SMIDSY is now a valid excuse for killing someone

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  • SMIDSY is now a valid excuse for killing someone
  • bencooper
    Member

    In today’s other good news for cycling, you can drive straight into someone – who is wearing all the correct safety gear in broad daylight – kill him, and you’ll still get off.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-25949342

    No “driving without due care and attention”, nothing.

    👿

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Good grief. 😥

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    On occasions I can sometimes see why they jury came to the decision, even if I don’t agree, but really he thought he hit a bus stop sign so carried on and that makes it Ok.

    user-removed
    Member

    Very sad for all concerned. I nearly smacked into a cyclist near Gateshead. Low winter sun right into my eyes – road dappled with harsh light filtered through overhanging, leafless tree branches, causing a constant flashing of shadows on the road. I was doing well under 30 in a 50 zone as I was almost blinded.

    Saw the guy at the very last minute and swerved into the crawler lane.

    Days like that I’m on the pavement or at home (as a cyclist). Not necessarily commenting on the above but if, as a cyclist, your visibility is poor, it’s the same for the drivers behind you.

    project
    Member

    Looking at the image the lamposts are on the other side of the road, im not a detective, but im sure a normal person would have realised you cant hit a lampost on the right with your left hand mirror, and why the **** did he phone his dad.

    Sadly a few years ago trhere was a cyclist KILLED by a motorist who used blinded by the sun as an excuse.

    GET SOME BLOODY SUNGLASsES, STOP OR SLOW DOWN, killer muppets.

    Just so angry.

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    Surely if you’re not driving on the pavement or the verge you don’t hit many bus stops!

    pjt201
    Member

    i can actually understand the jury in this case. Criminal law states that it must be beyond reasonable doubt that his wing mirror hit the cyclist and I can understand where there’s doubt in this case. doesn’t stop me being angry about it though.

    ell_tell
    Member

    Reading that report I got the impression there was another vehicle (a Mercedes) ivolved?

    Either way, very sad news and there is now a family out there with a big void in their lives.

    ac282
    Member

    As long as juries are made up of irresponsible drivers who identify more with the defendant than the victim these verdicts will continue.

    I don’t know how you can combat this.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Statement from Hampshire Police:

    http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/news-and-appeals/2014/january/290114-operation-ruddy-statement-from-hampshire-constabulary

    last sentence might be indication that people ought to be careful about what they say about the driver…

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    “I would ask that people do not make comment on the case without having listened to all the evidence given in court, which at times was complex.”

    OK, I’m interested, where do you get court transcripts?

    So another van driver went straight over him and only contacted police later on.! Jesus **** christ. How can you not know that you have run over a human?

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    the evidence given in court, which at times was complex.”

    Hmmm. Any idea who the defence lawyer was? Reminds me of the lawyer that pharma rep woman used to get her off. His testimonials on his website centred around getting not guilty verdicts off the back off masses of complex evidence. Throw enough stuff at the jury and there’s no way they can be sure beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    i can actually understand the jury in this case. Criminal law states that it must be beyond reasonable doubt that his wing mirror hit the cyclist and I can understand where there’s doubt in this case. doesn’t stop me being angry about it though

    From the police statement “The 48-year-old from Dorset was in collision with a minibus on Mountbatten Way on December 17, 2012” there doesn’t seem to be any doubt.

    There WAS a collision. The driver didn’t see the cyclist. The doubt is over whether failing to see a hi-vized and lit cyclist is careless or not. The jury decided it wasn’t.

    As for the mercedes, could the cyclist have fallen after being hit by the mirror and been literally run over by the merc?

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    As for the mercedes, could the cyclist have fallen after being hit by the mirror and been literally run over by the merc?

    Yes. extensive damage to underside of mercedes.

    sobriety
    Member

    I guess it could come down to ‘was he dead before the second vehicle hit him, and if he wasn’t could they have stopped/some blame be apportioned to them?’*

    *INAL, but that could be a way of casting ‘reasonable doubt’ that the person in the dock is the one that’s at ‘fault’.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Horrible horrible incident, but from that brief report I can understand why the jury could not convict on a death by dangerous driving basis. There was another driver involved who could well have caused the death. No excuse for not driving with due care and attention and a terribly sad story nonetheless.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    If you punch someone and they fall and hit their head on a kerb and die, you’re up for murder or manslaughter.

