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Shoot Clarkson Campaign

pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
edited September 2009 in Campaign
I sat down next to a solicitor on the bus who could'nt get a flight to London because of some mix up in Belfast. Got onto the subject of a certain possible Olympic cyclist who got killed in Oban.
"You want to make an accident with a cyclist/pedestrain a criminal offence?" she asked. Yes, I damn well do, because it seems that drivers class us as second class citizens. Without ever getting on a bike and riding through traffic, they have no idea.
In France, as a driver involved in an incident with a cyclist/pedestrain/horse, you have to prove your innocence. Which is the reverse of what it is in the UK. The French and most of the continentals respect cyclists far more than they do in the UK but it does'nt mean that we can't change the law so that drivers avoid us for two reasons: A) Its no longer classed as a civil offence to hit somebody and B) this would allow us to push for even higher levels of compensation in the event of injury/death, that in itself being dissuasive as well due to rises in insurance premiums etc.
I feel more vulnerable than ever (PM me for reasons) as you can imagine and having just been down south for a quick visit, I have no idea how some of you can cope with the amount of traffic and the sheer aggressiveness of it since I lived there. Without the law giving us proper protection, there is just another tragic 'accident' just waiting to happen.
We cannot totally eliminate accidents but we can change attitudes with coercion rather than co-operation which has thus far failed.
Surely there is enough of us (cyclists/joggers/horse-riders/walkers etc) to get together and push Councillors, MP's,Mep's etc for a change in the Law ?
Why can't the campaign start here ? It may take a while, but the fight is worth it.

In a country with half as many cars as there are people, would it not also have a positive side effect if more people were persuaded to take to there bikes if there was a tangeable chainge in attitudes towards cyclists. In this vein we can also start the "shoot Jeremy Clarkson" if you see him poster ad. It would be the symbol of the fight to change the law as he is the epitomy of the bigotry and callousness that many drivers assume in their attitude towards other road users. Is someone out there willing to design/print some posters and we will kick start this whole thing.
Thanks for your time.
PS I am a car driver and part of my job is driving.
seanoconn - gruagach craic!
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    ...In France, as a driver involved in an incident with a cyclist/pedestrain/horse, you have to prove your innocence. .....

    I do not think that is correct. It would be a breach of Art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights for a start.

    What the position is ( as far as I understand it), in the absence of other evidence, the presumption is the motorist is liable if a pedestrian/cyclist etc is injured. This is very different from what you state. One is guillty until proven innocent, which is completely contrary to the ECHR and something I and most right people would not support as it is a recipe for state oppression of individuals
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    ..... The French and most of the continentals respect cyclists far more than they do in the UK but it does'nt mean that we can't change the law so that drivers avoid us for two reasons: A) Its no longer classed as a civil offence to hit somebody and B) this would allow us to push for even higher levels of compensation in the event of injury/death, that in itself being dissuasive as well due to rises in insurance premiums etc.
    ....

    Erm No

    If it is no longer a civil offence then you would have no grounds for getting compensation.

    It is through civil proceedings that you recover compensation.


    Do you really want to deny those injured by negligence on the part of motorists to be excluded from compensation, because that is what will happen if you stop accidents involving motorists and cyclists being a civil matter

    I'm not sure how you think removing the basis of claiming compensation would allow you to get more compensation.


    BTW- You may care to look up the Road Traffic offences legislation- you will find that all that you want to be made criminal offences is covered already . The difficulty is obtaining the evidence.
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  • Cyclists need better protection from motorists. Hitting a cyclist should be a separate offence to other RTA's. Quite often these "accidents/incidents" occur due to intimidation from motorists.

    Only this morning I had a car drive up to my rear wheel and the driver sound his horn just because it was a narrow road and he couldn't get past! When I expressed my views re his actions, he them proceed to force me into a bus stop!!

    This is a too frequent occurance, motorists protected by their metal boxes using intimidation and aggression to show who is "king of the road".

    I feel also that all motorists should be made to spend a day cycling around a city centre so as to get some experience of this "intimidation".
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    wayne65hen wrote:
    Cyclists need better protection from motorists. Hitting a cyclist should be a separate offence to other RTA's. Quite often these "accidents/incidents" occur due to intimidation from motorists.
    WHY?

    There is no need for a seperate offence.

