Share the Road

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  • In assessing GBH and/or ABH there is a consideration as to the extent of the injury caused, only. If the injured person ameliorates the situation the aggressor gets a lighter sentence, even if it could have been worse, (she says, with irritation).
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I think the point is also that in the event of future incidents, and for purposes of disclosure of convictions, it needs to be made clear that one is dealing with a violent thug, not a rubbish driver.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think that while the cyclist is clearly vulnerable in relation to the driver, he was not vulnerable in the sense of being (e.g.) elderly or disabled, which is I think, what the law intends.

    I'd still argue it in court.
    Also I don’t think the court would find this was premeditation in the way that, say, lying in wait for him the next day would have been.

    He literally drove down the road, turned around, and drove back to find the cyclist and run him over. This wasn't a reaction. This was an action, premeditated and deliberate.
    Life disqualification is not AFAICT an available sentence, although an extended retest to obtain a new licence again should have been (maybe was) required.

    If you google 'lifetime driving ban uk', you see that in rare cases, the courts can impose a lifetime ban. Normally this is at the end of a horrendously long series of driving offences. I don't know whether there's a deterrent effect to be had in slapping them down more regularly, but I'd be willing to give it a punt.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I thin @Alan Cresswell when you get somebody doing something like firing a gun at a person, you’re starting to get into an area where the circumstances might enable a jury to infer intent to kill or to cause gbh.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I think a two ton vehicle deliberately aimed at a person on a bike infers intent to kill or cause gbh.
  • edited February 11
    But, driving a ton or more of metal at someone, at speeds highly likely to cause death or serious injury, isn't a circumstance which might enable a jury to infer intent to kill or to cause gbh?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Lyda wrote: »
    I think a two ton vehicle deliberately aimed at a person on a bike infers intent to kill or cause gbh.

    It does, but attempted murder requires a specific intent to kill. Not to severely injure. Not even with complete indifference to the distinct possibility of killing. You have to specifically intend to kill.

    Intent to kill or cause GBH, even with intent to endanger life isn't enough. You have to act with the specific intent that your victim will not come out of it alive.

    It doesn't matter that much. GBH with intent to endanger life carries a possible life sentence, I gather. The problem here is that the guy wasn't charged with it. They never are.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think that while the cyclist is clearly vulnerable in relation to the driver, he was not vulnerable in the sense of being (e.g.) elderly or disabled, which is I think, what the law intends.

    I'd still argue it in court.
    Also I don’t think the court would find this was premeditation in the way that, say, lying in wait for him the next day would have been.

    He literally drove down the road, turned around, and drove back to find the cyclist and run him over. This wasn't a reaction. This was an action, premeditated and deliberate.
    Life disqualification is not AFAICT an available sentence, although an extended retest to obtain a new licence again should have been (maybe was) required.

    If you google 'lifetime driving ban uk', you see that in rare cases, the courts can impose a lifetime ban. Normally this is at the end of a horrendously long series of driving offences. I don't know whether there's a deterrent effect to be had in slapping them down more regularly, but I'd be willing to give it a punt.

    And even if it didn't, it would get some idiots off the road.

    I also hold that people who drive while disqualified should serve the rest of their ban behind bars.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Yes. I see the force of the argument, but using cars to knock people off mopeds is a tactic being used by the Met. It’s controversial because it is dangerous, but I guess there’s rarely if ever intent to kill or to cause GBH. With a car, a defendant might just say, ‘I meant to knock him off his bike and give him a fright.’ Evidence of multiple attempts, or other things might undermine that claim, but I suspect a jury might accept it. I don’t think the same sort of thing could be said about firing a gun at someone.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    BroJames wrote: »
    It’s controversial because it is dangerous

    Kind of my point. It is dangerous. Some senior figures in the force think it's too dangerous. It won't be long before they kill someone, and the practice will be banned.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    It’s controversial because it is dangerous

    Kind of my point. It is dangerous. Some senior figures in the force think it's too dangerous. It won't be long before they kill someone, and the practice will be banned.

