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Sentencing and its worth.

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Jenny
1321945.  Thu May 16, 2019 9:02 am Reply with quote

I'll move this to WFHIT.

 
crissdee
1325271.  Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:25 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
.....and then wave my magic wand ...And viola, as I see all too often ...


I have just seen it written in the comments on a YT video as "wallah".

 
tetsabb
1325298.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:27 am Reply with quote

I am rather intrigued at the moment by this business if the cyclist being found responsible for injuries caused to the woman who stepped out in front of him and who, by her own admission, was intent on her phone at the time.
On the face of it WTF?

 
PDR
1325301.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:42 am Reply with quote

I don't know (obviously), but my specultaion would be that the judge felt that, even though the pedestrian shared a lot of responsibility for her own collision, the cyclist was nonetheless cycling faster and with too little attention than was actually safe given the congested nature of the pavements.

The judge seems to have held the view that when cycling next to a crowded pavement in a city centre the cyclist should take into account the risk that a person might step into the road at any time, whether through neglect, being jostled or to avoid bumping into another pedestrian. Therefore the cyclist should travel at a speed which allowed stopping or changing course rapidly, and the cyclist should be sitting up, paying close attention to the surroundings and keeping an all-round look-out rather than being bent down in the classical "racing cyclist" stance which restricts situational awareness.

In this case the collision occured when a grown woman stepped into the road while focussed on her phone, and the cyclist was unable to manoeuvre or stop to avoid her. The woman could just as easily have been a small child who momentarily slipped her parent's grasp and ran out. That's the street environment which speed and awareness needs to be adapted to suit. Thus the cyclist was dangerously negligent and carries some of the legal consequences.

0.0006 supplied,

PDR

 
dr.bob
1325304.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:11 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
I don't know (obviously)


That's a shame. I was curious about this case, so I typed "cyclist" into google. The first suggested completion was "cyclist hits pedestrian", and the first result of that search took me straight to this thorough explanation of what happened.

PDR wrote:
but my specultaion would be


The whole thing took about 5 seconds. If you'd done that, there would have been no need to speculate.

PDR wrote:
The judge seems to have held the view that when cycling next to a crowded pavement in a city centre the cyclist should take into account the risk that a person might step into the road at any time, whether through neglect, being jostled or to avoid bumping into another pedestrian.


The accident didn't occur at the edge of the pavement. The pedestrian was on a traffic island and was crossing the road at traffic-light controlled crossing even though the traffic lights were giving permission for the traffic, not pedestrians.

PDR wrote:
the cyclist should be sitting up, paying close attention to the surroundings and keeping an all-round look-out rather than being bent down in the classical "racing cyclist" stance which restricts situational awareness.


There's no evidence the cyclist was bent down in the classical "racing cyclist" stance. The report says that he sounded sounded an airhorn on his bike and began shouting. He then swerved to try and avoid the collision, but this coincided with the pedestrian trying to move out of his way. The fact that they both moved in the same direction caused them to collide.

From the report, the cyclist was deemed partly to blame because there were several pedestrians crossing the road at the time, not just the woman focussed on her phone. However, the fact that the cyclist has been ordered to pay damages seems to rely mostly on the fact that the pedestrian sued the cyclist for damages but the cyclist neglected to counter-sue the pedestrian.

The report also notes that the initial figure of the damages, currently running at almost 96,000, may well be reduced on appeal. Not that that really makes things completely fair. It does seem odd to me that the onus was on the cyclist to counter-sue.

 
cnb
1325318.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:20 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
The report says that he sounded sounded an airhorn on his bike and began shouting. He then swerved to try and avoid the collision


He said that he was going 10-15mph, which means that he would have needed only 5 metres or so to stop. If he had time to sound the horn, shout, then swerve, he had time to stop, but chose not to.

 
PDR
1325323.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:23 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
PDR wrote:
I don't know (obviously)


That's a shame. I was curious about this case, so I typed "cyclist" into google. The first suggested completion was "cyclist hits pedestrian", and the first result of that search took me straight to this thorough explanation of what happened.

