Thank you Prince Philip!

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Comments

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I can't speak for Canada, but here (NZ) the word accidenthas been replaced by crash. This is a deliberate policy by the Road Transport Authority and the Police to highlight that crashes are caused by human error and are preventable.

    I can understand the thinking behind it, but I don't know if it has yet made any difference, or if it will.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    J.L.Austin's example illustrates the meaning of accident and mistake:
    Austin and Grice both own donkeys in the same field. Austin's donkey is old and needs to be put down, so Austin sets out with his gun. He later shows up on Grice's door, saying either:
    Sorry, I shot your donkey by mistake, or, Sorry, I shot your donkey by accident.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    edited February 11
    So @Huia, if a cow jumps out of a field onto a moving vehicle (yes, this really happened - although not to me) and causes it to crash into another vehicle, is that a crash or an accident?

    And if it was a crash, does that mean no accident occurred, or if it was an accident does that mean no crash occurred?

    (Parent here, who has often explained to children that just because something was an accident it doesn’t mean that no one was at fault)
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited February 11
    I think in Britain the term is now "Road Traffic Collision".

    In a sense, one could say that the removal of any driver, however careful, from the road reduces the risk of an accident.

    FWIW, some may not have seen this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZEFpTuK6Ks
  • People prefer the word "accident" because it absolves the driver(s) of responsibility. The media cover their own asses and reinforce this attitude with headlines such as "Pickup truck veers off road and strikes pedestrian" or "SUV crossed centre line and collided head-on with semi" as if the vehicles were autonomously crashing themselves.

    Re: BroJames' cow collision - watching for wildlife is part of being an alert driver, at least in my part of the world. If a moose leapt out of the woods directly by the roadside, one could argue the crash was unavoidable. Cows, however, generally do not reside in forests, and drivers should habitually keep an eye on the sides of the road as well.

  • The cow in question jumped over a hedge at the top of a bank and came crashing down on top of a car which was driving along a sunken lane. It could not have been seen by the driver before it came over the hedge.
  • I return to my point that perfect performance is not humanly possible. So for every 1000 miles you will make x errors, even if you are resting regularly, trying to pay attention and not drunk. Over 100,000 miles of driving that is many errors. Everyone will do this, some people will make more errors if they are negligent. Only a small proportion of these errors will lead to crashes and mostly which do, and therefore which drivers you prosecute, will be substantially a matter of chance.

    Mistake does not equal negligence.

    Any accident, in any sphere of life is likely to involve a mistake or misjudgement - intentionality is important, because what you intend to do is what is in your control and therefore can be effected by law and enforcement of law.

    If you drive after drinking, that is something you did intentionally, if you drive while operating your phone with one hand that is something you did intentionally - penalising that makes sense. If you miss the speed limit by 2 miles an hour that is probably unintentional, if you miss by 20 it’s not.
  • MVC = motor vehicle collision is the common term re insurance and post-crash rehab for injuries in Canada.

    There is a program called Vision Zero which is being implemented or given lip service in various places. It emphasizes the built roadway environment and the nature of interactions of various road users (peds, cyclists, drivers). Sometimes things are "defective by design", such that things like traffic lights and speed cameras are required to account for engineering errors. We can accept that some crashes may be due to the faulty design, but we haven't got this with the blinded-by-the-light-Phil.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Actually, that section of road is badly designed. It was discussed recently at the local council meeting for suggestions in improving the road design - that was mentioned upthread.

    Lots of UK roads are badly designed for cars. Many were originally footpaths and cart tracks that have gradually, over the years, been tarmacked and become major roads. There are ongoing road improvements everywhere as the road network, for the most part, was not designed, it grew like Topsy.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    From the BBC news -

    “The Duke of Edinburgh will not face prosecution over his road crash near the Sandringham estate, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
    The 97-year-old duke voluntarily give up his driving licence after his Land Rover Freelander collided with another vehicle last month.
    He later apologised to the occupants of the other car - two women and a baby.
    The CPS says it decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute the duke.”

    I disagree.

    It would be very interesting in that sense of the word. As per my OP, it would give us something other than Brexshit to talk about!
  • From a legal point of view it makes sense (although there might be insurance implications for the other driver as far as "fault" is concerned). Why prosecute someone who's not going to be on the road anyway?

