M1 crash - can someone explain

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Vorpal
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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby Vorpal » 24 Mar 2018, 8:41pm

I posted a link to a more recent report which said that the stopped traffic would have been in view for at least 9 seconds. That's a *long* time at motorway speeds to not pay any attention to what was ahead.
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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby PDQ Mobile » 24 Mar 2018, 8:41pm

Stevek76 wrote:You need an awful lot more than 'a few seconds' given the sight lines on a motorway.

I cannot see how running into the back of someome with sufficient speed to cause injury and death is anything other than dangerous.

To flip the competent driver was unlucky argument baround, he might have been a pretty bad driver who simply got lucky up to this point!

It was at night though and something fully stopped on the carriageway is unexpected especially if there is a hard shoulder.

Yes, maybe you are right he is a poor, negligent driver who got lucky up to that point. It is possible and I don't know.
That is why his previous record has a relevance in my view.

I do think the driver who stopped in the slow lane, at night, for 10 minutes when there was an available hard shoulder was an accident in the making though.
Last edited by PDQ Mobile on 24 Mar 2018, 9:56pm, edited 1 time in total.

thirdcrank
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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Mar 2018, 8:45pm

...Even when you get a conviction, the sentences are paltry:

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows: :: In the 12 years since Parliament increased the longest sentence from ten to 14 years in jail, not a single person has been handed the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. ...


In an attempt to answer the OP more fully than my original effort, I've looked at some of this in more detail and I was suprised to read this which I must have skimmed through first time. The big point here is that no matter what has gone before, the driver convicted of the "dangerous" offence in this case has been sentenced to that maximum fourteen years. (Before anybody mentions that he killed eight people and therefore 8 x 14 = 112 years, this was all in one incident so the max was never going to be more than 14 years in an English court.)

On the same theme, the max for the "careless" offence is 5 years and the driver was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months, ie a reduction from the max of exactly one third. He was automatically entitled to a third off for the guilty plea, so the other mitigation offered - remorse + good driving record must have been cancelled out by the aggravating factors. (The defence also referred to medical reports about the stress he's suffered since, but I'm not sure that he can expect much judicial sympathy for the effects of witnessing the result of his own offending. :? )

This from a local rag carries quite a lot of detail about the judge's sentencing comments to both drivers. Perhaps it goes some way to answering the question posed by the OP. I think the judge was taking the line that the driving was at the upper limit of what might be regarded as careless rather than dangerous. (Sorry if this or something similar is already linked.)

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/161 ... sentenced/

As to whether the judge got his bit right - the sentencing - we'll see from the result of the almost inevitable appeals against sentence.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby PDQ Mobile » 24 Mar 2018, 8:47pm

Vorpal wrote:I posted a link to a more recent report which said that the stopped traffic would have been in view for at least 9 seconds. That's a *long* time at motorway speeds to not pay any attention to what was ahead.


It is and he has gone to prison for it.
It is my feeling that it just did not register in his perception as such. It was a set of red lights in the dark.

The phone probably contributory.

But we can all be deceived.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby PDQ Mobile » 24 Mar 2018, 8:48pm

thirdcrank wrote:
...Even when you get a conviction, the sentences are paltry:

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows: :: In the 12 years since Parliament increased the longest sentence from ten to 14 years in jail, not a single person has been handed the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. ...


In an attempt to answer the OP more fully than my original effort, I've looked at some of this in more detail and I was suprised to read this which I must have skimmed through first time. The big point here is that no matter what has gone before, the driver convicted of the "dangerous" offence in this case has been sentenced to that maximum fourteen years. (Before anybody mentions that he killed eight people and therefore 8 x 14 = 112 years, this was all in one incident so the max was never going to be more than 14 years in an English court.)

On the same theme, the max for the "careless" offence is 5 years and the driver was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months, ie a reduction from the max of exactly one third. He was automatically entitled to a third off for the guilty plea, so the other mitigation offered - remorse + good driving record must have been cancelled out by the aggravating factors. (The defence also referred to medical reports about the stress he's suffered since, but I'm not sure that he can expect much judicial sympathy for the effects of witnessing the result of his own offending. :? )

This from a local rag carries quite a lot of detail about the judge's sentencing comments to both drivers. Perhaps it goes some way to answering the question posed by the OP. I think the judge was taking the line that the driving was at the upper limit of what might be regarded as careless rather than dangerous. (Sorry if this or something similar is already linked.)

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/161 ... sentenced/

As to whether the judge got his bit right - the sentencing - we'll see from the result of the almost inevitable appeals against sentence.

Yes that is my understanding of the case.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 Mar 2018, 8:52pm

Vorpal wrote:I posted a link to a more recent report which said that the stopped traffic would have been in view for at least 9 seconds. That's a *long* time at motorway speeds to not pay any attention to what was ahead.

