“accidental death”

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  • “accidental death”
  • Apparently if you are driving along a dual caariageway which is dead straight in good visability and you run into two cyclist who are in single file and doing nothing wrong and one of them dies its OK cause its just an accident.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    i thought there was no such thing as an accident according to road law it’s always somebodys fault

    I suppose it depends on if it was a cyclist that was killed or not. CPS=no case to answer (not even careless driving) and inquest says accidental death. I cant tell you how angry this makes me.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Nothing new there – if you want to kill somebody and get away with it, use a car. Though presumably you have a specific incident in mind, care to provide a link?

    spooky_b329
    Member

    I thought the opposite! I thought if you were driving along a twisty dark lane in the rain/dark and hit a cyclist with no lights/reflective gear, you could be considered ‘at fault’ (not talking about the sentence) as you should be able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Because if you can’t stop for a cyclist you wouldn’t be able to stop for a walker either, and you wouldn’t expect them to have lights.

    null
    no inquest link it only happend yesterday.

    -m-
    Member

    Presumably this is all about evidence; the CPS has reviewed what evidence is available and determined that there is not enough to convince a jury ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that someone is responsible for the death of the cyclist involved.

    As I wasn’t there at the time I can’t comment on what happened. Can you?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Tells us nothing of the incident or what happened.

    A van over took a car on a straight dual carridgeway road, pulled in and ploughed into the back of two cyclists killing my friend and that isnt considered careless but is considered an accident. No link to the inquest findings, I’m going on what I was told by a friend who went.
    To say that no one is responsible is beyond belief and just goes to show how little protection by law cyclists have and how little regard we are held in by lawmakers.

    IanMunro
    Member

    Like drac says, there’s not enough information to draw any conclusions. For all we know the cyclist might have veered in the vans path. I’ve certainly done dodgy stuff in the past sprinting against friends.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Recently there has been a change in the law to make prosecutions more likely in this sort of case and this has been successful in general – people are getting Jail sentences for killing on the road. In this specific case – I cannot comment

    hora
    Member

    So many variables. Any link to a story? The rider could have momentarily swerved right slightly? guessing here though.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Most likely no independent witnesses and no objective evidence – hence no prosecution

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The rider could have momentarily swerved right slightly?

    Again, we’re making assumptions without any evidence but… When overtaking a cyclist on a dual carriageway, the vehicle should be in the right-hand lane. It’s very unlikely that a cyclist would swerve that far to the right.

    We had a couple of similar cases near here recently:

    A truck overtook a 15-year-old lad on a single carriageway road and the lad apparently swerved in front of the truck. The lad was wearing an iPod so didn’t hear the truck, but if the truck had left as much room as he should it should be virtually impossible. Accidental death, apparently.

    An old lady drove into the back of two very experienced cyclists 15 miles or so north on the same road. She killed one and the other was seriously injured. No prosecution.

    Smee
    Member

    That is a **** joke.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    That bit of road is an accident waiting to happen for cyclists. I have to cross it on a ride, and TBH it scares the crap out of me every time. Cars just seem to treat it like a race track.

    robdob
    Member

    This is exactly why I try to keep off the main roads and have virtually stopped riding in the dark. I don’t want my wife to be left alone all because the law does not provide even the slightest deterrant.

    5thElefant
    Member

    If it wasn’t an accident the only other option is someone deliberately ran over 2 cyclists. That strikes me as unlikely.

    I wouldn’t expect to encounter cyclists on a dual carriageway, and I certainly wouldn’t ride on them. I’d be surprised not to die to be honest.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    If it wasn’t an accident the only other option is someone deliberately ran over 2 cyclists. That strikes me as unlikely.

    In an accident, someone can still be at fault.

    If I leave a pan of hot water on a worktop with the handle hanging over the edge and my daughter pulls it on top of herself, that’s an accident but is still my fault even though I didn’t deliberately scald her.

    If I’m riding my bike while texting and ride in front of a car without seeing it, it’s an accident but is still my fault even though I didn’t do it deliberately.

    I wouldn’t expect to encounter cyclists on a dual carriageway, and I certainly wouldn’t ride on them. I’d be surprised not to die to be honest.