    A seperate offence will not do anything other than marginalise cyclists from being part of the traffic.

    A new offence will not assist in obtaining the necessary evidence. Cases are not prosecuted because there is insufficient evidence gathered to justify the case.

    It is a change in attitude towards these offences and a change in the gathering of evidence.


    Only this morning I had a car drive up to my rear wheel and the driver sound his horn just because it was a narrow road and he couldn't get past! When I expressed my views re his actions, he them proceed to force me into a bus stop!!

    This is a too frequent occurance, motorists protected by their metal boxes using intimidation and aggression to show who is "king of the road".
    Behaviour which is clearly covered by S2 and S3 of the RTA

    I feel also that all motorists should be made to spend a day cycling around a city centre so as to get some experience of this "intimidation".
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  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    I take your points. The only thing is that the general attitude towards cyclists is not good and incidents of hostility are frequent. The police often do not want to know.
    The Lincoln GP has been reduced to one day because of the cost of policing the event, yet the number of Police at a football game is ridiculous and to cap it all off, clubs are charged a nominal fee per head for policemen.
    If you smack someone over the head in a bar brawl causing serious injury you can be charged with attempted murder. If you run someone over in your car ("accidentally") the sentance never reflects the harm that has been done.
    No-one can deny the quantity nor the frequancy of hostility towards cyclists, yet few here seem to be responding in a manner which suggests that a change in the law would be beneficial.
    "Lack of evidence" is poor excuse which is often attached to the 'just an accident' scenarios which are too often given to motorists.
    Long time ago (mid 90's) a guy who's wife was giving birth to their 7th child, a son unlike the 6 girls before, cycled in towards Eastbourne on his way to the hospital on an old shopping bike and was tragically knocked down and killed by a driver who did not stop.
    The lack of care by that driver in the first instance is what led to the death of that man. This is where the fault lies - that very 'lack of care' is what needs to change.
    I still say, change the law - shoot Clarkson.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    I take your points. The only thing is that the general attitude towards cyclists is not good and incidents of hostility are frequent. The police often do not want to know.
    The Lincoln GP has been reduced to one day because of the cost of policing the event, yet the number of Police at a football game is ridiculous and to cap it all off, clubs are charged a nominal fee per head for policemen.
    If you smack someone over the head in a bar brawl causing serious injury you can be charged with attempted murder. If you run someone over in your car ("accidentally") the sentance never reflects the harm that has been done.
    You CAN BE - but it is pointless as in 99.99999% of such cases there is not the evidence to make the charge stick.

    For attempted murder you need to be able to prove the attacker INTENDED to cause serious harm to the victim. Not enough that it was reckless, obvious etc. Proving the intention is very difficult. Attempted murder is one of the hardest offences to prove

    No-one can deny the quantity nor the frequancy of hostility towards cyclists, yet few here seem to be responding in a manner which suggests that a change in the law would be beneficial.
    "Lack of evidence" is poor excuse which is often attached to the 'just an accident' scenarios which are too often given to motorists.
    Lack of evidence a poor excuese? Not the cleverest thing to say.

    The need for evidence before someone is convicted of an offence is what gives us the freedoms we have in this country. Would you like to be senty to prison simply because the police ogfficer doesn't like you? Well that's what you get if you don't require evidence.
    Its innocent until proven guilty for a reason.

    note that is innocent until proven guiolty for everyone, no exception for those inviolved in accidents with cyclists

    Long time ago (mid 90's) a guy who's wife was giving birth to their 7th child, a son unlike the 6 girls before, cycled in towards Eastbourne on his way to the hospital on an old shopping bike and was tragically knocked down and killed by a driver who did not stop.
    The lack of care by that driver in the first instance is what led to the death of that man. This is where the fault lies - that very 'lack of care' is what needs to change.
    I still say, change the law - shoot Clarkson.
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  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    Okay. Right.
    So far I have been given arguments for and against criminalising serious injury and death by a driver.
    I am opem minded but what I seem to be getting is a general feeling of resignation for want of a better word with the suggestion that there needs to be change in the law before cyclists are better protected.
    What cannot escape us all, is the continuing uncertainty, hostility and general bad attitudes towards cyclists - no-one can disagree with that can they?
    I still say we require a change in the law whatever that may be because trying to appeal to their consciences (drivers) is insufficient, doomed to failure and would require a national campaign that would probably go no-where. And so, I put it out to everyone:
    What do you suggest?
    The alternative is the current staus quo which is both inadequate and unnacceptable and therefore not doing anything collectivly is not caring.
    Water rules: Steam gives way to sail, sail gives way to boats, boats give way to canoes, canoes give way to swimmers - relevant for the road?