    I think it's intended to appeal to the "who cares if some scumbag robbers get killed?" lowest common denominator element. Sort of an English version of Duterte.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited February 12
    I agree it’s dangerous, and because of that someone might get killed (although their chances on a speeding moped might not be much better if a stinger was used).

    All I’m arguing is that it is not too hard to argue that the act was done with a lesser intention than to kill or cause GBH, and since actual GBH was not caused, the slightly lesser charge of GBH without intent wouldn’t stand either.

    In those circumstances the penalties for dangerous driving (though less than GBH) are greater than ABH because they are as severe in terms of sentencing possibilities and include the motoring penalty of removal of licence. (The confiscation of the vehicle as an instrument of crime could have happened in either case.)

    ETA It’s perfectly fair to argue that the law should be changed (and there are arguments either way), but as it stands ISTM that it was sensibly applied.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    ...He literally drove down the road, turned around, and drove back to find the cyclist and run him over. This wasn't a reaction. This was an action, premeditated and deliberate. ...
    Agreed. Mr. Nodder should have had some jail time.


  • I'm guessing from the judge's reasons that the defendant's personal circumstances ("learning difficulties", OCD, etc.) were factors that kept him out of actual jail.

    @BroJames I'm curious: is the 8-month jail sentence mentioned as the basis for 18-month suspended sentence purely theoretical, or could someone actually get 8 months for this kind of offence?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    No. I’m pretty sure someone could get 8 months* and, depending on the circumstances, even longer. (*although there is something of a push against short custodial sentences now as being counterproductive)
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    In California purposefully running someone down with a car is felony assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, you can do up to four years in prison and you lose your driver's license for life. People do get booked for this - here's an example from a few days ago.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    In California purposefully running someone down with a car is felony assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, you can do up to four years in prison and you lose your driver's license for life. People do get booked for this - here's an example from a few days ago.

    It used to be in the UK until the 1920's, but IIRC there was a householder qualification in force for jury service and the kind of people who got hauled up for offences against the person (I think that's the term) were exactly those who would decide their fate. Naturally, they weren't going to send their chums from the golf club, the Masons and the chamber of commerce down, so motoring offences were introduced. After all, it wasn't the driver's fault, it woz the car wot dun it.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I would have thought that it would be proper to look into exactly what his learning difficulties are and whether they affect his driving ability, rather than using them as a defence.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Penny S wrote: »
    I would have thought that it would be proper to look into exactly what his learning difficulties are and whether they affect his driving ability, rather than using them as a defence.
    Yes, that would seem fairly basic.

  • Penny S wrote: »
    I would have thought that it would be proper to look into exactly what his learning difficulties are and whether they affect his driving ability, rather than using them as a defence.

    It's not a defence -- after all, he pled guilty to the offence. I'm not 100% sure what "leaning difficulties" means in UK English, though I'm guessing from the way it was used here that it refers to a broader intellectual deficit and not just some specific disability. The sentencing judge seems to have thought that this and his apparently nontrivial mental health issues would have made him particularly vulnerable in custody. That's not a get out a jail free card, but it's a relevant consideration in choosing between two otherwise appropriate sentences. I would guess that the sentencing judge may also have thought that these factors may have contributed to the commission of the offence, thereby reducing his overall level of culpability compared to an offender who did not have these disabilities. It doesn't excuse, but it can mitigate.

    Sentencing is far from an exact science and reasonable people in different jurisdictions (or even in the same jurisdiction) can have widely divegent views of what offences should attract what punishments. Judging from what @BroJames posted upthread the sentence imposed here appears to have been well within the range of sentences that would be imposed for similar offences (including offences not involving a car) in the U.K.
  • Do you mean:
    Gee your honour, when I was I was in the midst of a road rage caused by my learning problems I chased a guy with my car with intent to harm him. I wouldn't have done that except I am learning disabled.

    Or

    Please have mercy me because if I go to jail my learning disability means others will harm me.

    Or do you mean something else? And don't you have protective custody in the UK?
  • I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.
  • Marsupial wrote: »
    I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.
    That's not it. It's consequences and response equal to the harm caused.