    The only road where you shouldn’t expect to encounter a cyclist is a motorway. People ride on dual carriageways all the time and they should expect to be able to do so without dying, whatever you think.

    5thElefant
    Member

    The only road where you shouldn’t expect to encounter a cyclist is a motorway. People ride on dual carriageways all the time and they should expect to be able to do so without dying, whatever you think.

    I am aware they can. It could just be where I live but I’ve only ever seen cyclists on a dual carriageway a couple of times and I find it, frankly, an unbelievable stupid thing to do.

    Back to your hot water analogy. Cycling on dual carriageways is far worse. Obviously it’s you who’s taking the risk and you’re not putting someone else at risk but it’s an accident is waiting to happen.

    anagallis_arvensis, I didn’t read your subsequent post about your friends death. I’d of kept my big mouth shut if I had.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    If drivers were paying proper attention and driving correctly, it would be almost 100% safe to cycle on a dual carriageway.

    It should be safer than cycling on a single carriageway, as there’s no reason why vehicles overtaking the cyclist shouldn’t be in the other lane, there are less distractions and potential hazards such as farm gates and side roads and they generally don’t have blind bends with oncoming traffic.

    The only way a cyclist could be killed on a dual carriageway, if every driver was driving as they should and was paying proper attention, would be to suddenly swerve into the other lane.

    5thElefant
    Member

    If drivers were paying proper attention and driving correctly, it would be almost 100% safe to cycle on a dual carriageway.

    Yes, but they don’t. That’s the risk and we all know it. I wouldn’t consider someone making a mistake to be ‘at fault’ more than the person taking the risk. Accidents can happen without it being purely one persons fault, which is why they’re called accidents.

    goon
    Member

    Precisely Miketually. I drive to work on a dual carriageway, and always swap lanes entirely to pass cyclists. The amount of drivers who still only give the cyclist a foot or two of clearance when there is a whole empty lane to move in to gives me the 4rsehole.

    Sheer laziness, and utter contempt for other road users.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Almost all accidents are because someone is driving at a speed where they cannot stop within their sightline.

    Everytime someone gets injured on a section of road, the speed limit should be dropped by 10mph, and the sign should make it clear that it is because of accidents. Eventually really bad spots would be at 10mph.

    Think of how much money this would save the authorities, no need to improve roads, just cut the speed limit. The only cost would be the sacrifice of a few cyclists and nobody cares about them anyway, or there would be prosecutions and jail sentences for random killing.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I feel your pain, a_a, and agree largely with your perspective. Assuming all is as it seems from that article (which isn’t necessarily the case unfortunately, given the selective way news reports are put together), then it would indeed appear that the cyclist was not at all at fault and the driver was completely at fault. In a sane world he would be up for causing death by dangerous driving, not just careless driving (in a really sane world in which a car was considered just as much a deadly weapon as a gun he’d be up on a manslaughter charge). I’d have thought there was plenty of evidence available – the issue as always is that it is expected that juries will think “that could have been me driving”, since the accepted standard of driving is so low.

    The CPS spokesman is basically saying that cyclists shouldn’t expect any protection from the law at all – drivers can kill them at will.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, epicyclo. “Accidents” are caused because people aren’t paying proper attention, not down to the speed they’re going. The number of accidents actually caused because people can’t stop within their sightline where the accident does involve them running into something they didn’t see early enough to stop is a very small proportion (I should point out that just to buck the stats my biggest accident was down to this cause, though I was doing <30mph at the time!) All the stats show that speed really isn’t the biggest issue, however the government might like to distort the stats to suggest it is. This particular incident could have quite easily been avoided without the driver slowing down at all.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Accidents can happen without it being purely one persons fault, which is why they’re called accidents.

    You still seem to be misunderstanding the use of the term “accident”. It can quite easily be one person’s fault rather than the other – the term is simply used (as already pointed out above if you could be bothered to read the whole thread) when it wasn’t intentional.

    You seem to be suggesting something along the lines of women who wear short skirts and make up are equally at fault for being raped as their attacker is.

    muddy_bum
    Member

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, epicyclo. “Accidents” are caused because people aren’t paying proper attention, not down to the speed they’re going.