    All it takes for evil to prosper, is for good men to do nothing.

    Shoot Clarkson - make a bloody difference.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • So Spen, how do we address the lack of evidence? The OP gives an example of a car behind him, hitting the horn and then driving him into a bus stop. This behaviour is clearly dangerous but – as we know from many other posts – the police will not be interested without independent witnesses.

    We also know from many other posters that if you go to the police with helmet cam footage they are not interested as the cyclist “may have aggravated” the motorist. I’m not sure the police would take the same view in other threatening situations: Aggressor “Person x swore at me so I threw a chair in her direction” Officer – well she asked for it then. No case to answer.

    In GB we have the honour of being the most surveyed nation on the planet. CCTV on almost every corner – and yet rarely used to address dangerous driving.

    We need a change of mindset by drivers. The OP thinks a change in the law would help. You don’t, but you don’t suggest any alternative.

    If you look at the railway and aviation industries – industries with far fewer injuries and fatalities than our roads – they don’t just look at incidents that resulted in injuries, they look at all incidents that could have resulted in injury – as often the only difference is down to luck. So every time a train passes a red signal it is investigated. Yet the police are not interested in road incidents unless there is a collision – and even then they’re not THAT interested unless you are dead – in which case the dis-interest is taken up with vigour by the Criminal Protection Service (sorry, I mean Crown Prosecution Service).
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    So Spen, how do we address the lack of evidence? The OP gives an example of a car behind him, hitting the horn and then driving him into a bus stop. This behaviour is clearly dangerous but – as we know from many other posts – the police will not be interested without independent witnesses.

    We also know from many other posters that if you go to the police with helmet cam footage they are not interested as the cyclist “may have aggravated” the motorist. I’m not sure the police would take the same view in other threatening situations: Aggressor “Person x swore at me so I threw a chair in her direction” Officer – well she asked for it then. No case to answer.

    In GB we have the honour of being the most surveyed nation on the planet. CCTV on almost every corner – and yet rarely used to address dangerous driving.

    We need a change of mindset by drivers. The OP thinks a change in the law would help. You don’t, but you don’t suggest any alternative.

    If you look at the railway and aviation industries – industries with far fewer injuries and fatalities than our roads – they don’t just look at incidents that resulted in injuries, they look at all incidents that could have resulted in injury – as often the only difference is down to luck. So every time a train passes a red signal it is investigated. Yet the police are not interested in road incidents unless there is a collision – and even then they’re not THAT interested unless you are dead – in which case the dis-interest is taken up with vigour by the Criminal Protection Service (sorry, I mean Crown Prosecution Service).


    Your last comment is 100% wrong. Its not the CPS fault that the police whose job it is to obtain evidence don't do their job.

    The CPS can't prosecute a case without the evidence.

    If the police can't or won't investigate alleged offences, then they are preventing the CPS from doing their job.

    What is needed is a change of mindset and attitude from those charged with evidence gathering- ie the police. Your comments in the 2nd paragraph sum the matter up perfectly re the unacceptable police approach.
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  • Hi Spen, thought about my post last night after logging off and wanted to be clear that it wasn't meant to be aggressive toward you. I'm just keen to find a way out of the impasse of police wanting evidence presented to them before they take any action rather than doing the investigation work themselves. Given the numbers of people injured and killed on the roads one would have hoped they'd take this area more seriously.

    My CPS comments are based on anecdotal evidence (prob not the right word given the context :roll: ) you hear. The one that sticks in my mind was the case of Anthony Maynard from the Reading cycling club who was hit and killed (and his friend hit and seriously injured) by a van who came up behind them. Despite what appears to be a clear case of dangerous driving the CPS took the SMIDSY line from the driver as sufficient reason not to pursue the matter. The view from many cyclists is that in such cases it should be for the court to decide not the CPS. .http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2009/07/09/39757-ghost-bike-at-protest/
    http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2039557_no_further_action_following_death_of_anthony_maynard
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    Having followed the link given by The Chingfordskinhead on the Reading incident:

    What does Adrian Lawson mean when he sais that a driver needs to be brought in front of a court in the event of death or serious injury?