I see:

Wagstaff would have had the obstruction ahead in his sight for nine seconds but did not brake or try to turn the wheel before the crash.

and later

Turning to Wagstaff, he said: "You had between nine and 11 second to see the vehicles ahead had you not been so distracted by using the phone, albeit on Bluetooth.

For those who wished to look*, on the BBC report there's CCTV footage of the incident itself. It paints the picture of events as they actually unfolded, as opposed to the perception that may be created by those statements. The minibus driver hadn't changed lane in the 9-11 seconds stated and therefore had to stop behind the lorry in L1. I am not saying, for the avoidance of doubt, that they had any culpability, nor am I seeking to diminish the culpability of Mr Wagstaff.

*inasmuch as it shows the demise of 8 people.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby pwa » 24 Mar 2018, 9:51pm

Vorpal wrote:
profpointy wrote:
You ARE redefining accident. HSE may choose not to use that word in their context as may you, but choosing not to use a word doesn't change its meaning.

A deliberate use of a car as a weapon to run someone over is an incident but not an accident. Spinning a car without hitting anything isn't a crash. "a car crashed into a field" would be a strange usage

And we have the air accident investigation board, which often concludes by assigning blame.

It the humpty dumbty argument to say words mean what I say they mean

Culture is crucially important to avoiding injuries and crashes on the roads and in the work place. The use of the word accident implies chance, or something entirely unintentional. If something occurs by chance, there isn't much we can do to prevent it, and the occasional accident can be accepted as a price of convenience, or jobs, or travel.

The casual acceptance of 8 deaths because 'accidents happen' is as much a part of the issue (and the hostile road environment) as one individual's distraction with his phone.

I don't care if *you* don't think that this is worth doing something about, but it is far more than mere semantics.

Words matter.


Words do matter, but the word "accident" does not belong to the H&S professionals or those who deal with mishaps on the road. Just because they have decided to go all peculiar with the word doesn't mean the rest of us have to follow.

If I say I accidentally spilt tea on my lap I don't imply that I wasn't to blame. I just mean that i didn't intend it. Yes, if you stick "just" in front of accident it does imply there is no point in looking for a cause, but if you stick "preventable" in front it implies the opposite. And an "accident waiting to happen" is one that should be prevented from happening.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby The utility cyclist » 25 Mar 2018, 12:17am

I've lifted this from the Shoreham air crash, to mind mind not only is the careless aspect of this disgustingly wrong and is a continual bolstering of how people (wrongly) see and judge the level of danger they present/do but the use of the word accident is bandied around far too easily and in itself has a negative effect on society and how people see things.


Username wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I always use 'accident' but always in quotes, I think that is a good way to make the point about RTAs, incidents, crashes &c


The crash wasn't intentional, this makes it an accident. Therefore the word accident is appropriate.

Sorry but it isn't, it's used far too often to describe incidents where there is most definitely an element of blame, someone doing something wrong and could be foreseen or avoided.
Society has become so comfortable with people doing stuff in a certain way even when we know that it has horrendous outcomes that words like 'accident' are used to soften the effects and how people feel about the event. This has to stop.

it's so bad that we now have those who are supposed to keep the peace, supposed to protect us from harm by doing so actually blaming victims or ignoring important factors and simply describing them as accidents when they most definitely were avoidable.

A small child came off the narrow pathway whilst cycling a few years ago, the motorist that struck her was absolved of all blame by the police, it was an "accident".
And yet the highway planners were at fault for not segregating a narrow lane from a high speed road, the motorists who were a mere few feet away never slowed down or bothered to look to see a small child on a bike and even remotely think to slow down at any juncture because you know, children make errors in judgement, not to make ANY allowances for that is reckless and negligent.

Lest we forget all too easily a cyclist was charged for manslaughter and eventually found guilty of wanton and furious driving (and sent to prison) despite actually slowing down and taking avoiding action and only doing 10mph at impact, surely an 'accident' after-all there was no intent right?

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby The utility cyclist » 25 Mar 2018, 12:30am

PDQ Mobile wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I posted a link to a more recent report which said that the stopped traffic would have been in view for at least 9 seconds. That's a *long* time at motorway speeds to not pay any attention to what was ahead.


It is and he has gone to prison for it.
It is my feeling that it just did not register in his perception as such. It was a set of red lights in the dark.

The phone probably contributory.

But we can all be deceived.

