Another Cyclist Dead. Another Ruling of Accidental Death.

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  • Another Cyclist Dead. Another Ruling of Accidental Death.
  • antigee
    Member

    or unlawful killing (but it is very unusual for that to be used in any road death (whether car driver / passenger, cyclist or pedestrian).

    exactly – but the question is why is this unusual? rhetorical – because we as a society on the whole values the use of the car above human life and chooses to label the consequence of inattentive/impatient driving as an accident – might not be a deliberate act but isn’t an accident

    all in all a very sad case and i hope CPS acts

    . In general, the models identified a decreasing trend in injury rates prior to legislation, an increasing trend thereafter and a drop in rates at the time legislation was enacted, all of which were thought to represent background effects in transport safety.

    Irrelevant to the point in question here tho which is that someone was knocked off their bike by a car and died

    The death was caused by an accident (in that I think we can assume that the driver did not intend to clip him).

    until people stop spouting this ^^^^ sort of drivel, general opinion amongst the motoring public will always be that causing death to a cyclist through negligent driving can be written off as an unfortunate accident.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Poly – do we know the family had representation and wished this line to be questioned?

    Interesting that the word accident isn’t used by Police anymore ( RTC not RTA).

    zokes-good find, I can see that link coming up on future helmet use threads!

    EDIT TJ are you really arguing against something you disagree with on the basis it’s tangential to this thread? You engage in tangential discussions all the time!

    zokes
    Member

    zokes-good find, I can see that link coming up on future helmet use threads!

    The advantage of being a scientist – I have access to things even more powerful that Google and Wikipedia 😉

    Irrelevant to the point in question here tho which is that someone was knocked off their bike by a car and died

    Absolutely, but as there is also an underlying discussion about helmet use going on here, which of course you got involved with, it is relevant to that.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    until people stop spouting this ^^^^ sort of drivel, general opinion amongst the motoring public will always be that causing death to a cyclist through negligent driving can be written off as an unfortunate accident.

    Exactly. And there’s still the issue of the “soft words” used by the coroner to make it seem more like a little case of “Oops, sorry”.

    Zokes – as do I 🙂

    Why you have to be so derogatory and unpleasant to anyone who disagrees with you is beyond me.

    You claim to be a scientist – well then you can see even from the abstract what a poor and limited piece of research that is.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Ignoring a basic question yet again TJ?

    Not that you criticise others for that. Oh, hang on…

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Until people in this country bother to understand how the legal system works threads like this are bound to be full of this sort of drivel.

    It’s true that some people are seeing the coroner’s verdict in an ill-informed light, but I think focusing on that completely misses what’s going on here.

    The sequence of events is fairly clear, and it would appear that no blame has at any stage been laid at the driver’s feet (literally, in this case).

    Let me pick some quotes from the article to illustrate what reaction of The Powers That Be (media, police, local authority etc) actually gave:

    Motorist Joseph Strong was driving behind him and saw him pull out, prompting him to pull over to give the vicar enough room.

    Here we have the media painting the driver in a positive light despite the events showing beyond any argument that the vicar didn’t have enough room.

    But a central reservation caused the road to narrow, and Mr Strong’s Skoda car clipped the kerb of the reservation as he tried to pass. His car turned slightly towards Mr Malleson, an experienced cyclist, and lightly clipped his handlebars. The “scuff” prompted Mr Malleson, who was not wearing a cycle helmet, to lose his balance and fall to the ground.

    Here some inanimate object has intervened, seemingly unpredictably, whereupon a series of minor and by implication excusable events have occurred – just a clip, a turn and a light clip. The cyclist, for his part was “prompted to lose his balance”. Not “knocked off his bike” but “prompted”, as if by some benign power of mild persuastion.

    PC Stuart Cockburn told the hearing he was concerned by cars being allowed to park where the road narrows.

    I don’t know about you but I couldn’t give a flying fig about that. There’s nothing unsafe about inanimate cars and inanimate traffic islands here, given that the driver has observed the cyclist from well before each of them reached the line of cars.

    The PC chooses not to apportion blame with the driver but with the parking.

    He told the inquest: ‘I don’t think that area of road is appropriate for parking. I have made enquiries with Newcastle City Council’s Highways Department and told them of my concerns.’

    That’s as may be, and it may be perfectly fair, but to consider it relevant in this case is a clear demonstration of how reluctant the police are to put these things down to poor driving and human error.

    The PC continues in a fashion that blatantly and shamelessly excuses the motorist entirely:

    Mr Strong has observed Rev Malleson ahead of him. He observed Rev Malleson had to move out in the carriageway to overtake the parked cars and he decided to give him plenty of room. Unfortunately, Mr Strong’s wheel hit the kerb of the reservation and it caused the car to go slightly to the left as Rev Malleson was coming slightly to the right. That’s caused the two of them to come together and the car has scuffed Rev Mallesons’s handlebars.