    If they happen to have a particular skull structure that means they’re much more susceptible to that kind of injury, that doesn’t matter, it’s you that caused the death.

    Why there isn’t the same causal link applied to traffic accidents, I have no clue. Why should some of the blame be taken off the minibus driver because it was someone else’s vehicle that delivered the fatal injuries? It’s like pushing someone off a bridge and blaming the ground.

    Some conjecture on the case, and apologies for commenting before I’ve heard all the evidence presented in court, which was at times complex.

    pondo
    Member

    Excuse my language, but that’s a f***ing disgrace.

    sobriety
    Member

    Why there isn’t the same causal link applied to traffic accidents, I have no clue. Why should some of the blame be taken off the minibus driver because it was someone else’s vehicle that delivered the fatal injuries? It’s like pushing someone off a bridge and blaming the ground.

    I’m not disagreeing with that. In my industry, if you (or a company subcontracted by you) kill people, you’re in all sorts of trouble. Why it doesn’t seem to apply to RTCs seems to have a lot to do with the ‘there but for the grace of I God go I’

    Maybe some crimes should be treated as legislative/technical crimes, where a jury of your peers could be considered to be biased automatically.

    owenfackrell
    Member

    pondo – Member
    Excuse my language, but that’s a f***ing disgrace.
    POSTED 2 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    Espcially as that bit of road is a 3 lane dual carriage way and has no street furniture near the edge of the road and it’s not like the guy wouldn’t know the road as he lives locally.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    If you punch someone and they fall and hit their head on a kerb and die, you’re up for murder or manslaughter. …
    Why there isn’t the same causal link applied to traffic accidents, I have no clue.

    It’s based on intent more than than result.

    In my industry, if you (or a company subcontracted by you) kill people, you’re in all sorts of trouble.

    Is that based on liability or duty of care? But I totally agree, road use should carry the same implications towards others and juries shouldn’t be used in these cases for the reason you say.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    The verdict is not a surprise. Although it boils my piss.

    Reasonable doubt as to whether the minibus driver was solely responsible for the death of the cyclist. Not guilty.

    Contributing actions to the cyclists death. Yep, head injury consistent with being struck by a wing mirror.

    Drivers of both the minibus and the Mercedes are guilty of driving without due care and attention.

    Some blame in the court case must lie with the CPS in not pursuing a charge with which they can achieve a guilty verdict.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    People suggesting doubt reminds me of this:

    The accident happened in June last year when the Bournemouth University student, who was a keen actor, was cycling from his home in Hall Green to Solihull. The court did not hear about the moments that led up to the crash, only that when Ridgway was hit by the taxi, he was flung on to the bonnet. The car carried on for 90 metres before crashing into a tree. Ridgway was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

    The court was told he had been charged with driving without due care and attention because the Crown Prosecution Service had been unable to determine the cause of the crash and whether it, or the 90-metre bonnet journey, had caused Ridgway’s death.
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jan/18/taxi-driver-fined-cyclists-death

    toby1
    Member

    People suggesting doubt reminds me of this:

    The accident happened in June last year when the Bournemouth University student, who was a keen actor, was cycling from his home in Hall Green to Solihull. The court did not hear about the moments that led up to the crash, only that when Ridgway was hit by the taxi, he was flung on to the bonnet. The car carried on for 90 metres before crashing into a tree. Ridgway was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

    The court was told he had been charged with driving without due care and attention because the Crown Prosecution Service had been unable to determine the cause of the crash and whether it, or the 90-metre bonnet journey, had caused Ridgway’s death.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jan/18/taxi-driver-fined-cyclists-death

    I’ve been fined more for speeding at 81 on a motorway!

    This is filth really, how do you drive for 90-100 meters with someone on your bonnet, or for that matter hit someone and just not notice.

    Slipknot had it right people=s***!

    natrix
    Member

    As long as juries are made up of irresponsible drivers who identify more with the defendant than the victim these verdicts will continue.

    Agreed 👿

    wilko1999
    Member

    “Some blame in the court case must lie with the CPS in not pursuing a charge with which they can achieve a guilty verdict”

    This, definitely. The jury were led down an alley. A crap comparison would be in rugby when they go to the TMO when a try is in doubt. The ref asks “can you see any reason not to award a try”, the TMO answers no, and the try is given. Doesn’t mean that it was a try though. It’s the wording of the question.