    As a mandatory part of an investigation (also) mandatory? or
    To be charged with dangerous driving?
    Thats perhaps where the Law could be changed - In the event of serious injury/death of a cyclist, it will be mandatory to both investigate the incident as a criminal offence and to bring the case in front of a court for assessment to ascertain whether a prosecution could take place or not as the case may be.

    I am going to get in contact with Adrian Lawson at the Reading Cycle club.

    Come on - Shoot Clarkson, it will be a start.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Having followed the link given by The Chingfordskinhead on the Reading incident:

    What does Adrian Lawson mean when he sais that a driver needs to be brought in front of a court in the event of death or serious injury?

    As a mandatory part of an investigation (also) mandatory? or
    To be charged with dangerous driving?
    Thats perhaps where the Law could be changed - In the event of serious injury/death of a cyclist, it will be mandatory to both investigate the incident as a criminal offence and to bring the case in front of a court for assessment to ascertain whether a prosecution could take place or not as the case may be.

    I am going to get in contact with Adrian Lawson at the Reading Cycle club.

    Come on - Shoot Clarkson, it will be a start.

    . What you are proposing would completely change EVERY part of the Englis Legal System as you are proposing that courts decide whether to investigate offences

    Courts would no longer be the impartial arbitrator of fact they are now- the courts would be part of the investigative process.

    Where is the justice?
    Who protects the individual from the abuses of state power? - the court as they do now? - clearly not as the court are potentially part of that abuse.


    To change from one unjust system to another is not the solution.
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  • You cannot change attitudes by changing laws (despite what the government think). The law is not the problem, it is the attitudes both of the small minority of drivers who are dangerous idiots, and of the police. Granted, the police are under pressure to meet ridiculous targets and spending ages tracking down idiot drivers doesn't get them a lot of "sanctioned detection" boxes ticked. This aspect of the police really hacks a lot of people off - because they are target chasing, they are unwilling to investigate anything difficult. A friend of mine's girlfriend (?) had her car stolen and eventually he found it two days later. No interest from plod.

    Anyway, I'm wandering off topic here. Attitudes were changed on drink driving, and not by changing laws. They can be changed on driving around cyclists too. Get the kids while they're at school and teach them. Add it to the driving test. And get the police interested in taking these things seriously.

    Shooting Clarkson can't hurt though so I say go for it.
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  • Why is it accepted that if you drive into the back of another car, it is your fault, and your insurance that pays out, but if you drive into the back of a cyclist, you can get away with SMIDSY?

    I do think a change in the law will alter behaviour - if running a cyclist down becomes so much hassle, people will make more of an effort to avoid doing so. I'm not suggesting that people (at least only very few) deliberately run cyclists down, but if they're consicous of the consequences, they might wait until there's a proper gap before overtaking rather than taking a chance to squeeze past.
  • No need to change the law - it already covers this. What needs to change is the implementation.
    mroli wrote:
    (Michel) Roux has the scary eyes of an inner Begbie...
  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    Firstly, the change in attitude towards drink driving was brought about by much harsher laws.
    To the mindless few who often make all our lives a misery, implementing a change in attitude is totally insufficient and inadequate.
    "A complete change in th English legal system" ?!
    What ? Take the recent example of the death of Anthony Ward in Reading. What Mr Lawson had implied, is that the judicial process was not even carried out properly. (Type in Reading Chronicle - thay have a website, follow the links and read what he has to say on the matter).
    We do not have to change the legal system, we have to guarantee fair and reasonable attention to incidents involving death or injury.

    What I would like is that the driver involved to have his/her license removed until a proper investigation has taken place. What we actually need to do is deploy a judicial process that actually looks at the whole case and then for a court to decide on whether charges are to be levvied. At the moment, just as SteppenHerring has mentioned, it is not a change in the law so much as a guarantee of implementation. Personally, I would rather a change in the law, because proper implementation relies on opinion and attitude, which unfortunatly is not enough.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    Lets clarify a few things.

    Rename the campaign because a few plonkers have taken offence to the metaphorical idea of actually shooting Clarkson? NO

    "What you are saying is that we need to change the whole legal proces" NO

    ""You are going to remove fundamental rights" NO

    B0llox to the above.