PDR wrote:
but my specultaion would be


The whole thing took about 5 seconds. If you'd done that, there would have been no need to speculate.


What is intersesting here is that Bob vents his ire at me [again] for answering a question when exactly the same vent could have been directed at the person who asked it. Why haven't you criticised Tets for posting the question if (as you claim) it could be answered with 5 seconds of googling?

The reality is, of course, that the 5 seconds of googling DIDN'T provide a "thorough explanation". The article you linked provided one substantive piece of information (the quote that cyclists "must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways") accompanied by large volumes of speculative commentary from journalists and axe-grinding representatives of cyclist pressure-groups.

The judge doid not provide the detail in her remarks, so when I expanded the detail to actually answer the question as asked I thought it important to clearly identify that expansion as speculation rather than knowledge.

Quote:

PDR wrote:
The judge seems to have held the view that when cycling next to a crowded pavement in a city centre the cyclist should take into account the risk that a person might step into the road at any time, whether through neglect, being jostled or to avoid bumping into another pedestrian.


The accident didn't occur at the edge of the pavement. The pedestrian was on a traffic island


I didn't say anything about the edge of the pavement - I said "next to a crowded pavement". Nothing about being close, just that the general locale was thronging with people who might step out at any momment. Please don't put words into my mouth and then attack them - that wouldn't be helpful.

Quote:

There's no evidence the cyclist was bent down in the classical "racing cyclist" stance. The report says that he sounded sounded an airhorn on his bike and began shouting. He then swerved to try and avoid the collision, but this coincided with the pedestrian trying to move out of his way. The fact that they both moved in the same direction caused them to collide.


The cyclist claims to have being doing a safe, responsible speed and paying attention, yet even though he is reported as sounding a horn and shouting he apparently didn't have time to stop before the collision. What is the stopping distance of a bike? Do we actually know this bike had brakes? There are some seriously irresponsible people who cycle brake-less bicycles on the public road because they value their performance more highly than the life and limb of those around them. Obviously such people should be locked up and banned from the public roads for long periods, but we don't know that this was once such so I am proceding on the assumption that he wasn't.

It is my speculation that the inability to stop could only be due to one of three things:

1. The claim about speed was false, and he was travelling to fast for the conditions
2. The claim about paying attention was false, and he didn't notice the imminant collision until it was too late to stop
3. The cyclist was paying attention and was travelling at a speed whch would have allowed him to stop, but he elected not to try. He instead continued at speed and attempted to swerve around the obstacle which (tragically) swerved in the same direction.

These are not mutually exclusive - it could also have been permutations of any two or three of them. 1 & 2 are dangerous cycling behaviour for which the cyclicst should be punished. 3 is not only dangerous behaviour, but also shows a dangerous attitude towards responsiblities when using the public road so should be punished morse severely.

Quote:

From the report, the cyclist was deemed partly to blame because there were several pedestrians crossing the road at the time, not just the woman focussed on her phone.


There is nothing in that report which provides any evidence that the judge actually said that - it is a speculation. Please do not represent speculations as facts.

Quote:

However, the fact that the cyclist has been ordered to pay damages seems to rely mostly on the fact that the pedestrian sued the cyclist for damages but the cyclist neglected to counter-sue the pedestrian.


This is true, but it is irrelevant to the question that was asked. Tets only asked about the findings, not about the legal technicality which has resulted in the very large bill. That is an entirely different subject which mainly relates to the cyclist's unfortunate and ill-advised decision to act without legal support. This is pretty well always inadviseable - it's related to concepts like the Innocence Tax discussed at length in the highly recommended book by the Secret Barrister (which is concerned woith the criminal bar, but there are common themes to this casein the interaction between ordinary people and the court system).

Quote:

The report also notes that the initial figure of the damages, currently running at almost 96,000, may well be reduced on appeal.


This is of course untrue. The initial figure for damages is 4,161, which is probably quite reasonable. The problem is that the cyclist's decision to act without legal support has left him exposed to a costs claim which may be oveer 100,000. That sum is not "damages".