    Here's a short video of what happens when an idiot driver is an idiot. Hit and run. Careless. And bad infrastructure.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    It was almost bloody pedestrians for me last night. Coming back from a club run, I checked as I crossed the side road that neither car coming from behind me wanted to turn left. The first one (not indicating) went straight on. The second one (also not indicating) had to swerve hard to avoid me because I was already half way across the junction. Then had the temerity to beep me, rather than stopping and apologising profusely.

    I would have given chase, but I'd just done 8.5 miles at a fair clip and was knackered...
  • Mr ClingfordMr Clingford Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    ...I would have given chase, but I'd just done 8.5 miles at a fair clip and was knackered...
    :) A splendid example of moasting!
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    The second one (also not indicating) had to swerve hard to avoid me because I was already half way across the junction.

    Come on Doc - you know the blinky orange things aren't for telling other people where you want to go - they're the universal sign for "I'm just popping in to this shop for a few minutes, so it's OK for me to block everyone's access for a while."
  • Or "In case you haven't noticed, I'm turning into this road. Shame you're already crossing it."
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    I would have left a nasty dent in their bonnet. Which they probably would have blamed me for.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.

    If someone uses a car as a deadly weapon not unlike a gun, I sure as hell want him off the street for a while. What is your solution?

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    "Should" being the word...
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Lyda wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.

    If someone uses a car as a deadly weapon not unlike a gun, I sure as hell want him off the street for a while. What is your solution?

    I've forgotten the details of this case, including what the accused actually pled to, but as I recall it was something along the lines of an assault, and certainly not something along the lines of attempt murder. If the Crown were in a position to prove the latter there's no doubt he would be spending significant time as a guest of Her Majesty. Likewise if he were to start to make a habit of this.



  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    "Should" being the word...
    Along with "Should have read the Highway Code and know you had right of way". But, it seems many drivers never bother with such things as reading the Highway Code.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    /Pedant The Highway Code said you have priority, not right of way. /Pedant
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Spike wrote: »
    Twilight wrote: »
    Nicotine has been proven to increase attention and focus on tedious, repetitive tasks. I think that added bit of stimulation and alertness is more than enough trade off to the tiny bit of attention needed to flick the ash. I don't smoke but I'm glad the long haul truckers do.

    That is complete bollocks. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. As it leaves the body smokers get withdrawal symptoms, which is why they get agitated an hour or so after their last cigarette and find it hard to concentrate. This is why nicotine gives the illusion that it adds stimulation & alertness and also acts as a stress reliever. The only reason the lack of alertness and the stress are there in the first place is because a smoker is going through withdrawal.

    No it is not bollocks and there is no illusion Nicotine is very helpful with concentration. Your hypothetical problem of the smoker having withdrawal problems while driving isn't likely to happen very often because addicted smokers rarely run out of cigs. They also usually have ashtrays placed strategically so that they don't need to take their eyes off the road to look for it, their hand knows where it is. As for smokers causing litter, yes some do, just as some drinkers throw their beer bottles out the window. It doesn't mean all drinkers aren't litter bugs.

    Nicotine the work drug.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    You can both be right, although I'd worry that the stimulant effect of nicotine is counteracted by the irregular and disturbed sleep also caused by nicotine.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Marsupial wrote: »
    Lyda wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.

    If someone uses a car as a deadly weapon not unlike a gun, I sure as hell want him off the street for a while. What is your solution?

    I've forgotten the details of this case, including what the accused actually pled to, but as I recall it was something along the lines of an assault, and certainly not something along the lines of attempt murder. If the Crown were in a position to prove the latter there's no doubt he would be spending significant time as a guest of Her Majesty. Likewise if he were to start to make a habit of this.



    Yeah. Better luck next time, buddy. Practice, practice, practice.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    edited May 5
    Twilight wrote: »
    Spike wrote: »
    Twilight wrote: »
    Nicotine has been proven to increase attention and focus on tedious, repetitive tasks. I think that added bit of stimulation and alertness is more than enough trade off to the tiny bit of attention needed to flick the ash. I don't smoke but I'm glad the long haul truckers do.

