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Excellent move by Norwich coroner

wafflycatwafflycat Posts: 359
edited July 2007 in Campaign
In today's local rag

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/News/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=enonline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED05%20Jul%202007%2010%3A18%3A04%3A603

or

http://tinyurl.com/2uvksr

A step in the right direction:-

"A campaign to encourage people to take road deaths seriously has taken a
major step forward today with the coroner of Norwich agreeing to stop using
the term “accidental death” at inquests."

and

"Today Mr Armstrong said he would no longer use “accident” when determining
the cause of a death on the roads because this would imply that no one was
responsible. Now the terms crash or collisions will be used instead.
Mr Armstrong explained: “I made a decision to no longer use the term
accident when referring to deaths on the roads. There is no such thing as
accidental death - this sends out the wrong message that car crashes are
unavoidable and no one is to blame but this is simply not true."

An excellent move by the Norwich coroner IMO.
~~~~~
Any problem can be solved by the application of duck tape,
copious use of cable ties
and the wearing of fluorescent yellow Lycra
~~~~~

Posts

  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Brilliant stuff:

    Road death campaigners claim victory

    SARAH HALL
    05 July 2007 10:17

    A campaign to encourage people to take road deaths seriously has taken a major step forward today with the coroner of Norwich agreeing to stop using the term “accidental death” at inquests.

    The move was made by William Armstrong after years of campaigning by RoadPeace in East Anglia who have long claimed the term is misleading and inaccurate.

    Today Mr Armstrong said he would no longer use “accident” when determining the cause of a death on the roads because this would imply that no one was responsible. Now the terms crash or collisions will be used instead.

    Mr Armstrong explained: “I made a decision to no longer use the term accident when referring to deaths on the roads. There is no such thing as accidental death - this sends out the wrong message that car crashes are unavoidable and no one is to blame but this is simply not true.

    “There are many reasons for deaths on the roads including speeding, reckless driving and alcohol. I think if we stop using the term 'accident' it will make people think about their actions. For people who have lost loved ones they are often offended at inquests and inquiries - and rightly so - when it is referred to as an accidental death. I will no longer be using this term.”

    Liz Voysey from RoadPeace in East Anglia (pictured with husband George) said: “Every car crash is avoidable. In every collision one person will have set in motion a chain of events which culminates in a collision, either with another vehicle, or person or object. This one person could have been negligent or have broken the law or both. It is important this decision is made public as it can only raise awareness and hopefully others in Mr. Armstrong's position will be encouraged to follow his example.”

    Mrs Voysey's daughter Amy Upcraft died on March 3 2004 after a crash on the A47. The 19-year-old had just rang her family to say she had been involved in a minor accident with a lorry and was stuck on the central reservation. But as her mother and stepfather rushed to help her her car was hit from behind by a van and she died at the scene.

    Mr Armstrong refused to use the term “accidental death” at an inquest on June 20 this year. Lee Stimpson, a father-of-three took heroine, cocaine, cannabis, methadone, morphine and the sedative Diazepam before getting in a car with his sons on December 16 last year. The 33-year-old ploughed into Robert Key, 23, outside Dunston Hall, killing them both instantly. An inquest into the deaths of both men heard cannabis resin was found in the vehicle and earlier that day a concerned motorist reported Mr Stimpson to the police after seeing him driving dangerously.

    Mr Armstrong recorded that both Mr Stimpson and Mr Key had died as a result of a road traffic collision which he said was a “needless and wholly avoidable tragedy” and he said: “I shall not use the term accidental death because if ever there was a case to demonstrate the inappropriateness of the term accident this was it.”

    What do you think about the changes? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE; email eveningnewsletters @archant.co.uk or log on to eveningnews24.co.uk/forums
  • CretinCretin Posts: 266
    Good.
  • I disagree with this.
    Ok, in the vast, vast majority of cases, blame can be aportioned and learnt from, but what if I'm cycling around a corner and a damp leaf falls onto the road infront of me and I slide into the path of an oncoming car?
    Can I be safe in the knowledge that my parents will be told that it was entirely my fault that I am now dead?
    What good would that do, other than making it easier for the driver to sue my estate for the costs of a new bumper?
    I think it's another case of an unnecessary rule where common sense would do the job adequately.
    Wheelies ARE cool.

