More drivers cleared after rider's death.

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John Holiday
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More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby John Holiday » 7 Sep 2020, 8:44pm

Just read that two driver's who knocked over & killed a cyclist in Aberystwyth, have been cleared of careless driving
They were 'blinded by the sun'.
Despite being 'blinded ',they were still estimated to be doing over 50mph!
How can that be reasonable?
Hopefully, there might be appeal against exoneration?
Sincere condolences to berieved family

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Sep 2020, 8:57pm

No the expectation is that one should continue at or above the speed limit to limit the possibility of being rear ended....
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.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Jdsk
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby Jdsk » 7 Sep 2020, 9:00pm

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/driver-blinded-sun-moments-before-18874830

John Holiday wrote:How can that be reasonable?

Disputed evidence from expert witnesses:
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/visibility-cyclist-paul-james-questioned-18868666

John Holiday wrote:Hopefully, there might be appeal against exoneration?

The accused has been acquitted. That should be it, except in very carefully defined circumstances.

Jonathan

Carlton green
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby Carlton green » 8 Sep 2020, 8:40am

Jdsk wrote:https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/driver-blinded-sun-moments-before-18874830

John Holiday wrote:How can that be reasonable?

Disputed evidence from expert witnesses:
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/visibility-cyclist-paul-james-questioned-18868666

John Holiday wrote:Hopefully, there might be appeal against exoneration?

The accused has been acquitted. That should be it, except in very carefully defined circumstances.

Jonathan


If justice was all perfect then I’d agree with you but IMHO Justice is not always perfect. I don’t know the details of this case but in general there is a reluctance to place people in Jail for driving offences. Such crimes are seem as accidents, not premeditated and not indicative of the perpetrator’s character. As Prisons cost money and are meant for deliberate acts a custodial sentence isn’t seen as appropriate so an innocent verdict is conveniently given (if guilty then some action would need to be taken).

To my mind a death caused by driving is almost certainly due to recklessness and as such that usually is a decision that the murderer takes. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time and random stuff does happen but at the end of the day the person behind the wheel is responsible for their actions and for driving in such a way as to be mindful of and looking out for the unexpected.
Last edited by Carlton green on 8 Sep 2020, 8:56am, edited 1 time in total.

John Holiday
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby John Holiday » 8 Sep 2020, 8:50am

The lack of driver responsibility for their actions is shocking.
They are driving a potentiality lethal device on roads shared with more vulnerable road users.
Why do the authorities just shrug & say 'accident'?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 Sep 2020, 9:01am

The US has a particularly useful term IMHO: vehicular manslaughter.

The penalty needn't be custodial, the offender isn't a clear and present danger to society in general, but should include an extended time away from the controls of a motor vehicle, and psychological as well as capability based testing to regain the license to control a vehicle.
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.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

pwa
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby pwa » 8 Sep 2020, 9:15am

As I understand it the two acquitted drivers were found not to be guilty because the court accepted that being blinded by the sun is a legitimate excuse. As hinted at upthread, that has disturbing implications because it takes away from the driver the need to take mitigating actions, like slowing down, when they cannot see properly. But this does seem to be how society wants it at the moment. The court reflects how most people currently see the phenomenon of being blinded by the sun whilst driving. And society decides. This is where we are.

Stradageek
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby Stradageek » 8 Sep 2020, 9:41am

I'm not convinced by the excuses, if visibility is so poor that you cannot see a cyclist with a Hi-Vis jacket what was she doing travelling at 50mph!

I would ask the following question:

If you were driving the same road in pitch darkness and your headlights completely failed, would you carry on driving at 50mph?

The courts/government/legislation must take a lead here, jurys of drivers will never convict but the judge could impose a mandatory 10yr driving ban.

And if the driver is as horrified as she claimed, I think that it should be a blessing for her to know that she couldn't possibly face that type of trauma again for at least 10yrs.

pwa
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby pwa » 8 Sep 2020, 9:46am

Stradageek wrote:I'm not convinced by the excuses, if visibility is so poor that you cannot see a cyclist with a Hi-Vis jacket what was she doing travelling at 50mph!

I would ask the following question:

If you were driving the same road in pitch darkness and your headlights completely failed, would you carry on driving at 50mph?

The courts/government/legislation must take a lead here, jurys of drivers will never convict but the judge could impose a mandatory 10yr driving ban.

And if the driver is as horrified as she claimed, I think that it should be a blessing for her to know that she couldn't possibly face that type of trauma again for at least 10yrs.

The judge can't impose any penalty if the jury find "not guilty". The question is, how do you educate society (and thereby the jury) about the need to ensure drivers do whatever is needed to guarantee the security of other road users?

