Death by careless driving, sentencing guidelines

if they take someones life they should pay the price , not be let off because they're driving a car.
this country is way too soft on motorists who kill others.
theres no such thing as a momentary lapse where a lot of motorists are concerned, the only momentary lapse they occaisionally have is when they actually look and think about what theyr're doing.
 

spindrift

New Member
This is depressing, and the exact opposite of what I understood the new legislation was for- to tighten up on cases where people get away with killing someone.
 

spindrift

New Member
More apt- i fire a gun randomly on a high street, when the inevitable death occurs I say "But it was an accident!"
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
If it really is motorists with exemplary records who have had a momentary lapse leading to an accident... I see the logic in that carrying a light sentence. I rather fear that this will end up twisted to allow anyone off who has caused an accident, using this as a defense.
 

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
Cab said:
If it really is motorists with exemplary records who have had a momentary lapse leading to an accident... I see the logic in that carrying a light sentence. I rather fear that this will end up twisted to allow anyone off who has caused an accident, using this as a defense.
Yes, but some of them will have appalling records, not just for motoring offences, but others as well and it will be perfectly clear that they are reckless antisocial people with no regard for the law. It is easy to distinguish them from law abiding people with good driving records who have a momentary lapse.
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
Patrick Stevens said:
Yes, but some of them will have appalling records, not just for motoring offences, but others as well and it will be perfectly clear that they are reckless antisocial people with no regard for the law. It is easy to distinguish them from law abiding people with good driving records who have a momentary lapse.
In principle I can't disagree with that. In practice... I dunno, I've just seen so many instances of people going over 12 points on thier license, endangering or harming others, and getting away with very light sentences, that I'm worried by advice to the courts to be more lenient in some situations. Its almost like they're looking for ways of not punishing dangerous driving, and in such a climate I'm concerned by this.

Am I being paranoid here?
 

tdr1nka

Taking the biscuit
Cab said:
Am I being paranoid here?
I think we all are, and with damn good reason!

It is hardly Draconion to suggest that a driver who is speeding in a 20 limit, hitting a child that runs out from nowhere and killing them is a death that could have been avoided and deserves to be classed as a murder.

As cyclists we have to be vigilant in order to use the road, cardrivers it seems need only to be aware when it suits them.

Worse things happen at sea!


T x
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
tdr1nka said:
I think we all are, and with damn good reason!

It is hardly Draconion to suggest that a driver who is speeding in a 20 limit, hitting a child that runs out from nowhere and killing them is a death that could have been avoided and deserves to be classed as a murder.

As cyclists we have to be vigilant in order to use the road, cardrivers it seems need only to be aware when it suits them.

Worse things happen at sea!
True enough, but a momentary lapse of concentration can happen under the speed limit and still be calamatous. And I'm sure if we're honest, we'll admit that even when cycling we can have accidents (or come close to having accidents) through inattentiveness, or having our attention drawn the wrong way. And it would seem reasonable that such things if they're rare and if they happen to someone who does have an exemplary record on the road are genuinely accidents deserving of minor punishment at most.

BUT... I just don't know whether I trust our legal system to handle this well.
 

MartinC

Über Member
Location
Cheltenham
This is totally undemocratic. Parliament changed the law because people weren't being sentenced appropriately for killing people whilst driving. The law was specificall intended to provide custodial sentences driving offences where people were killed. The body that creates sentencing guidelines has decided to set aside what parliament intended to match their car centric, white, male, middle aged, middle class bias.
 

JamesAC

Senior Member
Location
London
There's no such thing as an accident (well, hardy ever).

There IS, however, negligence.

If you take control of a 1.5 tonne killing machine, you take the responsiblity for it, too.

You might well be driving at less than the mandatory maximum: it doesn't mean it's a safe speed for the situation.

You might glance momentarily at your SatNav screen: but is it a safe moment to do so - a straight, empty road with no junctions or side turnings, not another car or soul in sight, or a busy residential road, with plenty of potential hazards. If the latter, and your mommentary inattention leads to the death of a child, it is your negligence that caused that death. You made the witting descision to take your eyes off the raod at that moment, fully aware that it was a residential street full of potential hazards.

You must carry the consequences of your negligence.

I am so depressed at the way governments of all colours in this country pander to the whim of the motorist, to the detriment of others. I wish someone would have the guts to stand up to them, and say "enough is enough".

Around 10 people a day a killed, many more seriously injured on Britain's roads. But that's "collateral damage", so it's ok.
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
JamesAC said:
You must carry the consequences of your negligence.
I agree, and if the application of this proposal is that those who have been genuinely negligent still get punished appropriately then thats fine by me. If the application of this is that there are guidelines with which judges can look in to what happened and hand out less severe penalties if that is clearly appropriate, I'm also in favour. Its all about what those guidelines will be, what constitutes a momentary lack of concentration, etc.
 

biking_fox

Veteran
Location
Manchester
This seams one of those occasions when it is worth writing to your MP, so that they know that people in their consituency are concerned. It's very easy to do: http://www.writetothem.com

Paranoid? yes. Paranoid enough? maybe.

Although any of us can be taken out by someone's momentary lapse, knowing that the perpetrator is subsequently behind bars doesn't really help. Scaring the motorist so badly in the first place that they don't make the momentary lapse would be good. But current legislation, or even really draconian legislation does not do this, so I don't think the proposed changes will make any difference to driver behavior.

The only real target would be repeat offenders, and this hopefully won't make any difference to their treatment.
 
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