From my limited understanding of the civil appeals process it may be quite likely that the damages will be reduced. An appeal may decided that they are equally at fault and so reduce the damages by 50%, saving two thousand pounds. But appealing the costs is much more problematic. The basis of a costs appeal would be that the litigant brought the action upon themselves, usually evidenced by a counterclaim. In the absence of a counterclaim the first judge cannot (as I understand it) refuse a claim for costs.

Appeal judges may be able to decide other grounds for refusing, or apportioning, the costs claim but (as I understand it) this is not common. Hopefully the cyclist will instruct some legal support for any appeal, because otherwise he's toast.

PDR

 
Alexander Howard
1325329.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:26 am Reply with quote

I believe a 50:50 split is quite normal for an indecision decision. If it is a car accident then it all comes out in the wash as insurance covers most of it, but it was a bicycle, so the cyclist faces bankruptcy.

We will never know what happened without being there unless there were keen witnesses on hand.

I have seen mad cyclists - delivery cyclists in London are practically psychopathic, and there are those who think they can prove how good a cyclist they are by pretending to be Bradley Wiggins on a crowded street.

I of course cycle responsibly (and never in London). I have several times had to swerve to avoid pedestrians stepping out blindly while staring at their phones. Until they actually step out, I would not know to ring the bell - and they are usually too engrossed to notice the bell anyway so I have to shout. I still have the bruises from being knocked off my bike by a van driver who didn't look when turning into a road. It's a jungle out there, and proving fault is near impossible.

 
dr.bob
1325339.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:51 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
[What is intersesting here is that Bob vents his ire at me [again] for answering a question when exactly the same vent could have been directed at the person who asked it. Why haven't you criticised Tets for posting the question if (as you claim) it could be answered with 5 seconds of googling?


I guess mainly because raising a question on the forums invites a discussion of the facts of the case. That could prove interesting. By contrast, deciding to post an uninformed opinion that has little relevance to the facts of the case doesn't seem, to me, to contribute very much.

Although, of course, tetsabb probably should've googled the case too.

PDR wrote:
The reality is, of course, that the 5 seconds of googling DIDN'T provide a "thorough explanation". The article you linked provided one substantive piece of information (the quote that cyclists "must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways") accompanied by large volumes of speculative commentary from journalists and axe-grinding representatives of cyclist pressure-groups.


So all the details in the article, about the state of the traffic signals, the sounding of the horn, the circumstances of the collision, are these all speculative commentary from journalists?

PDR wrote:
I didn't say anything about the edge of the pavement - I said "next to a crowded pavement". Nothing about being close, just that the general locale was thronging with people who might step out at any momment. Please don't put words into my mouth and then attack them - that wouldn't be helpful.


My apologies. I should've said "The accident didn't occur next to a crowded pavement. The pedestrian was on a traffic island and was crossing the road at traffic-light controlled crossing even though the traffic lights were giving permission for the traffic, not pedestrians."

Better?

PDR wrote:
This is true, but it is irrelevant to the question that was asked. Tets only asked about the findings, not about the legal technicality which has resulted in the very large bill.


Really? I thought the question that was asked was, and I quote, "WTF?"

You seem to be reading an awful lot of subtext into three letters. But let's not speculate. Maybe tetsabb will pop by and explain what his question referred to.

PDR wrote:
Quote:

The report also notes that the initial figure of the damages, currently running at almost 96,000, may well be reduced on appeal.


This is of course untrue. The initial figure for damages is 4,161, which is probably quite reasonable. The problem is that the cyclist's decision to act without legal support has left him exposed to a costs claim which may be oveer 100,000. That sum is not "damages".


You're quite right. That was my mistake. Thank you for clarifying that.

 
barbados
1325342.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:02 am Reply with quote

pdr wrote:
It is my speculation that the inability to stop could only be due to one of three things:

1. The claim about speed was false, and he was travelling to fast for the conditions
2. The claim about paying attention was false, and he didn't notice the imminant collision until it was too late to stop
3. The cyclist was paying attention and was travelling at a speed whch would have allowed him to stop, but he elected not to try. He instead continued at speed and attempted to swerve around the obstacle which (tragically) swerved in the same direction.