    For all the comments made in contradicting my idea to collectively push for a change to the law, I am very disheartened.
    The inescapable truth is that cyclists are being injured and killed and if we all sit back and pathetically say "Oh thats unfortunate, what can you do?" then it will continue, and only when you or someone you know is directly involved in serious injury as a result of a driving incident will you suddenly want to do something about it. In other words - when it is too late.
    Is anyone out there saying we don't require a change in the law?
    Is anyone out there saying that it is 'ces't la vie'?
    Is anyone saying that fundamentally, the status quo is fine, there's nothing one can do about it?
    We cannot just sit back and let the metaphorical and real steamroller roll over us: Do something.
    All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Firstly, the change in attitude towards drink driving was brought about by much harsher laws.
    Erm no it wasn't.

    To the mindless few who often make all our lives a misery, implementing a change in attitude is totally insufficient and inadequate.
    "A complete change in th English legal system" ?!
    What ? Take the recent example of the death of Anthony Ward in Reading. What Mr Lawson had implied, is that the judicial process was not even carried out properly. (Type in Reading Chronicle - thay have a website, follow the links and read what he has to say on the matter).
    We do not have to change the legal system, we have to guarantee fair and reasonable attention to incidents involving death or injury.
    I agree we do not need to change the whole English Legal System, but you are proposing we do. You want to move from an adversarial position to an inquisitorial system. That is a total change in the whole legal system

    You propose that the courts control the investigative part of the case. That changes completely the role of all parties in the system.

    You obviously do not understand what you are proposing

    In the same way that you not understand that calling on people to shoot Clarkson damages the standing of cyclists

    What I would like is that the driver involved to have his/her license removed until a proper investigation has taken place.
    Ahhh guilty until proven innocent

    right you go to prison untilyou prove to me you did not steal a sweet from the pick & mix counter- sounds fair does it? No- so why are you calling for guilty until i8nnocent.

    Imagine the fun your neighbour who hates you can have by saying to police you knocked him off his bike. Thats it your licence suspended just as you are setting off to go to that holiday ogf a lifetime. There was no accident, but your licence is sus[pended until you prove you did not cause the accident.

    Fair?

    What we actually need to do is deploy a judicial process that actually looks at the whole case and then for a court to decide on whether charges are to be levvied.
    Ahhh so you are caling for a complete change in the whole basis of the EnglishLegal System- and were lying when you said earlier you weren't


    Perhaps you should stick to talking about things you understand instead of contradicting yourself.
    At the moment, just as SteppenHerring has mentioned, it is not a change in the law so much as a guarantee of implementation. Personally, I would rather a change in the law, because proper implementation relies on opinion and attitude, which unfortunatly is not enough.

    You have not got a clue what you are talking about.


    Yes, we all want to see safety on the roads improved, but calling on people to shoot others and introducing unspecified new laws ( that are not needed and add nothing) is not the way to change things


    How about campaigning against gun crime
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  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    Before you read this (spen666). 'Shoot Clarkson' is a metaphor against the bigotry and callousness evoked by idiots like Clarkson. Clarkson sums up all the idiots. I have no intention of shooting him (though I would like to). Its simply a banner: a title - it got your attention did'nt it?

    'Campaign to feed the world', 'fighting obesity' - fuc4 off. These are totally unconstructive comments from someone who is obviuosly too apathetic and too cycnical to add any weight to the problem of deaths and injury to cyclists.

    First of all I do not believe we can bring about a change in attitude - how?

    Therefore without a change in attitude you are left with little alternative and we need to change the law or even the procedure following serious injury or death.

    To say that I do not know what law to change is both rather simplistic and it is not taking in to consideration many points that have been raised thus far.
    Actually isolating a law that needs to be changed is very dificult. Often, in these cases, the law is rarely executed properly.

    The suggestion given by Adrian Lawson, press secretary of Reading Cycle club following the tragic death of Anthony Ward was that what needs to happen is for a court to assess whether or not a case of gross negligence, reckless driving (existing laws) could or should be brought against a driver involved in one of these incidents.
    The court can balance up the evidence and make a decision. If this was mandatory in every case where there was seriuos injury or death at least then a prosecuting lawyer could have their say as well as the lawyer for the defence.

