Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fatal Collisions

A recent question to the Mayor of London:

Andrew Boff
‘In light of the recent tragic death of Gary Mason in Sutton, should we be concerned by the recent statement from a leading barrister that “excuses of not seeing cyclists seem to be too readily accepted by the police and the CPS”?’

Written answer from the Mayor
No. The police take all fatal collisions investigations seriously. In every fatal collision investigation the police gather all the available evidence so that if there is any culpability by a third party, then the police would be in a good position to mount an effective prosecution.

Oh really?
The following is not a cycling case, but it's fairly typically of the treatment of vulnerable road users by the justice system. Look at what happened when Kristina Sporbeck was run down and killed in Knightsbridge. Witnesses said the driver Ali Megerisi was driving at "high speed", "It was like when you have a police car chasing someone. What struck me as well as the speed was the sound of the engine going into another gear." The driver was charged with careless driving but the case was dropped. The coroner described the case as "simply a tragic accident".

Does this sound like effective prosecution to you? If you're the family of the victim in a case like this you will likely be left with a deep sense of injustice that the killer didn't even need to appear in court to account for his actions.


  1. This seems a perfectly reasonable starting-point.
    Penalty for killing a vulnerable road user: Automatic heavy fine [25%-75% of property, earnings, pension, investments and future earnings anywhere in the world], and permanent loss of licence to drive. With life imprisonment if ever found in charge of a motor-vehicle in a public place, suspended for life.

    Unreasonable? Consider the victim and the victim's family and friends.

  2. Wouldn't this be a good use of FOI request to determine just how many of the collisions result in investigation and prosecution? I think I saw some (older) figure for in how many cases the motorist involved was speeding.

    Surely there's always a minimal investigation to determine whether the motorist was speeding or texting or drunk and if they were, assume guilt by default?

    @amoeba even for injuring or threatening a vulnerable IMO the fine should be relative to you income or wealth. Fixed penalty just stops being any deterrent when you earn enough, and it seems to me the bar is set very low.

  3. Hmm, looks like you can't produce statistics of offences by road users because MPS doesn't record vehicle types in their offences database. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/enforcement_activity_against_roa