Death by dangerous driving

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Jacques_Bustard, Apr 4, 2006.

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  1. Quite a bit of debate in the media at the moment on punishment of those who cause death by dangerous driving. There's this one

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/4871622.stm

    where a hit and run driver who killed a student whilst driving with no insurance. He got 18 months but will out in four.

    There also this one

    http://www.thisisbradford.co.uk/bradford__district/ilkley/news/ILKL_NEWS0.html

    in which the driver got a £1500 fine for the death of his passenger when he crashed his TVR at 50 mph in a 30 zone. He was convicted of careless rather than dangerous driving. At time of the accident he had 11 points on his license and 2 speeding convictions. It seems to me that drivers who death by their actions (rather than in a true "accident") are getting off pretty lightly. Why aren't the charges manslaughter?
     
  2. Because the law is an ass!

    They are quite happy to book you when you are speeding, eating a sandwich, drinking coke or on the phone and there is no danger (I'm not advocating any of those actions by the way!), but when those actions result in the death of a passenger, another driver or an innocent by stander they don't seem to take it serious any more.

    It just beggers belief.
     
  3. Yesterday it was on the news that 2 boy racers doing speeds of over 70mph in a 30 mph zone were sentenced to a total of 8 years in prison when one of them mounted the pavement and killed 4 young girls..a total of 1 year per life each!!
    May they rest in peace.
     
  4. I seem to recall for my distant student days making a half arrseed attempt to study law that the law was made as it is in the fifties/sixties because where murder was the charge (rather than death by dangerous driving) juries were not convicting... a touch of 'there but for the grace of God go I'.Perhaps all of us who have been known to speed, tailgate overtake on the inside on a motorway because some old dear is happy at 70mph etc should look to ourselves. All of this presents a risk to other road users and may result in fatalities. If it did would you want murder or the lesser charge?


    That said all such deaths are tragic and perhaps a increasing the sentencing powers to allow harsher punishment is the solution.
     
  5. A lot of this is down to the CPS taking the easiest option to get some form of conviction. They don't want to bothered with cases that drag on for months through the courts, if they they can get a quick conviction for a lesser charge. In doing this they cut down on there back log of cases and can show a conviction on the plus side.
     
  6. Anyone read about that bloke who had accumulated 33 points (give or take 2 or 3) yet still did not receive a driving ban yet alone lose his license? technicalities only got him off having a further 8 added!!
    He even admitted he played the system afterwards by claiming his family would suffer undue hardship!

    This is my 3rd year on the road (4 years with license) and I'll admit I have got 3 points from a red light camera (naughty boy!!) but I find it outrageous that I am effectivly being punished 7 times (initial fine plus 5yrs affected insurance then paying for priveledge of points to be removed) for a minor slip up and then see cases such as this!

    As for dangerous driving, how many times do we see that the person involved has had no license, MOT, insurance then speeds off after the offence yet is only punished for lesser offences simply because they are easier to prove? Surely not having a license should automatically be classed as dangerous driving? I thought the whole point of having a license was proof that you were able to drive safely, if only as an indication that you were at least caperble at some point?
     
  7. In the second case I quoted in the original post I don't think this was the case (although I accept your point that the CPS do appear to go for easiest option). In this case doing 50 in a 30 zone and crashing into a tree was considered by the jury not to be dangerous, only careless. 'Kin stupid.
     
  8. I very much take the view that the country as a whole has to take a whole new perspective on the car and how we use it. A car is a potentially lethal weapon. If any other instrument were used in such a cavalier, arrogant manner by so many people they would be charged with attempted murder or manslaughter. Getting in a car whilst unfit through drink, drugs or tiredness should be treated as attempted murder. You are not telling me that there are people out there that are not yet aware of the lethal hazard caused by such actions?

    In addition, speeding should be made as socially unacceptable as drink-driving. Until it is there can be no end to the hypocrisy that points the finger at a shoplifting heroin addict as the scourge of society while condoning over-privileged Kensington types breaking only small traffic laws so that there little darlings don't have to walk 5 yards to school in the morning. Don't get me wrong I love cars and motorbikes and I love the feeling I get driving fast but until we all accept we are just making up for the lack of adrenaline in modern life we will get nowhere.

    Finally, the numbers of people, and according to the news, increasingly young people, that have no insurance, licence, tax etc is a combination of methods of policing and greedy insurance companies. There is a large element of society that works on the "odds" principle these days. It used to be the case that a drivers licence was a much sought after rite of passage and your first car a well-earned aspiration. Everyone bought insurance because it was the law and as a young driver there was a realistic prospect of being pulled by the local Police and asked to produce. At the same time although insurance was expensive it was not prohibitively so. Many people today simply cannot afford insurance for the clapped-out banger they drive but use the vehicles anyway because they have made a mathematical calculation based on the annual cost of insurance against the likely fine the senile, hamstrung, fecks behind the bench will hand down.

    The law is indeed an ass, but as with murders and robberies in Chelsea recently nothing will change until the loved ones of someone in power become the victims. This is fairly unlikely in Hull, Manchester, Cardiff etc.
     
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