    However from the moral and PR perspectives it will only endorse the popular view that "toffs" are above the law. So to me there is legitimate public interest in this case, as prosecution would strengthen peoples' faith in the law.
  • But it would be strikingly unfair when those who are regularly involved with the elderly and driving issues know that this sort of scenario is not at all uncommon.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    It took a while but he’s done it now.

    I hope though that this action will not be considered by the Police as any alternative to rightful prosecution. You shouldn't be able to wriggle out of it that way.

    Well sorry, but that is what has happened - just the same as with many non-royal elderly drivers who have found themselves in similar circumstances. The CPO consider usually it not in the public interest to prosecute.

    I agree - he has admitted responsibility, handed in his licence, had a "trial by media" - what else should we expect? Leave him alone!
  • However from the moral and PR perspectives it will only endorse the popular view that "toffs" are above the law.

    Only because every other elderly person who voluntarily surrenders their license rather than face prosecution goes unreported.
  • Well, that is true.
  • BTW, I just checked the news item, and I see that another car was involved.

    TBTG, no serious injuries were sustained, though the driver and passenger in the other car received (respectively) cuts and a broken wrist (OUCH!!). A baby in the car was uninjured, again TBTG.

    How many people can say, "Prince Philip broke my wrist"? That must compensate at least a little for the pain.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    It took a while but he’s done it now.
    I agree - he has admitted responsibility, handed in his licence, had a "trial by media" - what else should we expect? Leave him alone!
    Why should we leave him alone? Viewed from another POV …. he's found a way of getting off a "due care and attention" charge alongside a fine for driving without a seat belt. A multiple offender then.

    I don't think we should allow anyone to wriggle off on account of age and influence. Not in the public interest - let the public decide with a Jury.
  • I knew he wouldn't face any consequences. Who is surprised? Not me.

    AFF
  • He’s a 97 year old male, he’d probably die before it got anywhere near a court.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    From a legal point of view it makes sense (although there might be insurance implications for the other driver as far as "fault" is concerned). Why prosecute someone who's not going to be on the road anyway?

    However from the moral and PR perspectives it will only endorse the popular view that "toffs" are above the law. So to me there is legitimate public interest in this case, as prosecution would strengthen peoples' faith in the law.

    It's what would happen to any other 97 year old, whether from a palace or a Housing Commission flat.
  • ExclamationMarkExclamationMark Shipmate
    edited February 15
    So he escapes the whole concept of restorative justice by what is effectively an empty gesture? Unlike most other 97 year olds it wont affect him that much -- someone else is driving him around. Try getting alternative free transport if you are any other 97 y/o in a housing association flat.

    He's got plenty of other people to move him around: others haven't. Zero impact on him
  • He's avoiding justice by being old. Just like other old people do. This is crap, whatever their financial circumstances.

    But the so-called justice that is delivered on people of any age who put lives at risk by driving badly is pretty lenient and ineffective. This is also crap.
  • I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity. IME most people accept what's coming - in Philips case it was 2 offences, one immediately after the other (very avoidable) which rather looks like a 2 fingered salute to everyone.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.….

    Don't they all say that?
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.….

    Don't they all say that?
    If you knew me irl you'd know that I neither shirk my responsibilities nor do I take short cuts. It's called integrity.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.

    Ad if you're 97 and committed these offences, you'd get exactly the same treatment.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.

    Ad if you're 97 and committed these offences, you'd get exactly the same treatment.

    Reverses ageism? If you follow that kind of course any of us would be able to surrender our licences and avoid any prosecution for car offences
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    At age 97 yes. I'll confirm it when I reach that.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.….

    Don't they all say that?
    If you knew me irl you'd know that I neither shirk my responsibilities nor do I take short cuts. It's called integrity.

    "Yes, we've heard it all before, sir...."
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.

    Ad if you're 97 and committed these offences, you'd get exactly the same treatment.

    Reverses ageism? If you follow that kind of course any of us would be able to surrender our licences and avoid any prosecution for car offences
    Actually I suspect it is a pragmatic CPS decision in those sort of cases about whether a prosecution is in the public interest. A major point of prosecution in that kind of case is to teach the offender a lesson so that they will not repeat the behaviour, and a common outcome for more serious offences is loss of licence. (But in a prosecution for driving without due care and attention, which is the most that was likely to succeed here, loss of licence is far from guaranteed.)