    Zaskar X
  • I disagree aswell.
    The term "accident" only implies that it wasn't on purpose, nothing else. It says nothing about whether or not someone was at fault, just that they didn't intend any harm. You can have a crash which was an 'accident' because no-one intended anyone any harm, but it could still be the case that someone made a bad mistake or error of judgement. That there was an unforced error doesn't make it not an accident. This is political correctness gaaawn maaaad, and deliberate unnecessary 'language design' by navel-gazers.
  • snorrisnorri Posts: 2,981
    I think the Coroner has got it right, he does not wish to describe forseeable events as accidents, this ties in with the dictionary definition of the word.
    accident, n. Event without apparent cause, unexpected event; unintentional act, chance.

    If some one becomes involved in a collision due to their reckless behaviour, it is not an accident, or unexpected event. The person behaving recklessly may not have have intended to crash, but witnesses would claim a crash was highly likely.
  • mjonesmjones Posts: 1,915
    I disagree aswell.
    The term "accident" only implies that it wasn't on purpose, nothing else. It says nothing about whether or not someone was at fault, just that they didn't intend any harm. You can have a crash which was an 'accident' because no-one intended anyone any harm, but it could still be the case that someone made a bad mistake or error of judgement. That there was an unforced error doesn't make it not an accident. This is political correctness gaaawn maaaad, and deliberate unnecessary 'language design' by navel-gazers.

    Your argument would have more validity if it hadn't become commonplace to use the word "accident" as if it was an explanation. e.g. "It was just a tragic accident, nobody should be blamed", an attitude that is no longer permitted in industrial health and safety. Even if no-one's actions are obviously culpable it is unlikely that there is no human factor behind any accident and these should be properly investigated and understood, even if no actual legal offence has occurred.
  • JadedJaded Posts: 6,663
    I can drive round a corner, imagining that light doesn't travel in straight lines, and collide with someone else.

    Is that an accident in Bonj's terms?

    I didn't intend to collide...
  • The damp leaf example is good though. Surely that is an accident isn't it? Or is it the riders fault for not having enough skill to deal with it. "Death by lack of advanced bike skills" would be odd on the certificate.
  • CretinCretin Posts: 266
    Well I've never slid on a damp leaf on the road, car or cycle.

    The change in emphasis from accident to incident is a good one - it implies that things are not inevitable, that people can take action to avoid collisions.

    And after everything, if indeed there is a collision because of a damp leaf, at least the coroner can say 'accident' and actually mean it.

    I think there would be a few less crashes if people would stop saying "all of a sudden" and "I had an accident today", and start saying "I wasn't paying attention" and "I stupidly drove my car into a wall today".
  • psuttonpsutton Posts: 206
    I agree with the Cororner here even though my first adult cycling injury was an "accident" IMO. Dry but windy, taking a left turn a crisp packet blows under my front wheel. Bang :shock: . This was 8 years ago and my wrist still gives me jip from time to time. I am now ultra cautious of crisp packets in wind!
  • Cretin wrote:
    Well I've never slid on a damp leaf on the road, car or cycle.

    The change in emphasis from accident to incident is a good one - it implies that things are not inevitable, that people can take action to avoid collisions.

    And after everything, if indeed there is a collision because of a damp leaf, at least the coroner can say 'accident' and actually mean it.

    I think there would be a few less crashes if people would stop saying "all of a sudden" and "I had an accident today", and start saying "I wasn't paying attention" and "I stupidly drove my car into a wall today".

    Ah, but if you slip on a damp leaf, surely you should know that it's autumn and/or that there's a tree nearby that may be possibly shedding its leaves, and the displacement they will be blown by the prevailing wind in the time they will take to fall to the floor will take them as far as the road surface, and that recent rainfall will mean that they are wet - and therefore you should have anticipated this, so it could have been avoided.
    It's a ridiculous argument, unless it was deliberate, no-one intends to crash - so unless there was malice, it can be described as an accident. This is just a liberal judge trying to score brownie points by making the victims feel special.
  • bigdawgbigdawg Posts: 672
    i think whats trying to be said is that an 'accidental death' is just accpeted, and no further explanation is sought (ie was the driver drunk, asleep, on the wrong side of the road etc...).

    There was a car 'accident' at an awkawrd juction recently, and the guy who crashed was actually reported in the paper as saying ''...I was just chattig with my passenger, when she suddenly shouted stop...'' as they pulled into the path of a car, this is not an accident its driving without due care and attention.

    Over three thousand deaths a year are put down to motor accidents, thats nearly 10 a day. If someone went down the high street shooting 10 people a day it'll make world news, but because theyre classed as motor 'accidents' its deamed acceptable, almost as though theyre unavoidable..... go figure
    dont knock on death\'s door.....

    Ring the bell and leg it...that really pi**es him off....
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