Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cyclists

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reohn2
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby reohn2 » 6 Feb 2014, 9:14am

jezer wrote:
dai_t75 wrote:Don't often post here, but heard this on the local news and thought it would be of interest:
http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/10988393.UPDATE__Ebbw_Vale_driver_who_caused_death_of_Markham_cyclist_is_jailed/?action=complain&cid=12437982

Correct me if I'm wrong. The driver was on the phone, his car would have failed an MOT test due to defective tyres, he was speeding, and there were other issues as well. Why wasn't he banned for life and locked up for a very long time?

From my reading of it the offender had been fined on previous occasions for phone use whilst driving and defective tyres.
When he hit the cyclist his car had defective tyres,lights and an empty screen wash reservoir.
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Vorpal
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby Vorpal » 6 Feb 2014, 10:03am

Postboxer wrote:Anybody know if they ever consider prosecuting the following driver too? I don't see the difference, both have failed to see a hazard.


I guess it depends upon the circumstances. The first collision could well have caused the victim to be thrown into the path of a following vehicle.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Feb 2014, 12:24pm

Postboxer wrote:Anybody know if they ever consider prosecuting the following driver too? I don't see the difference, both have failed to see a hazard.


As I keep posting, a criminal prosecution depends first on the admissible evidence available against each individual. That's not measured on a commonsense scale, but against the likelihood of gaining a conviction. Once upon a time, the only thing that sometimes stopped multiple prosecutions in a multiple shunt, was proving whether a vehicle hit the one in front because the driver was following too closely or it had been pushed there by the drver behind following to closely. (I do know this didn't happen here.)

In answer to the question, it was a KSI crash and it would normally be investigated thoroughly and I'd expect this aspect to be considered. Also, bear in mind that if there were to be proceedings against the following driver for anything not involving causing the death of the casualty, eg careless driving, they would be dealt with separately at a magistrates' court where there might be no media report, or only something in a local rag.

dai_t75
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby dai_t75 » 6 Feb 2014, 1:00pm

reohn2 wrote:
jezer wrote:
dai_t75 wrote:Don't often post here, but heard this on the local news and thought it would be of interest:
http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/10988393.UPDATE__Ebbw_Vale_driver_who_caused_death_of_Markham_cyclist_is_jailed/?action=complain&cid=12437982

Correct me if I'm wrong. The driver was on the phone, his car would have failed an MOT test due to defective tyres, he was speeding, and there were other issues as well. Why wasn't he banned for life and locked up for a very long time?

From my reading of it the offender had been fined on previous occasions for phone use whilst driving and defective tyres.
When he hit the cyclist his car had defective tyres,lights and an empty screen wash reservoir.


That's how I read it as well.

Suppose it doesn't go against the OP's point though as there was no jury in this case.

thirdcrank
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Feb 2014, 1:25pm

dai_t75 wrote: ... Suppose it doesn't go against the OP's point though as there was no jury in this case.


We've come to expect a lot from trial by jury and it's increasingly seen as something personal to the victim (and the bereaved when there's been a death.) These are the reported comments (in the above link) of the deceased's widow in this second case:

Mrs Jones said: “I haven’t been attending court because I’m finding it extremely difficult coming to terms with Paul’s death.”

But also:
I would have preferred this case to go to a full trial so everyone could hear what Michael Bisi did,” she said. “My own life sentence living without Paul has only just begun.

The defendant will have received a discount on his sentence for pleading guilty and part of that is because of the distress it's thought to spare the bereaved hearing the prosecution evidence challenged often including the deceased being slagged off.

Prevention is better than detection and punishment. Punishment has some deterrent effect, even if it's only to keep the law-abiding majority law-abiding. More traffic enforcement across the board is needed, IMO, not just making an effort if somebody is killed or seriously injured.

dai_t75
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby dai_t75 » 7 Feb 2014, 10:16pm

I have little faith in the whole jury system after I did my jury service. The trial went on for a couple of days and even after the very first session as we were walking out someone said 'well he looks guilty' before hearing a shred of evidence. It was pretty obvious what the outcome would be from then on.

Geriatrix
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby Geriatrix » 11 Feb 2014, 1:01pm

I may revise my opinion on the prejudice of the jury in this instance given the document published by the Southampton Cycling Campaign. I'm still struggling to come to terms with the following:
Judge: jury must be applying physical facts but
could also consider expectations; is there an expectation that there wouldn’t be a cyclist on
Mountbatten Way? Jury will be directed to ignore Highway Code “slow down or stop if dazzled” as
Mr Petterson may not have done this but Highway Code is not law. Causation and contributory factor
are different.

I'm not sure where to even start with that, and the forum rules don't allow me to express my opinion in the appropriate terms.

1. Not expecting a cyclist on a public road is valid defense. I don't think the defense council even argued that, the judge handed it to them on a platter.
2. Not statutory elements of the highway code matter not a jot.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

AndyBSG
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby AndyBSG » 11 Feb 2014, 2:01pm

Geriatrix wrote:I'm not sure where to even start with that, and the forum rules don't allow me to express my opinion in the appropriate terms.


This is yet another example of why I truly do despair as a cyclist.

It seems that I can do everything correctly according to the Highway Code and Bikeability standards but if i'm killed by a vehicle driving dangerously, inattentively or even in anger then it really doesn't matter because the establishment will always see it as simply 'bad luck' for the killer in question.

Even when gross faults in the way that person was driving are found, such as the case of Dr Helen Measures who was overtaking into a lane of oncoming traffic at speed on a blind bend, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference because as a cyclist i'm seen as an aberration.

What is even more frustrating about this is that there is no way this buffoon of a judge will be held accountable or have to answer for his comments which will have had a direct and detrimental impact on the jurors verdicts.

thirdcrank
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Re: Juries still think SMIDSY is a good excuse to kill cycli

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Feb 2014, 4:01pm

I think the bit you are quoting was a discussion between the judge and counsel in the absence of the jury as to how he would direct the jury during his summing up.

The judge's summing up, etc is all at the foot of the next page.

Directions about law as it applies to this case: Judge emphasised that prosecution has to prove that Mr Petterson was driving on Mountbatten Way without due care and attention and thereby caused the death of David Irving. He explained the precise eanings of “without due care and attention” and “thereby causing the death of David Irving”; Highway Code guidance regarding sun glare (not law but could be used as evidence of without due care and attention, or could be ignored). Directions given about use of expert witnesses’ evidence. Advised jurors that they were only concerned with a fair assessment of evidence and must not let the fact that David died influence their conclusions; they should assess the reliability of witnesses and the accuracy of their evidence.

Judge gave a summary of the evidence (my emphasis)


Remember that this is just a summary of what the judge said, recording the bits that might be reviewed later on appeal. I've highlighted the summary of what the judge said about the Highway Code. I think this is correct, in that this bit is only advice, not mandatory. The full text of what the judge said would have been much more detailed. With the boot on the other foot, this is why I'm so concerned about the wording of the HC about cycling farcilities.