    Where someone has voluntarily surrendered their licence and by reason of age is likely neither to seek or obtain a new one, then most of the public interest point of prosecution has gone. The value then of going to the public expense (even in a magistrates’ court) of trying a very elderly defendant is not seen as great enough to justify the expense.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.

    Ad if you're 97 and committed these offences, you'd get exactly the same treatment.

    Reverses ageism? If you follow that kind of course any of us would be able to surrender our licences and avoid any prosecution for car offences
    Where someone has voluntarily surrendered their licence and by reason of age is likely neither to seek or obtain a new one, then most of the public interest point of prosecution has gone. The value then of going to the public expense (even in a magistrates’ court) of trying a very elderly defendant is not seen as great enough to justify the expense.
    Costs can always be recovered as they are in most cases. The issue with Philip is that there are multiple offences on succeeding days


  • Yes. Costs can be recovered, but they represent a fraction of the real cost, which is not just about the costs of prosecution, but about the whole cost of staffing and running the court itself. And then there is the opportunity cost in a court system which is already overloaded, which results in balancing the value of proceeding with one case against the value of proceeding with another.

    It’s over 35 years since I was advising defendants about this sort of case, and I’ve not had the benefit of seeing witness statements, plans, photographs etc., but if I were advising an elderly client in these circumstances, I’d be urging them to plead guilty by post with a strong letter in mitigation (very sorry, difficult junction on dangerous road, unsighted by the sun, momentary error of judgment, clear driving record). That way I’d hope they would get off with a fine and points on their licence, but I’d be warning them that there was power to disqualify, and that the court might wish to do that in view of their age.

    If the court wrote back that it was considering disqualification, and asking them to attend, and the driver was determined to try and keep their licence, then I’d be suggesting that they get themselves assessed medically, and for safety to drive before the day of the hearing. I’m out of touch about the balance of probabilities on this, but I think it’s very possible that the court would not disqualify.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.

    Ad if you're 97 and committed these offences, you'd get exactly the same treatment.

    Reverses ageism? If you follow that kind of course any of us would be able to surrender our licences and avoid any prosecution for car offences
    Where someone has voluntarily surrendered their licence and by reason of age is likely neither to seek or obtain a new one, then most of the public interest point of prosecution has gone. The value then of going to the public expense (even in a magistrates’ court) of trying a very elderly defendant is not seen as great enough to justify the expense.
    Costs can always be recovered as they are in most cases. The issue with Philip is that there are multiple offences on succeeding days


    It is not a case of multiple offences - the second offence has nothing whatsoever to do with the first.
  • The normal way of prosecuting for a seatbelt offence, if it is decided to do that rather than warn a driver, would be by a £100 fixed penalty notice - it simply wouldn’t be referred to, or regarded as relevant in relation to the careless driving charge from an earlier occasion.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    The normal way of prosecuting for a seatbelt offence, if it is decided to do that rather than warn a driver, would be by a £100 fixed penalty notice - it simply wouldn’t be referred to, or regarded as relevant in relation to the careless driving charge from an earlier occasion.

    No bit it does demonstrate a carelessness if not contempt
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    I suppose if some of these zealots find themselves in a similar situation (which they might) it will be a different story.

    Not me. I'll take what comes to me in the interests of fairness, justice and equity.

    Ad if you're 97 and committed these offences, you'd get exactly the same treatment.

    Reverses ageism? If you follow that kind of course any of us would be able to surrender our licences and avoid any prosecution for car offences
    Where someone has voluntarily surrendered their licence and by reason of age is likely neither to seek or obtain a new one, then most of the public interest point of prosecution has gone. The value then of going to the public expense (even in a magistrates’ court) of trying a very elderly defendant is not seen as great enough to justify the expense.
    Costs can always be recovered as they are in most cases. The issue with Philip is that there are multiple offences on succeeding days


    It is not a case of multiple offences - the second offence has nothing whatsoever to do with the first.
    I agree it doesn't. But it is an example of more than one offence, the seconds of which occurred quickly after the first when he didn't have to drive but chose not to and also decided not to wear a seatbelt.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Yes. Costs can be recovered, but they represent a fraction of the real cost, which is not just about the costs of prosecution, but about the whole cost of staffing and running the court itself. And then there is the opportunity cost in a court system which is already overloaded, which results in balancing the value of proceeding with one case against the value of proceeding with another.

