This made me sad on several levels

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Mark1978
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Mark1978 » 3 Oct 2013, 2:40pm

And you wonder why some people aren't comfortable with riding on the roads.

iviehoff
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby iviehoff » 3 Oct 2013, 2:44pm

brianleach wrote:So beware if a motorist brushes you and you are silly enough to fall off it is obviously your fault and "nothing to with me guv"

The present case says nothing whatsoever about that scenario. The cyclist fell off due to contact with another cyclist, not the motorist.

The general point that the motorist makes is a fair one - you can't really expect to provide for a cyclist suddenly falling across the road in front of you. The issues at hand are (1) whether the motorist made an inherently careless or dangerous manoeuvre in making the overtaking manoeuvre with cyclists approaching on the other side of the road (2) whether the motorist was in some way legally responsible for causing the cyclist to fall off by scaring the cyclist though her threatening manoeuvre. To be honest, I think we have seen many acquittals more obviously unjust than this one.

People talk about the "it's only a cyclist" verdict, which I think is a bit unhelpful. The reality is that similar verdicts come out in all kinds of vehicular accidents. The real problem is that "momentary inattention" and "overlooking something that is capable of being overlooked" are successful defences against careless driving, or at least successful in reducing dangerous to careless, even in situations where it is essential for safety of life that one does not overlook. We need legislation to prevent the possibility of such defences. It should not be possible to put other road users proceeding in legal and reasonable fashion along the road at risk of their lives and have it excused as within the range of normal driving. However you can bet that it would be very unpopular with a huge lobby against it.

Mark1978
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Mark1978 » 3 Oct 2013, 2:47pm

iviehoff wrote:The general point that the motorist makes is a fair one - you can't really expect to provide for a cyclist suddenly falling across the road in front of you.


And what if the cyclist had already fallen off and was lying in the road? You need to be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear. It wasn't clear.

snibgo
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby snibgo » 3 Oct 2013, 3:01pm

Ah, yes, the trial now finished. On the face of it, a miscarriage of justice. Motorist on wrong side of road, cyclist dies. It seems obvious (to me) that she drove "without due care and attention" (she didn't see the cyclists) and "without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road" (she thought they could squeeze past her), causing a death.

But the jury thought otherwise.

I dunno if the CPS have options to appeal. Probably not. A very sad day. And commiserations to those directly affected.

Mark1978
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Mark1978 » 3 Oct 2013, 3:02pm

I know they have grounds to appeal if they think the sentence is too lenient, but not sure if they think the verdict is wrong.

kwackers
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby kwackers » 3 Oct 2013, 3:32pm

You're cycling along and decide to use the pavement. As you cycle along the pavement a pedestrian see's you and in a panic jumps out of the way into the road and is killed.

How would that go down in court? How would the average juror feel about it?
It's technically manslaughter, you didn't mean to cause their death but you acted in a stupid and reckless way that resulted in it.

Overtaking on a bend with no clear view is reckless. Being reckless with the result that someone dies is manslaughter.
I don't see how she got off.

brianleach
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby brianleach » 3 Oct 2013, 3:35pm

Sorry to be repetitive but "cancer scientist v cyclist"??!!

AlaninWales
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby AlaninWales » 3 Oct 2013, 3:38pm

iviehoff wrote:The general point that the motorist makes is a fair one - you can't really expect to provide for a cyclist suddenly falling across the road in front of you.

This is simply not true. For a start please read the Highway Code, with particular reference to rules 163 (and the picture there) and 213. Secondly when I learned to drive, I was taught that to estimate the amount of room a cyclists requires, you simply draw an arc from the top of their head to the ground - i.e. allow sufficient room for them to fall over: This gives an excellent measure (for an adult - you give children more room still) of how much they may wobble and also means that if they hit a pothole - spoke breaks, wheel jambs - you are already avoiding them. This is simply normal safe driving (of course the different ADI who came with me to the test had other ideas, which is part of the problem here in UK).

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Mick F
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Mick F » 3 Oct 2013, 3:39pm

kwackers wrote:I don't see how she got off.
I don't either, I really don't.

The thing is, she DID get off with it.