    Although technically this is correct if your not paying proper attention you have less time to react the greater your speed. The amount of damage in terms of injury and financial damage is greater in accidents that happen at higher speeds even if speed is not the direct cause of the accident.

    5thElefant
    Member

    You seem to be suggesting something along the lines of women who wear short skirts and make up are equally at fault for being raped as their attacker is.

    No, I wouldn’t make that argument because it’s a malicious personal attack. People don’t accidently rape someone by not paying attention or by making a mistake.

    The road is a hostile environment. The fact that it’s hostile because people are inept or careless doesn’t matter. We all know the risks.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    This is exactly why I try to keep off the main roads and have virtually stopped riding in the dark.

    I choose my routes carefully when riding at night, with this in mind. It still worries me tho.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The town centre is a hostile environment. The fact that it’s a hostile environment because people are rapists doesn’t matter. We all know the risks.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The road is a hostile environment. The fact that it’s hostile because people are inept or careless doesn’t matter. We all know the risks.

    So, is the answer to stop all cyclists from riding on the road, or to do something to make drivers drive more carefully?

    5thElefant
    Member

    So, is the answer to stop all cyclists from riding on the road, or to do something to make drivers drive more carefully?

    My answer is to not cycle on anything more major than a B road, and I’m not entirely happy with that. If it was practical I wouldn’t ever ride on the road.

    Lets face it, it is not safe to let cycles and cars mix. Either you let people take the risk if they want to and accept that there will be casualties or you ban cycles from the road and make them use cycle-paths.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Lets face it, it is not safe to let cycles and cars mix. Either you let people take the risk if they want to and accept that there will be casualties or you ban cycles from the road and make them use cycle-paths.

    Segregated cycle facilities are the answer, but cars and bikes have to mix at some point as it’s not practical to avoid it entirely. If we added a grand onto all bands of “car tax”, there would be plenty of cash to spend on better cycle facilities.

    coffeeking
    Member

    I used to ride on a dual carriageway daily, one used by both wagons and cars, just around rush hour. It was never a problem during the day, or even dusk with lights – cars and wagons GENERALLY gave about 5-6ft clearance and rarely got upset with having cyclists there. And due to the airflow I used to get there a lot faster than the cycle path! But at night I’d never have ridden the road, as a driver at 70 its fairly hard to see a lot of bike lights (admittedly thats getting better these days) and a lot of cyclists are not wearing bright gear and prove very hard to see. If I had to I’d make sure I was lit up like a christmas tree.

    Either way, without more info its impossible to make a judgement – both cyclists and drivers make stupid mistakes. To say you should always be able to stop for any eventuality is utterly stupid, its impossible to achieve, impossible to enforce and helps no-one.

    Segregated cycling is not an answer IMO, this just leads to people assuming bikes should never be on the road. It’s hard to take but sometimes bad things happen, by accident, and its hard to judge one way or other without an independant witness. I certainly wouldnt want to be held responsible for killing someone if it wasnt my fault but I had no witness to prove it.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    If we added a grand onto all bands of “car tax”, there would be plenty of cash to spend on better cycle facilities.

    Good luck with that one when you become PM

    5thElefant
    Member

    If we added a grand onto all bands of “car tax”, there would be plenty of cash to spend on better cycle facilities.

    It’s obviously a cost benefit exercise. I don’t know how many cyclists get killed a year. Presumably it’s low enough for it not to be cost effective to make significant changes.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I don’t know how many cyclists get killed a year. Presumably it’s low enough for it not to be cost effective to make significant changes.

    It’s also low enough that there’s no point avoiding certain types of road to make you safer 🙂

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Lets face it, it is not safe to let cycles and cars mix.

    That’s far from being inherently the case. The only issue is the incompetence of drivers, which seems to be simply accepted. What we need to be challenging is this acceptance.

    In any case, whilst there are far too many incidents like this, it’s not exactly carnage out there. Most of us are far more likely to be killed whilst in a car rather than whilst on a bike.

    owenfackrell
    Member

    Why should cyclists give up the right to ride on the road just becuase driving standards are so low.
    Its not safe to let lorries and cars mix so should we segregate them as well? what about pedestrians and those in wheelchairs or with buggies?

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