John Holiday
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby John Holiday » 8 Sep 2020, 10:19am

Quite. That is the major question.
Lack of responsibility.

Jdsk
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby Jdsk » 8 Sep 2020, 10:27am

Carlton green wrote:
Jdsk wrote:https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/driver-blinded-sun-moments-before-18874830
John Holiday wrote:How can that be reasonable?

Disputed evidence from expert witnesses:
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/visibility-cyclist-paul-james-questioned-18868666

John Holiday wrote:Hopefully, there might be appeal against exoneration?

The accused has been acquitted. That should be it, except in very carefully defined circumstances.

If justice was all perfect then I’d agree with you but IMHO Justice is not always perfect. I don’t know the details of this case but in general there is a reluctance to place people in Jail for driving offences. Such crimes are seem as accidents, not premeditated and not indicative of the perpetrator’s character. As Prisons cost money and are meant for deliberate acts a custodial sentence isn’t seen as appropriate so an innocent verdict is conveniently given (if guilty then some action would need to be taken).

I don't think that we're disagreeing. The whole approach isn't fit for purpose. I was only arguing that having two goes at prosecuting the accused in this particular case wasn't a good idea.

Jonathan

Jdsk
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby Jdsk » 8 Sep 2020, 10:29am

pwa wrote:As I understand it the two acquitted drivers were found not to be guilty because the court accepted that being blinded by the sun is a legitimate excuse.

Yes, that's consistent with the reports. But it's impossible to tell why the jury decided as they did. And unfortunately research into the subject is severely hampered by the restrictions on research.
pwa wrote:The question is, how do you educate society (and thereby the jury) about the need to ensure drivers do whatever is needed to guarantee the security of other road users?

Yes.

Jonathan

Jdsk
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby Jdsk » 8 Sep 2020, 10:34am

[XAP]Bob wrote:The US has a particularly useful term IMHO: vehicular manslaughter.

Wales has plenty of offences available for causing death with a vehicle, including the custom built ones of causing deaths by careless driving and causing death by dangerous driving, and manslaughter. It's what we do with those available offences that's the problem.

[XAP]Bob wrote:The penalty needn't be custodial, the offender isn't a clear and present danger to society in general, but should include an extended time away from the controls of a motor vehicle, and psychological as well as capability based testing to regain the license to control a vehicle.

Definitely. This would be a big step forward. Let's put the emphasis on driving as a privilege that is highly conditional and on protection of others. (As well as prevention, of course.)

Jonathan

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 8 Sep 2020, 10:41am

Hi,
Old story.
Remember reading this case in a motorcycle magazine 35 to 40 years ago.
Cyclist on a sunny day wearing bright yellow jacket.
Car comes up behind them and kills them, Going uphill so sun in their eyes.
The judge said that the car driver was very unlikely to see the cyclist because of the bright yellow jacket in bright sunlight.
They got off.
Local to me and old cyclist was killed on a route I do very often.
The driver was a gibbering wreck in court crying all the time, they had sideswiped the cyclist and killed them out right, they got off with a £200 fine.
I doubt the crying was for the dead person.
The driver said that did not see the cyclist, well that's alright then, just remember that one if you ever get into that situation.
If I ever did something so reckless I'd expect to have the book thrown at me.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

pwa
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Re: More drivers cleared after rider's death.

Postby pwa » 8 Sep 2020, 10:54am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Old story.
Remember reading this case in a motorcycle magazine 35 to 40 years ago.
Cyclist on a sunny day wearing bright yellow jacket.
Car comes up behind them and kills them, Going uphill so sun in their eyes.
The judge said that the car driver was very unlikely to see the cyclist because of the bright yellow jacket in bright sunlight.
They got off.
Local to me and old cyclist was killed on a route I do very often.
The driver was a gibbering wreck in court crying all the time, they had sideswiped the cyclist and killed them out right, they got off with a £200 fine.
I doubt the crying was for the dead person.
The driver said that did not see the cyclist, well that's alright then, just remember that one if you ever get into that situation.
If I ever did something so reckless I'd expect to have the book thrown at me.

There are people who genuinely don't care, I agree, but the chances are that the driver is more like you and me but has made a mistake that has cost someone else their life. I don't think you have to be a completely uncaring person to kill through negligence. I think all it takes is for you not to have recognised the extreme urgency of situation, the need to slow down right now because you have suddenly lost the ability to see the road clearly. We need to find a way of communicating this need to people who are very much like us, but who don't cycle as much as us and have not put this as high up their agenda as they ought.