No we ALL can't/won't, that's utterly untrue, only the disgustingly dangerous are distracted/not paying attention enough for that period of time whilst in charge of a killing machine.
Transfer the actions of the driver in any other scenario where there is no vehicle in front of the mini van and the action is DD, IMHO it should be manslaughter, it yet again proves how mickey weak our judicial system is and how by adding death by 'careless' is erroneous as a solution to reluctance of convicting of death by DD and just lowers the bar of responsibility.
Death by careless is in essence 'accidental' death in the eyes of most people, an accident that could happen to anyone, but the anyone's have being allowed to drive to such a low standard and the system is justifying it by not punishing or acknowledging it as it should. From that we see the consequences of 5 road deaths a day and 50+ SI and it's getting worse despite improved tech and protective systems.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby pwa » 25 Mar 2018, 7:53am

The utility cyclist wrote:I've lifted this from the Shoreham air crash, to mind mind not only is the careless aspect of this disgustingly wrong and is a continual bolstering of how people (wrongly) see and judge the level of danger they present/do but the use of the word accident is bandied around far too easily and in itself has a negative effect on society and how people see things.


Username wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I always use 'accident' but always in quotes, I think that is a good way to make the point about RTAs, incidents, crashes &c


The crash wasn't intentional, this makes it an accident. Therefore the word accident is appropriate.

Sorry but it isn't, it's used far too often to describe incidents where there is most definitely an element of blame, someone doing something wrong and could be foreseen or avoided.
Society has become so comfortable with people doing stuff in a certain way even when we know that it has horrendous outcomes that words like 'accident' are used to soften the effects and how people feel about the event. This has to stop.

it's so bad that we now have those who are supposed to keep the peace, supposed to protect us from harm by doing so actually blaming victims or ignoring important factors and simply describing them as accidents when they most definitely were avoidable.

A small child came off the narrow pathway whilst cycling a few years ago, the motorist that struck her was absolved of all blame by the police, it was an "accident".
And yet the highway planners were at fault for not segregating a narrow lane from a high speed road, the motorists who were a mere few feet away never slowed down or bothered to look to see a small child on a bike and even remotely think to slow down at any juncture because you know, children make errors in judgement, not to make ANY allowances for that is reckless and negligent.

Lest we forget all too easily a cyclist was charged for manslaughter and eventually found guilty of wanton and furious driving (and sent to prison) despite actually slowing down and taking avoiding action and only doing 10mph at impact, surely an 'accident' after-all there was no intent right?


All those things were "accidents", and all could have been avoided. Hence the phrase "avoidable accident". "Accidental" is the opposite of "deliberate". It does not mean that the accident was without blame or could not have been prevented. The word "accident" has been misappropriated by the H&S professionals who think they can redefine a word that has been used in a broader sense for generations before their profession even existed.

But regardless of this, I think we all believe the crash on the M1 was avoidable, and we struggle to understand how the driver who ploughed into stationary traffic got off so lightly.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby Vorpal » 25 Mar 2018, 9:04am

PDQ Mobile wrote:It is and he has gone to prison for it.
It is my feeling that it just did not register in his perception as such. It was a set of red lights in the dark.

The phone probably contributory.

But we can all be deceived.

That is likely a big part of why his driving was considered carelass, but he was acquitted of dangerous driving.
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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby Vorpal » 25 Mar 2018, 9:14am

pwa wrote:
Words do matter, but the word "accident" does not belong to the H&S professionals or those who deal with mishaps on the road. Just because they have decided to go all peculiar with the word doesn't mean the rest of us have to follow.

If I say I accidentally spilt tea on my lap I don't imply that I wasn't to blame. I just mean that i didn't intend it. Yes, if you stick "just" in front of accident it does imply there is no point in looking for a cause, but if you stick "preventable" in front it implies the opposite. And an "accident waiting to happen" is one that should be prevented from happening.

HSE professionals don't 'own' the word and there was nothing in what I wrote that implied so. They didn't even start this 'redefinition'. That was charities working on behalf of victims and road safety campaigners.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Mar 2018, 9:16am

Vorpal wrote: ... That is likely a big part of why his driving was considered carelass, but he was acquitted of dangerous driving.


Sorry to nit-pick but as he pleaded guilty to careless - possibly on expert legal tactical advice - we'll never know whether if he hadn't done so, the jury would have used their power to reduce the charge from dangerous to careless.

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby Vorpal » 25 Mar 2018, 9:19am

thirdcrank wrote:
Vorpal wrote: ... That is likely a big part of why his driving was considered carelass, but he was acquitted of dangerous driving.


Sorry to nit-pick but as he pleaded guilty to careless - possibly on expert legal tactical advice - we'll never know whether if he hadn't done so, the jury would have used their power to reduce the charge from dangerous to careless.

Fair enough.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: M1 crash - can someone explain

Postby reohn2 » 25 Mar 2018, 9:31am

thirdcrank wrote:
Vorpal wrote: ... That is likely a big part of why his driving was considered carelass, but he was acquitted of dangerous driving.


Sorry to nit-pick but as he pleaded guilty to careless - possibly on expert legal tactical advice - we'll never know whether if he hadn't done so, the jury would have used their power to reduce the charge from dangerous to careless.

Which hi-lights yet another flaw in the UK legal system,tactics by people in wigs.
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