Of those, I would suggest option 3 was the most likely

 
PDR
1325346.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:25 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

I guess mainly because raising a question on the forums invites a discussion of the facts of the case.


Is that a new rule? Can we please ensure that Jenny properly publices this new rule that people may only post facts and any opinions will be flamed. Then we will have clarity.

Quote:

That could prove interesting. By contrast, deciding to post an uninformed opinion


For all you know my opinion was as informed as those of the newspaper you googled, so that's an interesting distinction.

Quote:

that has little relevance to the facts of the case doesn't seem, to me, to contribute very much.


The only "Facts" in this case are that someone sued, a judge gave a judgement in which she awarded some damages, and the judge made two vague statements which provided little clarity on her reasons. So there were no further FACTS to contribute which Tets didn't already know when he asked the question. From that I conclude he was after more than he already knew, and that would inherently be opinion or speculation rather than fact.

Quote:

Although, of course, tetsabb probably should've googled the case too.


Unless what Tets was afyter was a discussion, and exchange of opinions, on the underlying issues raised by the case. On seeing the question (especially with the "WTF?" tag) that was what I understood he was after. But any discussion of that nature is now impossible.

Quote:

So all the details in the article, about the state of the traffic signals, the sounding of the horn, the circumstances of the collision, are these all speculative commentary from journalists?


All of that detail was in all the coverage of the case to date. I'd be very surprised if that was the sort of detail that Tets was after, and it certainly does nothing to explain the judgement. All those details would tend to suggest the suit should have been thrown out (they all suggest mitigate the cyclist's actions). Tets asked why the judge found against the cyclist rather than for the cyclist, so that detail has no bearing on the answer.

Quote:

My apologies. I should've said "The accident didn't occur next to a crowded pavement.


Do you have a source for that? The reportage I've seen says the pavements were "heaving" and "thronged" (depending on which paper ypou read). Yes, the actual collision occured when someone was near a traffic island, but there is no evidence I have seen that says the surrounding pavements were anything but extremely crowded. I would speculate that this aspect was an important element of the judge's deliberations, because they show an extremely hazardous road environment where all road users should procede with caution. When I did jury service we sat on a case (appealed from the magistrate's court) where someone was being prosecuted for doing 26mph in a 30 limit. This was deemed speeding (I can't be 100% certain that the charge was speeding rather than dangerous driving) because it was an extremely congested high street on a saturday morning with pedestrians thronging the pavements.

But in summary - the fact that the actual collision occured by a traffic island doesn't inherently preclude the nearby pavements being congested, and doesn't preclude the congestion of nearby pavements being a factor in the judge's deliberations.

Quote:

PDR wrote:
This is true, but it is irrelevant to the question that was asked. Tets only asked about the findings, not about the legal technicality which has resulted in the very large bill.


Really? I thought the question that was asked was, and I quote, "WTF?"


His post started with "I am rather intrigued at the moment by this business if the cyclist being found responsible for injuries". Nothing about the size of a bill - just the direction of the ruling. Where does Tets even mention the cost?

PDR

 
PDR
1325348.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:28 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Of those, I would suggest option 3 was the most likely


I'm not sure I'd go as far as actually suggesting it, because I don't have enough data on which to make any meaningful judgement. But based on my observations of typical cyclist behaviour in central London I would have to admit that it wouldn't surprise me if it was the case.

PDR

 
Willie
1325354.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:41 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Do you have a source for that? The reportage I've seen says the pavements were "heaving" and "thronged" (depending on which paper ypou read). Yes, the actual collision occured when someone was near a traffic island, but there is no evidence I have seen that says the surrounding pavements were anything but extremely crowded. I would speculate that this aspect was an important element of the judge's deliberations, because they show an extremely hazardous road environment where all road users should procede with caution. When I did jury service we sat on a case (appealed from the magistrate's court) where someone was being prosecuted for doing 26mph in a 30 limit. This was deemed speeding (I can't be 100% certain that the charge was speeding rather than dangerous driving) because it was an extremely congested high street on a saturday morning with pedestrians thronging the pavements.PDR


