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Justice for Bikers a Cause for Thought….

December 6, 2010

 

Spalding, England – The death of Mr Michael Waters again highlights the need for a review of legislation relating to road crashes where a fatality is involved and a rallying call ‘Justice for Bikers’.

Mr Waters was killed when car driver Michael Frost missed a right turn, reversed back along the road to take the turn and collided with Mr Waters, who was coming in the opposite direction on his Ducati motorcycle.

Found guilty of death by dangerous driving Frost received a two-year suspended sentence of 51 weeks was ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work, banned from driving for two years and must pay £2,000 towards court costs.

Judge Enright, who presided on this case, decided to ignore the sentencing guidelines for causing death by dangerous driving i.e. prison up to 14 years, fine unlimited, driving ban obligatory minimum 2 years, compulsory re–testing and 3–11 penalty points was that he accepted Frosts mitigation. Frost claimed that as a recovering cancer patient he would have health difficulties in prison due to a ‘compromised diet’ and the chance of getting infections.

Frosts sentence is the subject of an appeal by the UK Crown Prosecution Service. I leave it to you to decide if justice was not only done but seen to be done in this case.

The issue here is culpability i.e. deserving blame or censure of those causing road crashes where death or injury is involved. In England killing intentionally with a gun is murder, if you take the gun along and it goes off accidentally its manslaughter. An incompetent, irresponsible driver who manoeuvres a vehicle with no thought for others who happens to kill a perfectly innocent motorcyclist isn’t guilty of murder or most times manslaughter. It’s an accident as there’s not a presumption he/she set out to do it, you are not culpable. Someone is dead but no one is to blame, that’s the law. That’s the rub for the victim’s relatives too.

Its time then!

Time to ask if the sentencing guidelines for causing death by dangerous driving i.e. prison up to 14 years, fine unlimited, driving ban obligatory minimum 2 years, compulsory re–testing and 3–11 penalty points are correct for the crime involved and of sufficient deterrence.

Time ask why the Crown Prosecution Service consistently fails to consider either a manslaughter or murder change where a road death is concerned.

Time to ask if the guidelines on mitigation are fair to the victims and their families.

Time to reconsider culpability in light of driver’s actions before the crash.

Time to consider the actions of smart arse solicitors and briefs who will get their client ‘off’ by any means.

Time to wonder why driving bans run concurrent with prison sentences.

Time for mandatory sentences in the hope that the idiots out there will realise the connection between cause and effect.

Time for some action.

Its time ‘Justice for Bikers’.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. dave permalink
    December 7, 2010 8:44 am

    It’s not the scale of the deterrent it’s the chance of detection. Low and decreasing levels of roads policing mean that only those that cause a serious or fatal collision are likely to reach trial let alone see ‘justice’ done.

    This means for most of the idiots on the roads there is no cause and effect unless they kill someone. You can drive like an idiot for years and not cause a crash so there’s no negative effect.

    The government has decided the prisons are too full and so have decreed that custodial sentences are to be avoided where ever possible. These are hardly the conditions that encourage the CPS to press for more serious convictions which are harder to secure. Perhaps a lifetime driving ban would be worth considering though.

    Would we allow someone who’d shot and killed someone to own a gun?

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