    That is complete bollocks. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. As it leaves the body smokers get withdrawal symptoms, which is why they get agitated an hour or so after their last cigarette and find it hard to concentrate. This is why nicotine gives the illusion that it adds stimulation & alertness and also acts as a stress reliever. The only reason the lack of alertness and the stress are there in the first place is because a smoker is going through withdrawal.

    No it is not bollocks and there is no illusion Nicotine is very helpful with concentration. Your hypothetical problem of the smoker having withdrawal problems while driving isn't likely to happen very often because addicted smokers rarely run out of cigs. They also usually have ashtrays placed strategically so that they don't need to take their eyes off the road to look for it, their hand knows where it is. As for smokers causing litter, yes some do, just as some drinkers throw their beer bottles out the window. It doesn't mean all drinkers aren't litter bugs.

    Nicotine the work drug.

    Double bollocks.

    That is a research done on only 15 people who are all smokers. To be significant it needs a larger sample size and a control on non smokers. You'd need to be able to prove that nicotine causes an increase in concentration in non smokers to show that Spikes assertion that nicotine gives the illusion that it adds stimulation & alertness and also acts as a stress reliever.

    That link proves two thirds of bugger all. I'm with Spike on this.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Well it's definitely more significant than all your links saying nicotine has no stimulating effects on the brain and it's only an illusion. You might have noticed the article starts out saying "many studies say" and I've seen many of those studies as far back as 1993 when I was researching prior to quitting smoking. Next you'll be saying caffeine doesn't have any stimulating effects, we just think it does if we try to give it up. Maybe you don't think stimulants exist at all?

    Tobacco causes cancer. So almost everything the medical community has ever said about tobacco, and it's components, is negative. The last thing they want to do is indicate to young people that they might do better on a test if they have a cigarette first. I wouldn't either. For one thing nicotine is as addictive as heroin and I wouldn't want anyone to have that first hit. However, the fact remains that nicotine has a stimulating effect on many people's brains.

    If people didn't hate smokers with the slavering prejudice of Puritans against suspected witches it might be possible to discuss this.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    My understanding of nicotine is that in the short-term it is a stimulant but in the longer term it is a depressant. So, if you want to maintain stimulation, you have to chain smoke, or something close to it. That can lead to insufficient sleep and a host of problems.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Experienced smokers unconsciously learn to use it to their own best advantage. Short quick puffs for stimulation, long slow drags to calm themselves. Along with the chemical effects are a number of physical habits that the smoker finds helpful -- for example; something to do with the hands can help with general anxiety, and the oral satisfaction can help with dieting. When I quit smoking I was surprised to find how much I missed having an excuse to leave the party for a few minutes to step out back into the dim quiet.
  • Nicotine being as addictive as heroin is often said. I've never seen anything in a study which compares the two credibly. The mechanisms by which they affect physiology and neurology is rather different. And the social cues and behaviour attached to smoking make it quite quite different.

    Addictions can be very difficult with the combination of physical, psychological and social aspects all reinforcing, depending on the substance or behaviour. I've wondered if driving road rage is an addictive behaviour pattern: angry at feeling delayed and bothered by perceived slights by others, elated when gaining the open road or arriving. All the while affecting physiology. One emotional state is replaced by another in a behavioural scene, feelings go from bad to good (or stay bad or become worse), and then it's all relived in memory or fantasy. Until the next trip.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    On sharing the road, 92 yos on mobility scooters are added to the mix:
    Bruce then calls triple-zero while following the scooter moving in and out of the service lane and the busy flow of traffic.

    "He's on the Monash outbound, I tried to pull him over but he told me to f*** off," Bruce tells the triple-zero operator.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    edited May 13
    Around Lincoln Center/Fordham University/Juilliard in New York City, college-age bicyclists routinely run red lights and scream at pedestrians attempting to cross the street with the "Walk" light. Sorry, kids, I'm in a wheelchair, and I'm limited in my ability to yield the right-of-way to entitled boys and girls with the bucks for pricey bikes and not enough sense to wear helmets.