    Every single phrase in there is toe-curlingly favourable to a motorist who clearly failed to judge the scenario in an even remotely safe manner. Despite all this apparent observation, they still collided. The PC says that the driver “decided to give him plenty of room” yet they still collided, despite his car going only “slightly to the left”. If that is plenty of room then my cock is eight feet long. Objects do not collide if there is “plenty of room” between them – I think we can agree this is basic physics. What the PC says is indefensible horse manure, yet in legal terms it carries immense weight.

    Returning a verdict of accidental death, coroner David Mitford said neither Mr Strong, who was not speeding in the 30mph zone, nor Mr Malleson were at fault. He said: ‘I have been concerned about the situation with the parked cars and I have noted that the Cockburn took it upon himself to go to the local authority.’

    The coroner has not simply returned a verdict of accidental death. He has (apparently) explicitly said that neither road user was at fault. Quite how two road users can collide fatally without either of them doing anything wrong is of course unfathomable to most of us, but Mitford agrees with the PC that the root of all trouble in this instance is a row of parked cars. He implies that the correct response to all this is to ask for some yellow paint. Not to address dangerous and negligent driving, but to apply some paint.

    ‘The local authority have said they will make changes to the road. They’re going to be made as soon as possible but in accordance with financial constraints. ‘I think life is more important that finance but at least those steps are being taken’.

    And then, despite the entire of the blame for someone’s wholly unnecessary death being apportioned to the absence of two strips of paint, there’s a palpable sense of casualness about the whole remedial process.

    Now, if you want to get hung up on the points of what technical verdicts a coroner can return, then fine. But, let’s be honest, it’s irrelevant (unless a verdict of accidental death precludes certain prosecutions, in which case hell yeah it’s important, and hell yeah we should be pissed off).

    Here someone has died because a motorist has driven unsafely, and not one person has been found to be at fault. No-one at all. There is no trial, no conviction, no appropriate sentence. There is no comment made about why this insidious type of careless driving is so dangerous. The problem is, apparently, parked cars.

    Every single aspect of this case, the way it has been dealt with, and the way in which it has been reported, is sickening in the way it demonstrates that vulnerable road users will stay vulnerable for some time, and that most people are absolutely fine with that.

    And it’s about time most people weren’t fine with that.

    And what a surprise – personal attack from cynic al based on a lack of understanding.

    🙄

    zokes
    Member

    Why you have to be so derogatory and unpleasant to anyone who disagrees with you is beyond me.

    I am confused. Please highlight where I have offended you?

    As opposed to starting sentences with:

    You claim to be a scientist

    🙄

    Pathetic.

    I even started my post with the abstract by agreeing with you. Sadly this is another area in which debate is not allowed unless you happen to agree with TJ FACTS

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Just in case TJ etc missed the OP’s post on page 2:

    Don’t want to get sidetracked into a helmet debate.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Sincere apologies if that’s the case TJ, please explain, as it looks entirely clear to me, and I don’t consider myself stupid.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    The Coroner was not looking at “guilt” but at the cause of death. The death was caused by an accident (in that I think we can assume that the driver did not intend to clip him). Accidental death is therefore the likely verdict.

    If it is not the coroner’s job to look at “guilt” (which I accept) then why is he allowed to comment on whose fault it was?

    From the article: “Returning a verdict of accidental death, coroner David Mitford said neither Mr Strong, who was not speeding in the 30mph zone, nor Mr Malleson were at fault.”

    Surely that official comment has an impact on any case that may subsequently be brought and even on whether a case will be brought at all.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Good post, Bez. Kind of what we were saying at the beginning of the thread in fewer words. Until some numpties decided we didn’t know what we were talking about.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Bez, I think I think it’s naive of you to imply that any debate around issues other than those you consider solely relevant is a waste of time. Odd, you are usually pretty reasonable.

    DO you know there will be no civil claim or criminal prosecution to follow?

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Oh brilliant, another discussion that’s polluted to hell by the two usual suspects arguing and whining like my two-year-old. Jesus, children, get a room and a pair of handbags.

    It is not an accident – someone made an error.

    Surely there has to be more education for drivers and more policeing of the highways.
    On my short drive into work this morning two cars jumped a red light,one of these was when i had already stopped at the light and the other driver carried on through, and then theres the f*** wits texting.
    No police prescence anywhere.
    If people think they wont get caught they break the laws on the road which sadly leads to serious accidents.
    Perhaps everybody who takes a driving test should have to spend a day cycling on our roads.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    I think I think it’s naive of you to imply that any debate around issues other than those you consider solely relevant is a waste of time.

    Maybe. I just think the point here is not really the coroner’s verdict in terms of the label. It’s the comments made by the inquest, including those made by the coroner in delivering that verdict, and the fact that the coroner’s process appears to have served to oil the wheels of a cultural view that is fully tolerant of the sort of driving that kills people in this totally avoidable way.

    DO you know there will be no civil claim or criminal prosecution to follow?

