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Driving convictions

June 12, 2006

This link refers to a story about a learner driver who was driving unsupervised when he crashed his BMW onto a beach, killing a two year old boy.

Ignoring the bizarre and quite frankly sickening decision to reduce his prison sentence, the case highlights one of the many quirks of the Road Traffic Act. In order to prove the offence of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, it is necessary to show that the driver’s standards fell far below that of a normal driver. The law takes no account of the suspect’s experience or attitude towards the road traffic law, just the circumstances of the incident leading to the death.

In my view, anyone who takes a car out unsupervised, never having passed a driving test, is immediately a dangerous driver. Regardless of anything else they might do, the fact that they choose to ignore the requirement to pass a test of competence renders them unfit to be on the road. This is usually prosecuted as Driving Otherwise Than In Accordance With A Licence.

I would suggest that any driver who is proven to have caused a death whilst committing the licence offence should be charged with Death by Dangerous Driving. No other evidential test required, straight up the big house and get sent down. This amendment might deter a few people from venturing out unsupervised.

Similarly, anyone who can be shown to have blatant disregard for the requirement to insure themselves against third party risks should also be treated harshly. Studies have shown that 1 in 20 drivers on the UK roads is uninsured. ANPR is doing a great job in catching them and one of the very few sensible changes that Labour have introduced means that we can now seize the vehicles used by uninsured drivers. Again, anyone who kills whilst driving uninsured should be assumed to be driving dangerously, because it is evidence of a cavalier attitude to road safety.

Open for discussion.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Brent permalink
    June 13, 2006 01:41

    I could write a book on this topic. American motorists are TERRIBLE about even having license, let alone insurance. We can ticket them for Reckless driving, careless driving, and driving without insurance. The fines are HUGE, thank goodness. If we can’t hinder their conscience, we’ll hinder their pocketbook!!

  2. intellectual idiot permalink
    June 13, 2006 22:11

    Shoot the lot of them!

    Then those two ex-terrorist suspects won’t feel so ostrosized. 😛

    No really I do find road traffic deaths horrific even more so when the killer gets of with a slap round the ear.

  3. gonorr permalink
    June 17, 2006 06:31

    how about all the people who either state to their insurance company that they have a clean license or who spank their cars up and dont inform the insurance company?

  4. Anonymous permalink
    November 11, 2006 00:19

    Why not have things like in America where vehciles are classed as deadly weapons.

    Or, in New Zealand where the on the spot fines motoring offences are hundreds of dollars. And that is for very minor offences, like breaking down on the motorway, during rush hour. And the motorsists never seem too concerned about the size of the fine.

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