 Jun 2013, 1:02am

reohn2 wrote:The Rhyl incident :- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/th ... 12717.html

The driver wasn't over the speed limit but it was icy and conditions below freezing the driver had three defective tyres,yet he was fined less than £200 plus points.
There was never any question raised as the fact that he shouldn't even have been on the road at all!
With this kind of judicial system we'll never ever stop or even reduce road crime to a minimum.


Is there any (legal) reason why the driver could not be prosecuted for manslaughter, even at this late stage?
We don't have any statute of limitations, so I can't see why not - and I don't think there can be any doubt that the driver was negligent, and his negligence caused multiple deaths.
It should be a slam-dunk.

reohn2
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Re: Dangerous driving

Postby reohn2 » 3 Jun 2013, 9:22am

Phil_Lee wrote:
Is there any (legal) reason why the driver could not be prosecuted for manslaughter, even at this late stage? We don't have any statute of limitations, so I can't see why not-.....

I've no idea
and I don't think there can be any doubt that the driver was negligent,and his negligence caused multiple deaths.

Well exactly,he most definitely was negligent,any sane person can see that a vehicle with three defective tyres should never have even been on the road in the first place.That fact and that the driver was driving on a known icy road(which IIRC wasn't gritted) at the speed limit of 50mph proves gross negligence.


It should be a slam-dunk.

One would think so,but in this strange land where justice isn't sought but rather the system is milked by weasels in wigs,anything can,and frequently does happen :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: .
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