    It’s over 35 years since I was advising defendants about this sort of case, and I’ve not had the benefit of seeing witness statements, plans, photographs etc., but if I were advising an elderly client in these circumstances, I’d be urging them to plead guilty by post with a strong letter in mitigation (very sorry, difficult junction on dangerous road, unsighted by the sun, momentary error of judgment, clear driving record). That way I’d hope they would get off with a fine and points on their licence, but I’d be warning them that there was power to disqualify, and that the court might wish to do that in view of their age.

    If the court wrote back that it was considering disqualification, and asking them to attend, and the driver was determined to try and keep their licence, then I’d be suggesting that they get themselves assessed medically, and for safety to drive before the day of the hearing. I’m out of touch about the balance of probabilities on this, but I think it’s very possible that the court would not disqualify.

    Base the costs (as is usual) on disposable income.

    If I were serving as a magistrate I'd neither ask nor invite but compel attendance. That is what happens to everyone else including those who clearly are mentally unaware of the issues involved (yes I have immediate and current experience of the same).
  • I think the (legally qualified) Clerk to the Justices, or a Stipendiary magistrate would take a very firm line against a prosecutor trying to make use of a subsequent failure to wear a seatbelt either to establish guilt or to increase the penalty for an earlier careless driving event.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    J.L.Austin's example illustrates the meaning of accident and mistake:
    Austin and Grice both own donkeys in the same field. Austin's donkey is old and needs to be put down, so Austin sets out with his gun. He later shows up on Grice's door, saying either:
    Sorry, I shot your donkey by mistake, or, Sorry, I shot your donkey by accident.

    Meaning that if he aimed at the wrong donkey, that was a mistake (a chosen action later regretted). But if he aimed at the right donkey and hit the wrong one, that was an accident (an unintended consequence) ?
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    As a hypothesis - someone who is shaken from, eg falling off a bicycle, is encouraged to get back on as soon as possible to ensure they don't lose confidence in cycling at all. Could it be possible that Prince Phillip drove so soon after the accident to see if he still had the confidence to drive?

    Secondly, if you were in a car that rolled, wearing a seatbelt, you will have some spectacular bruises across your waist and shoulders. It is likely that it would be too painful to put a seatbelt over that bruising unless it was totally necessary - so not on the private roads you are mostly driving on to see if you still have the confidence to drive.

    It could be that Prince Phillip then concluded he didn't have the confidence to drive himself safely, so gave up his licence.
  • You’re missing the point I was attempting to make on costs. An order can be made for prosecution costs which would usually be under £2000 for a straightforward case, less if undefended. No order can be made for the costs of the court itself.
  • edited February 16
    As a hypothesis - someone who is shaken from, eg falling off a bicycle, is encouraged to get back on as soon as possible to ensure they don't lose confidence in cycling at all. Could it be possible that Prince Phillip drove so soon after the accident to see if he still had the confidence to drive?

    Secondly, if you were in a car that rolled, wearing a seatbelt, you will have some spectacular bruises across your waist and shoulders. It is likely that it would be too painful to put a seatbelt over that bruising unless it was totally necessary - so not on the private roads you are mostly driving on to see if you still have the confidence to drive.

    It could be that Prince Phillip then concluded he didn't have the confidence to drive himself safely, so gave up his licence.

    That is ridiculous. And if this is how it unfolded, reprehensible and wrongly done. Or perhaps regulations and proper driving anxiety post crash is not provided there. Here it means a driving instructor is hired who works with a psychologist and/or occupational therapist to rehearse in an office anxiety control and access mental control issues like focus and attention. Then the driver gets into a car with the instructor and there's therapist ride along. They also have full access to all the medical staff in the safe driving program. Some of these programs last 6 weeks.

    In addition, all health care providers must by law report any medical concerns to the motor licencing authority. Parallel to the compulsion to report child abuse. Because it's that serious.