    This would not be a change in the law per say but a guarantee that at least judicial time would be given to listen to any arguments that would possibly lead to prosecution.
    The driver can defend himself and the injured party (ies)/relatives could place the argument for a prosecution.
    After this point in the process, if a case is going to proceed, there will be time for both parties to gather as much information and witnesses perhaps as possible before a trial.
    The benefits to us in what I am now calling the Fair Guarantee will in itself be disuasive.
    In the case of seriuos injury or death, I believe that a driver should have his/her license taken away immediatly until it can (or sometimes cannot) be proven that there is any negligence. Again, another disuasive factor.
    Please look at the website for the Reading Chronicle - type in Adrian Lawson in the search bar and read the article. It is compelling and his ideas have a lot of common sense.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    I think we have to get some perspective on this, as it is not just cyclists that suffer. Pedestrians, and other road users also suffer from idiot drivers, I do not have any stats other than what I read in the papers, but there has to be harsher penalties for breaking traffic regulations, and much, much better training for those that use the roads.

    Only a change in attitute will do this.

    For example in Germany virtually all peds wait for the green man, it is hammered home to them from a young age, whereas here, people just walk out redgardless of green man, and even if it is a crossing point or not.

    It is the attitute of the people that let this happen. It is not just a problem for cyclists, although on a cycling forum, it is natural that it will be talked about in the interests of cyclists.

    I see it on the roads every day, it is the attitute of a small minority of divers that need to be sorted and changed. I believe that the correct laws are there, just that they need to be enforced better.

    For example a bad traffic violation is only looked into by the Police if something happens ot there are multiple winesses, I was nearly knocked down my a car doing 70 in a 30 zone while it went through red lights, but I could have been a kid crossing the road or a motorbike pulling out, but nothing will be done. No witnesses, my word against his, no case.

    I do not think we should have guilty till proven innocent as that opens up another can of worms.

    More speed camera's and implementation of the penatlies and laws that are in place should be the starting point.

    Oh and shooting Clarkston might help...
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • There was clear evidence in the Maynard case but the CPS decided there was not enough to secure a likely conviction. It sets a threshold that cases that it assesses have to reach before they weill take them forward to court. The argument being put forward by the Reading CC appears to be that it should not be for the CPS to decide if the threshold has been met in cases of death or serious injury but for a jury to hear the evidence and decide for itself. Appears reasonable to me. Yes ti will add expense but an increase in convictions for dangerous driving would reduce the number of people driving dangerously. The court costs would easily be met by savings from fire, police, ambulance, NHS, insurance etc from a reduction in road accidents.

    Also, it would be perfectly possible to remove a licence from someone while a case of dangerous driving was under investigation. Driving is not a right - it is a privige. When air pilots, train drivers and a lot of professional drivers are suspected of dangeroous behaviour they are suspended while the matter is investigated. Lots of people in jobs get suspended while cases against them are investigated. That is perfectly sensisble if they are accused of something serious - and dangerous driving is serious.
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    There was clear evidence in the Maynard case but the CPS decided there was not enough to secure a likely conviction. It sets a threshold that cases that it assesses have to reach before they weill take them forward to court. The argument being put forward by the Reading CC appears to be that it should not be for the CPS to decide if the threshold has been met in cases of death or serious injury but for a jury to hear the evidence and decide for itself. Appears reasonable to me. Yes ti will add expense but an increase in convictions for dangerous driving would reduce the number of people driving dangerously. The court costs would easily be met by savings from fire, police, ambulance, NHS, insurance etc from a reduction in road accidents.

    Also, it would be perfectly possible to remove a licence from someone while a case of dangerous driving was under investigation. Driving is not a right - it is a privige. When air pilots, train drivers and a lot of professional drivers are suspected of dangeroous behaviour they are suspended while the matter is investigated. Lots of people in jobs get suspended while cases against them are investigated. That is perfectly sensisble if they are accused of something serious - and dangerous driving is serious.



    Firstly if EVERY allegation has to be brought before the court for the court to decide even if the case is censored , the delay in getting cases heard will be astronomical. It is already over 12 months to get a trial date at Snaresbrook Crown Court

    Secondly- who is going to fund all these extra cases? You? The person making the accusation? Now consider that the majoprity of these additional cases will fail ( that is why the CPS don't take them on), who is going to pay the defendants costs when he is acquitted? You've just increased the rate of income tax by another 10p in the £. You have no idea re costs if you think your proposal will do anything than increase the costs of beringing every case to trial.

