Drivers killing cyclists – the system really is broken

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  • Drivers killing cyclists – the system really is broken
  • mrmo
    Member

    does the judge point out that the jury should be comparing the defendant driving to a good standard not their own?

    From wikipedia

    Driving ability

    Svenson (1981) surveyed 161 students in Sweden and the United States, asking them to compare their driving safety and skill to the other people in the experiment. For driving skill, 93% of the US sample and 69% of the Swedish sample put themselves in the top 50% (above the median). For safety, 88% of the US group and 77% of the Swedish sample put themselves in the top 50%.[25]

    McCormick, Walkey and Green (1986) found similar results in their study, asking 178 participants to evaluate their position on eight different dimensions relating to driving skill (examples include the “dangerous-safe” dimension and the “considerate-inconsiderate” dimension). Only a small minority rated themselves as below average (the midpoint of the dimension scale) at any point, and when all eight dimensions were considered together it was found that almost 80% of participants had evaluated themselves as being above the average driver.[26]

    Basically too many drivers think they are good drivers, so even if a judge was to say the standard of a good driver, i think most would use the only real frame of reference they have, themselves.

    How many drivers actually read any of the highway code once they have a licence?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Cheers crankboy – interesting points.

    Basically too many drivers think they are good drivers

    Completely agree!

    I didn’t learn to drive till later in life (2007 at the age of 32).

    One of the things that always put me off was that I worried I’d be a bad driver and kill someone.

    One of the things that convinced me to try was looking around and realising that if I was a bad driver then I’d be in the majority!

    sbob
    Member

    mrmo – Member

    The other thing i think of, it is established in law that cyclists are allowed to wobble and move around. That Dr Measures actions meant that the victims had no wobble room means another example of why her actions were dangerous.

    You are quite correct, there is *case law that sets this out.

    *A precedent set by a previous court case.

    MrSynthpop
    Member

    Grim, utterly grim, that it happened is revolting. That a defence brief was allowed to blame (a) the victim and (b) her bereaved partner in open court is utterly horrific.

    Edit – I’ve just had a look at the Dr’s brief, what a profoundly unpleasant man.

    natrix
    Member

    Here’s what the lawyer says on his CV on his website:

    R v Measures [2012?13] causing death by careless driving
    An incredibly difficult case in which a driver overtook a pair of cyclists riding two abreast on a bend in a road
    by crossing into the oncoming lane. Though there was enough space to pass the two further cyclists riding
    single file toward her, the second is thought to have ridden into the rear of the first before toppling at right
    angles into the road. Though the reconstruction experts showed only passing contact was made with the car,
    the injury sustained was fatal.
    A tactically demanding case, the defence relied upon the demonstration of riding and judgement errors of all
    four cyclists while asserting that notwithstanding the nature and timing of the overtake, the same was not
    careless.
    The case centred upon the accident reconstruction, pathology and the shifting accounts of the three
    prosecution eye?witnesses. There was also established a degree of rider error by the deceased, who had
    never before ridden on a road in the UK, and no bicycle for the past three years. The defence also had to
    contend with the very frank account of the defendant given in her police interview being misinterpreted by
    the prosecution.
    The case was on any view a great tragedy in which a young woman lost her life as a result of an
    unforeseeable set of circumstances coming together and resulting in an accidental, low?speed collision with
    a car driven by a doctor taking her young family home from a local excursion.
    Counsel also had to contend at short notice with the press mis?reporting key evidence and making other
    evidence up. The trial was allowed to continue, the jury already being in deliberations overnight, though the
    Learned Judge deprecated the standard and content of the misleading reporting. Sadly, none of the national
    press saw fit to print corrections.
    (Due to the high profile nature, complexity and unusual tragedy of this case, counsel agreed to accept
    instruction on legal aid.)
    The defendant was acquitted unanimously. (Oxford Crown Court)

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Counsel also had to contend at short notice with the press mis?reporting key evidence and making other
    evidence up

    Presumably that explains why a “passing contact” with the car resulted in her being (reportedly) thrown 15 yards?

    There was also established a degree of rider error by the deceased, who had
    never before ridden on a road in the UK, and no bicycle for the past three years.

    But was an experienced cyclist who drove in the UK (according to her parent’s letter, not press reports).

    the defence relied upon the demonstration of riding and judgement errors of all four cyclists .

    I’d love to know how he showed those errors exactly.

    while asserting that notwithstanding the nature and timing of the overtake, the same was not careless

    Well yeah, I think I agree with that. Apart from the nature and timing, it wasn’t careless. 😯

    Is that actually a defence?!?

    The defence also had to contend with the very frank account of the defendant given in her police interview being misinterpreted by the prosecution.

    Doesn’t take a professor of English to read between those lines!

    natrix
    Member

    You missed the bit where she gets legal aid 😯

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    A tactically demanding case, the defence relied upon the demonstration of riding and judgement errors of all
    four cyclists

    FFS

    as a result of an
    unforeseeable set of circumstances coming together

    Yes, you would have to be Mystic Meg to forsee overtaking on a blind bend resulting in a fatal accident

    a car driven by a doctor taking her young family home from a local excursion.

    Why does that part make me thing of the Simpsons episode where Mr Burns is in court after hitting Bart with his car?

    Sancho
    Member

    Thing I can’t understand is how the driver has got away with it. I once had a pedestrian fall against the side of my car as I drove past and I was prosecuted for the accident. I lost that and I was simply driving along for the woman to be on the wrong side of the road scattering cyclists in her wake just beggars belief and further builds my mistrust of the legal system and our adversarial justice courts that we are so proud of.
    Clearly justice isn’t happening

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Reading this again makes me incredibly angry and sad at the same time. Victim blaming at its most loathsome 🙁

    ocrider
    Member

    “I can’t help it if a cyclist, with all due respect, falls over as I’m approaching them and comes into my line of travel.

    IME, the phrase ‘with all due respect’ is one of the most condescending in the English language and to use it in context of somebody who has died is pretty f****** distasteful. Even more so if you consider that her line of travel was on the right-hand side of the chuffing road.

    ebygomm
    Member

    When a driver who was two times over the legal limit can’t even be successfully prosecuted for death by careless driving you have to wonder about the system.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-20471536
    (old story)

    crankboy
    Member

    Natrix nearly everyone in the crown court gets legal aid often with a crippling contribution. The contribution often significantly exceeds the cost of the case but has to be paid and refunded. The point of his description that is illuminating is the bit where he lowered himself to doing work at the relatively poor legal aid rates.

    natrix
    Member

    This is a bit off-topic, but is there a summary of legal aid anywhere that explains this? (wiki doesn’t appear to be working).

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