  • edited May 13
    Because it always annoys me, I'm responding to @Rossweisse re helmets and cycling.

    The obsession over helmet wearing and their grossly exaggerated benefits has killed cyclists by allowing governments to avoid the only true safety measure which is not putting cyclists in roadways with drivers. Data such as this link show that overall hospital admissions increased after helmet laws even as helmet wearing increased. Of all the lives allegedly saved, more would have with more attention on infrastructure and less on wearing a foam hat.

    Yes individual cyclists can be bad. Behaviour change is not encouraged my helmets. Drivers consistently worry about being delayed. Cyclists consistently worry about being killed. Pedestrians and cars don't mix either. Which is why there is separated walking spaces where cars are not supposed to be. Cyclists are stuck between with no safe places to travel. The general message from everyone is that cyclists should buy cars or walk and stop pretending a bicycle is a legit transportion method.

    Oh and re red lights, are those driver red lights, pedestrian red lights or bicycle red lights? A cyclist isn't a driver, a pedestrian nor a canary.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 13
    To be fair, in the UK at any rate red lights apply to everyone using a vehicle on the road, which includes cyclists, which is why I always observe them. However, NoProphet's point is basically sound concerning helmets. The countries with the lowest cyclist KSI rates are not those with mandatory helmet laws but those with decent infrastructure.

    i.e. not like what we get here in most of the country. I present for your entertainment http://wcc.crankfoot.xyz/facility-of-the-month/index.htm

    Lest it be thought these are extreme examples, they aren't. They are absolutely routine.
  • It's quite simple. A helmet helps reduce head injuries if a cyclist comes off their bike, it doesn't prevent injury. Infrastructure that gives cyclists safe space (which would include maintenance of cycle lanes so they aren't blocked, covered in rubbish, full of pot holes etc) reduces the number of accidents - no accidents = no injuries.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    We have separate cycle lanes in the CBD, recently built and well maintained, and still I was almost run over by two cyclists when I was walking along the footpath.

    I am not generally anti-cyclist, until I injured my knee :cry: I cycled everywhere myself, but in the case of those two idiots I was less than impressed.

    I don't mind skate boards because I can hear them coming (the footpaths are made with a block effect, rather than being smooth), but cyclists sneak up silently, especially for those of us with a hearing disability.
  • edited May 13
    It's quite simple. A helmet helps reduce head injuries if a cyclist comes off their bike, it doesn't prevent injury. Infrastructure that gives cyclists safe space (which would include maintenance of cycle lanes so they aren't blocked, covered in rubbish, full of pot holes etc) reduces the number of accidents - no accidents = no injuries.

    Which sounds sensible. And let's continue to be sensible. Any high speed impact to the head probably will be less significant if a person is wearing a helmet. But consider that if the reason we are supposed to wear helmets while biking is to prevent serious head injury on the off-chance we get into a crash, then why is it acceptable for pedestrians and drivers to go about without helmets? Anyone wearing a helmet will have less severe head injury within any activity of they're wearing a helmet. Why has cycling been singled out as an activity in need of head protection? Particularly considering that the proportion of head injuries suffered by cyclists are smaller than those suffered by drivers. Studies are frequently cited to show that helmeted cyclists who are hospitalized are far less likely to have serious head trauma than bare-headed cyclists that have been hospitalized. But so few peds and drivers wear helmets we don't have comparisons to those people. We can certainly reason that helmeted drivers and pedestrians should be less likely to receive serious head trauma than bare-headed ones can't we? Same as the cyclists.

    Plus we've information that requiring helmets makes cycling seem more dangerous than it really is, is associated with reduced amount of cycling (rather startling reductions), and drivers pass helmeted cyclists more closely. But I do think helmets in cars are an important public health issue. I've seen prototype proposals for airbag helmets for drivers (and cyclists), and airbags for pedestrians, though for peds they're in a waist belt to prevent hip fractures. For drivers they are associated with seat belts,head rests and other airbags, for cyclists with a scarf thing worn around the neck.
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