    As an at fault driver, Philip would pay a $800 insurance penalty for vehicle damage and receive -20 points on his licence which would cost an additional fee to retain the driving licence. If he had -22 points he would have to pay for and take a safe driving course (meaning another incident within three years). Realizing that he's rich and the $1500 or so world be no problem. But perhaps the medical people reported him?
  • Age frequently comes into the equation in relation to other, far more serious, matters. I know of a case of suspected murder of his wife by a man over 80 which was not pursued because of the public interest issue.
  • As an at fault driver, Philip would pay a $800 insurance penalty for vehicle damage and receive -20 points on his licence which would cost an additional fee to retain the driving licence. If he had -22 points he would have to pay for and take a safe driving course (meaning another incident within three years). Realizing that he's rich and the $1500 or so world be no problem. But perhaps the medical people reported him?
    What happens in your jurisdiction between the time of a crash and a decision about who is/are the at fault drivers?

    Although we are all treating Philip as the at fault driver, no legal determination has been made.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    As an at fault driver, Philip would pay a $800 insurance penalty for vehicle damage and receive -20 points on his licence which would cost an additional fee to retain the driving licence. If he had -22 points he would have to pay for and take a safe driving course (meaning another incident within three years). Realizing that he's rich and the $1500 or so world be no problem. But perhaps the medical people reported him?
    What happens in your jurisdiction between the time of a crash and a decision about who is/are the at fault drivers?

    Although we are all treating Philip as the at fault driver, no legal determination has been made.

    The very fact that the CPS considered him and him alone suggests the Police believed there was a potential case to answer. Given the issues and the level of proof I'd suggest they must have had good reason for moving it on. If there's little chance/no fault it would be dealt with at Traffic Inspector level
  • The prince had given up his licence. What penalty could the court be realistically expected to impose on a 97-year-old first offender (as far as I know)? A fine would be mainingless to someone in his position. A prosecution would have been pointless. (I speak as a former prosector. 'The public interest' does not mean 'what the public is interested in reading about in the media'.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    According to this article, arguing that the CPS were correct, first offence since a speeding offence in 1947
  • BroJames wrote: »
    As an at fault driver, Philip would pay a $800 insurance penalty for vehicle damage and receive -20 points on his licence which would cost an additional fee to retain the driving licence. If he had -22 points he would have to pay for and take a safe driving course (meaning another incident within three years). Realizing that he's rich and the $1500 or so world be no problem. But perhaps the medical people reported him?
    What happens in your jurisdiction between the time of a crash and a decision about who is/are the at fault drivers?

    Although we are all treating Philip as the at fault driver, no legal determination has been made.

    There's two kinds of law involved here. The first decision is empowered by an act of the legislature which empowers the public insurance company to determine fault. There is only one auto insurance company here, which also issues driving licences and car licences. The insurance adjuster simply gathers the info about what happened, writes up an administrative decision, it is approved by the supervisor and is announced to the people involved. It usually takes 1-4 days in our experience. An assessment of the administrative penalties that the at fault person must pay to continue driving is included. It dispenses with the lawyers entirely. If a person is unhappy with the assessment, they may appeal through various steps, ultimately a judge may review but this is pretty rare. Most people who're unhappy go through a public review panel instead, which is more a mediated settlement, and lawyers involved only to make sure nothing illegal occurs. Like workers' compensation, you may not go to civil court and circumvent it, with one exception, which is for personal injury and you decided in advance that you did not want to use the no-fault injury system. Which is really a stupid idea, but some very low percent do that. I prefer admin review myself: my preference is allow lawyers to be present but they are not allowed to talk, including the panel's lawyer, and we proceed with an inquiry based process instead.

    The second type of law is governed by a traffic safety act which sets out the regulations which someone may be cited as violating. This can also be criminal in some cases, e.g., dangerous driving, drunk driving. Totally separated from the government insurance company.

    I'd suspect that Philip would be found to be at fault by the insurance adjuster. Political interference isn't tolerated at all. We're had some pretty high falutin people found at fault, and they all get treated the same, e.g., provincial cabinet ministers, senior police officials.
  • Members of the royal family have been taken to court for driving offences before, I do believe the cps is treating him much as they would A non-celebrity.
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