    Thirdly- your proposal is simply a charter for people with grudges to make false accusations. Even if cleared people will have lost their jobs, livelihoods homes etc waiting for cases to be investigated and come to trial. Completely innocent people- who have done nothing at all- perhaps have not even used their car on the day the accuser alleges.

    Fourthly -Never mind the vindictive person, what about the witnwess who makes a mistake- gets one character wrong in reg plate and someone who was elsewhere in the country at the time of the incident loses their licence pending a trial. It has to happen that way as its only the court who can decide if the allegation is true according to you.


    whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Oh that's right- because in one case where the barrack room lawyer with a bee in their bonnet about a case says the whole legal system must change and we mustt punish innocent people

    Try turning your proposal round- why not make it similar for cyclists when allegationshowever spuious are made against them by motorists or pedestrians? How about confiscating bikes and giving bail conditions to prevent people cycling pending trial of every allegation by motorists. You think your local cyclist hating motrorist wont make allegations against you falsely if this was a law.

    Why not if it is to be the case for motorists.

    BTW- I suspect the lawyers in the CPS will know far more about the prospect of conviction in that case than Reading CC members.

    If this case was so certain of convition, then why did Reading CC or its mermbers not commence a private prosecution - as is their right in law?
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Before you read this (spen666). 'Shoot Clarkson' is a metaphor against the bigotry and callousness evoked by idiots like Clarkson. Clarkson sums up all the idiots. I have no intention of shooting him (though I would like to). Its simply a banner: a title - it got your attention did'nt it?


    Shoot Clarkson is all the media and other reading this will see and whatever you intend by your rather stupid and puerile campaign name will be lost.

    All people will see is cyclists calling for the shooting of a TV personality.

    Its neither big nor clever- its very damaging to the image of cyclists.

    You are portraying cyclists as extremists
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    ...

    'Campaign to feed the world', 'fighting obesity' - fuc4 off. These are totally unconstructive comments from someone who is obviuosly too apathetic and too cycnical to add any weight to the problem of deaths and injury to cyclists.
    ....


    What are you on?

    Who has mentioned any of this?

    Certainly not m, sop why are you addressing such nonsense to me?
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Before you read this (spen666). 'Shoot Clarkson' is a metaphor against the bigotry and callousness evoked by idiots like Clarkson. Clarkson sums up all the idiots. I have no intention of shooting him (though I would like to). Its simply a banner: a title - it got your attention did'nt it?

    'Campaign to feed the world', 'fighting obesity' - fuc4 off. These are totally unconstructive comments from someone who is obviuosly too apathetic and too cycnical to add any weight to the problem of deaths and injury to cyclists.

    First of all I do not believe we can bring about a change in attitude - how?

    Therefore without a change in attitude you are left with little alternative and we need to change the law or even the procedure following serious injury or death.

    To say that I do not know what law to change is both rather simplistic and it is not taking in to consideration many points that have been raised thus far.
    Actually isolating a law that needs to be changed is very dificult. Often, in these cases, the law is rarely executed properly.
    Right then what law do you want to change- simple question isn't it ?

    You need to make up your mind because you say you cannot change attitudes- so what is the point of changing the law if peoples attitudes are not going to change

    Bit pointless isn't it?

    Without changes in attitude no new law is going to help


    The suggestion given by Adrian Lawson, press secretary of Reading Cycle club following the tragic death of Anthony Ward was that what needs to happen is for a court to assess whether or not a case of gross negligence, reckless driving (existing laws) could or should be brought against a driver involved in one of these incidents.
    The court can balance up the evidence and make a decision. If this was mandatory in every case where there was seriuos injury or death at least then a prosecuting lawyer could have their say as well as the lawyer for the defence.
    So how many billions of pounds is this going to cost- you will have to completely change the whole legal system from the top to the bottom to intrioduce this- then you will be introducing thousands of extra court cases every year- adding yet more cost and years of delay.

    It is clear that you do not have the slightest clue about the constitution of the United Kingdom as what you want to do is rewrite it


    Soundbite quotes from the Reading CC Press officer may sound good to you, but they are about as sensible in practice and realistic as shooting every motorist who speeds

    What is being proposed may sound simple to you, but it is fundamentally changing the Constitution and legal system of the country.