In this country, the juries do not have to declare why they found their verdict, though in other countries they have to say why.

Unless we know why she was found NG, we cannot comment specifically.
Mick F. Cornwall

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horizon
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby horizon » 3 Oct 2013, 3:42pm

iviehoff wrote:
The general point that the motorist makes is a fair one - you can't really expect to provide for a cyclist suddenly falling across the road in front of you.



You're right - it can be quite tiring, especially if you are busy or late for an important job like an oncologist. Frankly, cyclists (and childen and all the others) should know that cars are dangerous - it really isn't our responsibility if they do something silly and get themselves splattered all over the road. And who is going to clean the blood off the bonnet - do they think about that? Especially if you have a meeting to attend - wouldn't look good in the staff car park. No, frankly, if it means having to pull over a few feet to avoid a cyclist every time you pass one on the basis that they might (and only might) do something silly, then really, my time is worth more, I'm sorry, than a person's life. Anyway you must excuse me as my phone is ringing "Hallo, yes life-saving cancer department here."

Apologies to iviehoff for a vituperative post.
But to clarify, I always make allowances for the fact that a cyclist (or a child) will do something unexpected. A few moments of my care and attention seems a small price to pay to protect a life - I always go slowly past cyclists just in case. This lady thought it not worth her while - and now she lives with at least some consequences. There is no equivalence in driving with the expectation that others must take the consequences for their actions if it means killing them - how can that be?

Edited to add apologies and clarification.
Last edited by horizon on 3 Oct 2013, 10:50pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Elizabethsdad
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Elizabethsdad » 3 Oct 2013, 4:08pm

From the drivers comments of her actions quoted in the article she condemns herself by her own words in my opinion. She admits overtaking in the face of on coming traffic. Could just as easily have been a learner driver on their first driving lesson who then panicked and swrved the wrong way - would she still have been found not guilty then? What really upsets me is her total denial that she did anything wrong and I don't care what her job is, whether she is married/divorced, has kids or anything else about her including being a woman. Just another scumbag who can't take responsibilty for their actions and always has to blame someone else when something goes wrong.

Mark1978
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Mark1978 » 3 Oct 2013, 4:13pm

If it had been a car coming the other way, and she'd crashed head on, there would be no doubt about her culpability then. It's only because it was a cyclist.

MartinC
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby MartinC » 3 Oct 2013, 4:28pm

iviehoff wrote:The present case says nothing whatsoever about that scenario. The cyclist fell off due to contact with another cyclist, not the motorist.


Given that we're speculating based on snippets from the trial reported in the press then here's my tuppenceworth. As reported it seems that the cyclists coming the other way were forced to take avoiding action to avoid a head on collision caused by her inappropriate (i.e. careless) overtake - this doesn't seem to be contentious at all at the trial. According to the evidence given, in this process the second riders front wheel hit the bike in front (which presumanbly was beng braked to avoid the collision). The second rider fell off and was struck by the car. What doesn't appear to be beyond dispute is that the overtake was careless, that it necessitated the cyclists to take evasive action, and that the car was being driven so close to the cyclists that when this caused a fall one was killed.

This would look to me like an open and shut case of CDBDD but there's a peverse verdict from the jury. I would love to read the Judge's summing up especially to see if there's any mention of the previously accepted legal principle that a cyclist's entitled to a wobble.

I find the whole case rather chilling - the Britich public accept no responsibility at all for the way they drive and if people get killed in the process it's just tough.

Mark1978
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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby Mark1978 » 3 Oct 2013, 4:35pm

There appears to be a disconnect between cause and effect here. "I only hit them because they fell off" - with no regard being to that she was the one who caused the cyclist to fall off in the first place. It seems a course of events with more than 2 steps is too complicated for a jury.

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Re: This made me sad on several levels

Postby eileithyia » 3 Oct 2013, 5:41pm

brianleach wrote:I suppose cynically cancer scientist v cyclist equals not a hope in hell of a guilty verdict

Or even worse, cancer specialist v young foreign cycling waitress. I was reading this on Night shift t'other night (we were quietish for a change) and could foresee this verdict from the outset. :(
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