    I’m guessing there wasn’t really a suitable charge available. Something like “causing death by knocking someone off their bicycle” should do it.

    “I would ask that people do not make comment on the case without having listened to all the evidence given in court, which at times was complex.”

    How do we see the evidence given in court then?

    hora
    Member

    I hit something that I cant see/identify. I stop.

    So this bloke had lights- he didnt see him at all? Under the influence?

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    This is filth really, how do you drive for 90-100 meters with someone on your bonnet, or for that matter hit someone and just not notice.

    I can understand you comment and cannot really explain why, but having been involved in a collision with a cyclist it took me a long time to stop as the initial reaction was ‘wtf was that’ rather than slam the brakes on, there wasn’t anyone on the bonnet so slightly different. I do not wish to go in to details of the accident as it does bring back horrific memories.

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    I think it is time they created a charge of ‘driving without being able to see where you are going’ judging by the number of people getting off on the ‘low sun blinded me’ defence. Although this is already covered by due care, it seems that juries seem to think that this is a reasonable defence. By making it a specific offence it would make it less likely that juries could use it as an excuse not to penalise crap driving.

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
    Subscriber

    What really winds me up is that if the cyclist was replaced by a 5 year old girl who’d ran out onto the road you can’t help but think the verdict would be different, despite the fact that the 5 year old girl shouldn’t be there and wouldn’t be wearing various pieces of hi-viz and LEDs.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    TBH the facts are not all that clear form the published internet snippets, I’d not be baying for blood just yet folks.

    It reads like a cyclist got hit by a wing mirror, this lead to him falling under the wheels of a following vehicle, all within the context of everyone (cyclist too?) traveling towards a low sun generally reducing visibility…

    That’s about as much as any of us actually knows… everything else is supposition and conjecture.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    SMIDSY has been a valid excuse in court for a long time hasn’t it?

    I would ask that people do not make comment on the case without having listened to all the evidence given in court, which at times was complex

    hmm some factors to take into consideration possibly but when you hit someone with your car when the cyclist did nowt wrong, especially on long straight road both travelling in same direction, chances are you either did it on purpose or you **** up somehow* either way you should be in trouble for it.

    What really winds me up is that if the cyclist was replaced by a 5 year old girl who’d ran out onto the road you can’t help but think the verdict would be different

    something I was reading in ctc mag last night suggested where children are involved in an RTC the police often cite the child is to blame – dunno if this is just children on bikes.

    Maybe some crimes should be treated as legislative/technical crimes, where a jury of your peers could be considered to be biased automatically.

    this sounds like a good idea.

    *cyclist wobbled and you hit them = you passed too close, cyclist clipped by car in front then you hit cyclist = you were tailgating first driver.

    retro83
    Member

    Have read the news reports, I can only assume that the driver ‘wearing sunglasses and having the sun visor’ down means that the Jury considered that he passed the ‘falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver’ criterion for the charge.

    Absolutely disgusting though IMHO. I can hardly bear to read these reports anymore. With this one and the recent ‘head on with cyclist while over taking on a blind bend’ I’ve lost all faith in the legal system.

    RIP David. 🙁

    I was talking to someone this week who wrote his car off after driving over the brow of a hill in to bright sunlight, then hitting a slower moving car in front.
    He seemed to think it was unavoidable.
    If you drive through puddles, your car gets dirty, if the sun dazzles you, you hit whatever’s in front. There’s nothing you can do about it. 🙄

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Those suggesting he might have got off because the other car killed him, did you not read all of the police report, including the second last paragraph, which says:

    The case rested on the jury identifying why the driver failed to see Mr Irving and by failing to see him if this was careless or not.

    …so the verdict was that SMIDSY is a valid defence – it says it right there.

    IMHO hitting a cyclist (who hasn’t done anything wrong) with a motor vehicle should automatically be an offence – no need for any new law, as it should be covered by the fact that reasonable and competent driver does not hit cyclists. There should be no defence available apart from showing that the driver didn’t hit the cyclist – if it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the driver hit the cyclist then you have an offence, all else is irrelevant.

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