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Police apathy in investigating cyclists' deaths exposed.

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by spindrift, 11 Jun 2008.

  1. spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23493320-details/Family+of+Cambridge+student+killed+on+bike+hit+out+at+police/article.do

    The parents of a student killed while cycling are set to launch a private legal battle after claiming police failed to investigate his death properly.

    Vinnie Carta, 21, from Enfield, a third-year physics student at Cambridge University, was in collision with a car near his student digs as he rode to his part-time job as a children's maths tutor last November.

    He suffered massive head injuries, even though he was wearing a helmet, and died in hospital the following day, with his parents at his bedside.

    No charges were brought against the driver, who was found to have been doing 48mph inside a 60mph zone, and an inquest recorded a narrative verdict that Vinnie's death was an accident.

    But his parents, John, 51, and Anthea, 49, believe police and prosecutors accepted the driver's account of events without carrying out a thorough investigation or appealing widely enough for witnesses.

    They have employed a crash investigator to re-examine what happened and if he finds they could have a case are considering bringing a private prosecution against the driver.

    Mr Carta, a bus safety examiner, said: "Vinnie was an experienced cyclist. He was on his new bike, wearing a helmet and reflective clothing. He was on a well-lit route, which he took all the time. He knew what he was doing.

    "The driver has changed his story several times. We think he was in a rush to get home, thinking he was coming up to a 60mph road, and just didn't pay attention to the road. Vinnie was flipped in the air and landed on the car.

    "We're not looking for revenge. We're not vindictive. We just want the law to be applied. The police should have put up witness appeal boards but they said that could cause more accidents."
     
  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    48 in a 60 means nothing surely

    and we have nothing else to go on

    I was knocked off my scooter last year by a speeding hit and run driver, two solid witnesses, one of whom got the reg and a decent look at the driver, the police wrote to me to say they'd written a letter to the registered driver who had failed to reply, did I want them to pursue it further, I said yes

    they wrote me a second letter to say they'd tried again but hadn't managed to make contact with the registered driver and wee closing the case
     
  3. OP
    OP
    spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    Good grief.
     
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Don't start getting all het up about the injustice of the world again today Spinners mate, deep breaths like we talked about okay?

    How're your flowers?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    He can keep them, I'm boycotting that pub in protest.
     
  6. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    wha?
     
  7. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I had the same experience as Tynan - 30 witnesses (club ride), reg plate, everything.

    couple of letters, then they dropped it.

    All I lost was all the skin off my left side......
     
  8. OP
    OP
    spindrift

    spindrift New Member

  9. Flying_Monkey

    Flying_Monkey Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere

    Dom - in contrast, is there ever any occasion on which you can be arsed to make a stand on something that is right?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    As the House of Commons Transport Committee report 'Traffic law and it's enforcement' put it:

    "the evidence presented during our inquiry supports Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s suggestion that “most forces saw road policing as a peripheral task, often seen by management as a repository of vehicles and officers to be redirected to ‘more important work’”.

    "Much of the evidence given to us was concerned with the law relating to those who caused death or injury on the roads. It would be an understatement to say there was concern about the way in which the law deals with such cases. All those who wrote to us on the subject, and they were many, were impassioned about what they saw as a tendency to downgrade road traffic crashes. We were told of a tendency to treat serious incidents as “nobody’s fault” or even to blame the victim; a belief it was not appropriate for motorists to take as much care when driving a motor vehicle as they would when undertaking other activities which might endanger the public; a justice system which frequently did not take into account the consequences of a crash; and a disregard for the victims and their families."

    Etc. Etc.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmtran/105/105.pdf
     
  11. Regulator

    Regulator Political refugee. Fan of Adrian.

    I have sympathy with the family, having had similar experiences of police ineptitude (although relating to serious injury rather than death). Unfortunately, even if there is evidence of an offence, they are too late to mount a private prosecution.
     
  12. Alves

    Alves New Member

    Location:
    Perth
    I wonder if this "police apathy" isn't a universal phenomenon around the world (except perhaps in Germany and Scandinavia) and therefore the only real force for change is to make cyclists less of a minority and drivers more of a minority as fuel prices rise.
    I also wonder if pistonheads and the safespeed lobby have a different tilt on all this and perceive a police state etc.
    I suppose what I am trying to say is that I believe that road safety for cyclists and other road users was at it's best after the war and slowly got worse and now can only improve. I have an optimistic long term view.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    Car journeys are down 20% (which suggests a lot of them were pointless).

    I perceive a more positive portayal of cyclists in the media, I'm sure.
     
  14. gazzaputt

    gazzaputt New Member

    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    My good god that has shocked me.