    This would not be a change in the law per say but a guarantee that at least judicial time would be given to listen to any arguments that would possibly lead to prosecution.
    And are you going to pay for all these futile and piointless cases to be brought to court and then the legal costs of the defendant when acqwuitted? Somebody has to pay for it
    The driver can defend himself and the injured party (ies)/relatives could place the argument for a prosecution.
    Given what you go onto say after this point, this will be a trial beforwe a trial- very sensible idea- not
    After this point in the process, if a case is going to proceed, there will be time for both parties to gather as much information and witnesses perhaps as possible before a trial.
    The benefits to us in what I am now calling the Fair Guarantee will in itself be disuasive.
    Fair guarantee? of what exactly- of a trial before a trial? Of a huge waste of public money on pointless court hearings
    In the case of seriuos injury or death, I believe that a driver should have his/her license taken away immediatly until it can (or sometimes cannot) be proven that there is any negligence. Again, another disuasive factor.
    Erm Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights - perhaps might blow that out of the water

    Remember the innocent until proven guilty

    not innocent expcept for motorists because some cyclist with a bee in his bonnet wants you to be guilty until ptroven inncocent - except of course there is no such verdict of innocence in English Law- so that means you never get your licence back- even if you have not done anything wrong.
    Please look at the website for the Reading Chronicle - type in Adrian Lawson in the search bar and read the article. It is compelling and his ideas have a lot of common sense.

    Itsa about as compelling as aturkey voting for Christmas

    Your ideas are stupid, expensive and would be unlawfull as they offend Article 6 of the ECHR
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Article 6 reads as follows.

    “ 1.In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly by the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
    2.
    Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

    3.Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

    (a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
    (b) to have adequate time and the facilities for the preparation of his defence;
    (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
    (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
    (e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
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  • Pinarello001 - you have my sympathies - trying to find a way of making life safer for a group of individuals but coming up against someone with nothing constructive to say.

    I find it hard to see how anyone who cycles on our roads regularly can fail to feel under threat from time to time from drivers who are simply impatient or ignorant of how to drive around cyclists, and who would not welcome some change in the law that gave them greater legal protection. It's tempting to put something inflammatory in here, but I've got a life to live, and a bike to ride, rather than spending all my time on here.

    It was my first visit to Campaign for a long while. I've been reminded why that is the case.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,588
    Wallace 1492 - if you had read the very first thread, I had mentioned other road users as well. Yes, I would like to bring these people into the equation.

    Spen 666:

    I said that the Fair Guarantee (mandatory case before a judge) would only be carried out in the event of serious injury or death which is not going to lead to silly accusations as it is the rare but unfortunate accidents that will be investigated, not every tom censored and harry on the grudge campaign.

    As was also mentioned, in proffesional driving capacities a similar process to this yakes place.
    Are you or are you not interested in trying to make the roads safer spen666 - yes or no?
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Wallace 1492 - if you had read the very first thread, I had mentioned other road users as well. Yes, I would like to bring these people into the equation.

    Spen 666:

    I said that the Fair Guarantee (mandatory case before a judge) would only be carried out in the event of serious injury or death which is not going to lead to silly accusations as it is the rare but unfortunate accidents that will be investigated, not every tom censored and harry on the grudge campaign.

    As was also mentioned, in proffesional driving capacities a similar process to this yakes place.
    Are you or are you not interested in trying to make the roads safer spen666 - yes or no?

    I am interested in making life safer and fairer to everyone- not just the roads or selective groups of road users.

    I also understand the legal and constitutional as well as evidential issues involved in this situation.

    I unlike you and the press officer at Reading CC have actually seen and read all the evidence in the Reading case you refer to. The decision of the ~CPS was indeed correct in law. Changing the whole of the constitution to accomodate your scheme would not turn an unwinnable case into a winnable case. It would simple prolong the case at huge expense and court, CPs, defence, police and the defendants time to achieve the same result.
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    PS I note you still seem to think it appropriate top tell the world at large that cyclists should shoot people.

    A great image to set

    no wonder some others think cyclists are a sub species when they see idiots calling ( whether ironically or not) for cyclists to shoot people
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