    I don’t, no, I was leaping to conclusions to be fair. If someone can enlighten us as to the process and how the inquest would influence it then it would be good. I’m no legalician.

    very well said Bez [edit: previous post, not the one above, which is still fine]

    is it possible we could keep this on topic rather than turning into a ‘debate’ on helmets. I’ve put ‘debate’ in ” as TJ is involved.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Bez, this is kind of what I’ve been implying all along, seems relevant to me, but you won’t engage? Mu point is about understanding the system that exists. Just saying “it’s rubbish” won’t change things IMO…

    cynic-al – Member
    Bez, I think I think it’s naive of you to imply that any debate around issues other than those you consider solely relevant is a waste of time. Odd, you are usually pretty reasonable.

    DO you know there will be no civil claim or criminal prosecution to follow?

    Seen your post above. Fair enough – both points relevant. Normal service resumed!

    TBF I’ve not read the entire thread but I don’t think TJ started the efficicay of helmets argument here.

    EDIT, oh dear, it seems he did.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Bez, this is kind of what I’ve been implying all along, seems relevant to me, but you won’t engage? Mu point is about understanding the system that exists. Just saying “it’s rubbish” won’t change things IMO…

    I concur, though I suspect the system is not the majority of the problem. This case, it seems to me, demonstrates not that the system is rotten but that the people who play key roles in its process suffer from the endemic view that you can do what you like in a car.

    I’ll just point out it was not me who started on about helmets, I corrected an erroneous statement made by Zokes and put

    Irrelevant to the point in question here tho which is that someone was knocked off their bike by a car and died

    With an inquest veredict of Accidental death it will be almost impossible to get either a civil claim or a criminal prosecution. the coroner could have recorded unlawfull killing which would have allowed both.

    cynic-al
    Member

    what about your post here TJ?

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/another-cyclist-dead-another-ruling-of-accidental-death/page/4#post-3721756

    I’d still like to know about my misunderstanding please.

    If someone can enlighten us as to the process and how the inquest would influence it then it would be good.

    Coroners – How they work

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I can’t help but wonder if those who seem to think we shouldn’t be discussing this issue, or aren’t qualified to do so, feel the same level of disgust (and fear?) about how unprotected we are as cyclists on the roads. Or do they feel all is fine and dandy and all motorists are taking just the right amount of care, and that we don’t need to be protected from the likes of Mr. Strong?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Ah sorry the thread is now about who can argue the best out of TJ and cynic-al. I’ll leave you to it.

    Bez – I think the issue is that people can sympathise with the car driver ” there but for the grace of god go I” but not with the cyclist as they have no experience of cycling but they do have of driving

    Dez – I ain’t answering him – I accept your point about this and willnot sidetrack the debate

    cynic-al
    Member

    Dez I don’t think anyone is happy with the state of affairs, but some want to look into the coroners inquests etc and see what the verdict really means rather than just say “isn’t this awful”.

    zokes
    Member

    TandemJeremy – Member

    I’ll just point out it was not me who started on about helmets

    OH FFS!!! I think it’s better for all concerned if I just go back to seeing:

    TandemJeremy – Member

    TandemJeremy said something stupid.

    Which is a pity, seeing as quite frequently he doesn’t, but it saves these sorts of thread degenerations if I leave the filter there.

    cynic-al
    Member

    I only asked a question, easy to give an answer, rather than ignore!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Cheers for the Coroners link thegreatape.

    From that article:

    Where a person has been charged with .. causing death by reckless driving .. the inquest is postponed until the person’s trial is over.

    So it looks like there are definitely no official charges being brought. Though there may still be a civil case if his family or friends have the money, time and energy to pursue one.

    Also:

    WILL THE INQUEST DECIDE WHO IS TO BLAME?

    11. No. An inquest is not a trial. It is an inquiry into the facts surrounding a death. It is not the job of the coroner to blame anyone for the death, as a trial would do, and there are no speeches. However, the Coroner does have the power to investigate not just the main cause of death, but also “any acts or omissions which directly led to the cause of death”.

    If it is not his job to “blame anyone” then why is it his job to say that no one caused the accident?

    And how is it that attempting to pass someone at a pinch point and junction (in breach of multiple highway code rules), colliding with the traffic island then losing control of the vehicle do not seem to be considered “acts or omissions which directly led to the cause of death”?

    What can I do?

    Its clear people do not want to go over old ground about helmets which is reasonable, its clear they do not want to see me bicker with people. How do I respond to the two posts above by zokes and cynic al? dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t. 🙁

    cynic-al
    Member

    Easy TJ, just answer or fess up! I won’t go on if you do.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The death was caused by an accident (in that I think we can assume that the driver did not intend to clip him). Accidental death is therefore the likely verdict.

    So if I go into town and wave my shotgun around, randomly firing it, given that I didn’t intend to kill anybody, if somebody just happens to get in the way of one of my shots would accidental death also be the likely verdict?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    How do I respond to the two posts above by zokes and cynic al? dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t.

    Ignore them – just like everybody else on this thread is. The only people who care if you don’t respond are you, zokes and cynic-al – can you live with that?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    TJ: just try to rise above their pointless baiting.

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