Given the furore here in Edinburgh over speed limits being reduced to 20 miles an hour and the reported speed of the bike being about 10-15 miles an hours I can just imagine the mass outpouring of anger on local newspaper websites by people commenting on articles if they dare suggest all traffic should be going at less than 10 miles an hour next to busy pavements.

 
barbados
1325369.  Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:13 pm Reply with quote

Looking at the "thorough explanation" provided, there are a couple of anomalies with regards to where the responsibility lies with the incident in question (assuming that the incident referred to is the one that happened in Central London in July 2015)
1) "She had been among a "throng" of pedestrians"
As far as I am aware a "throng" is not an SI unit of crowd, that would suggest the density is opinion - and under the terms suggested unacceptable
2) "who were crossing the road despite the traffic signals showing green for cars and bicycles"
This would suggest that the traffic was stationary at the time although the light was green - I can't think of another reason why a group of people would all step out in front of moving traffic.

The defence suggested was that the light was green, and therefore some responsibility sat with the pedestrian in question. This is not so, a green light does not permit any vehicle to run over a pedestrian, and the understanding is that a green light means nothing more than proceed with caution rather than go, this is worded with a little more finesse in the highway code, where a green light permits you to go on if the way is clear. Taking special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing.

We can assume that the pedestrian had already crossed half way because the report suggests she stepped back onto the traffic island - in which case, the pedestrian traffic on the pavement is irrelevant, as she was not on the pavement - she was in the middle of the road.

Unless anyone can come up with a valid reason why a number of people would choose to cross the road in front of moving traffic we can assume that the cyclist was travelling on the outside of stationary ( or very slow moving traffic ) and judging by the speed it has been suggested he was travelling we can assume that he either squeezed through a gap, or he passed on the wrong side of the island (big assumption).

One thing we do know for certain is the cyclist had two options - either swerve to avoid or stop. we know that he went for option one - that would suggest that he rode into her, he could have stopped (if he wasn't going too fast for the conditions).

That would leave me to suggest that he has responsibilty - he opted to speed, he opted to swerve, he opted not to stop.
As far as I am aware, there are no restrictions on using your mobile phone while walking down the street (or indeed crossing the street)

 
dr.bob
1325429.  Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:08 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Quote:

That could prove interesting. By contrast, deciding to post an uninformed opinion


For all you know my opinion was as informed as those of the newspaper you googled, so that's an interesting distinction.


I was merely basing it on past performance.

PDR wrote:
The only "Facts" in this case are that someone sued, a judge gave a judgement in which she awarded some damages, and the judge made two vague statements which provided little clarity on her reasons.


PDR wrote:
Quote:

So all the details in the article, about the state of the traffic signals, the sounding of the horn, the circumstances of the collision, are these all speculative commentary from journalists?


All of that detail was in all the coverage of the case to date. I'd be very surprised if that was the sort of detail that Tets was after,


Now your impressive doublethink has me deeply confused. First you say that the only "Facts" in this case are that someone sued, a judge gave a judgement in which she awarded some damages, and the judge made two vague statements. Now you seem to be saying that the other details in the article, about the traffic signals, the horn, and the collision were "in all the coverage of the case to date."

Are they facts or not? Either they are, and your first statement was pointless nonsense. Or they're not, in which case why were they in all the coverage of the case to date?

PDR wrote:
and it certainly does nothing to explain the judgement.


On the contrary. The fact that lots of people were crossing at the lights (despite them being green for traffic) shows that the cyclist would have been able to see them as he approached the crossing. This implies that he chose not to slow down since the traffic lights were on green, which would make him at least partially responsible for the collision.

PDR wrote:
All those details would tend to suggest the suit should have been thrown out (they all suggest mitigate the cyclist's actions).


Not all. The fact that lots of people were crossing the road shows that it wasn't just one person who stepped out unexpectedly.

PDR wrote:
Quote:

My apologies. I should've said "The accident didn't occur next to a crowded pavement.


Do you have a source for that?


Yes. The details outlined in the article above.

PDR wrote:
The reportage I've seen says the pavements were "heaving" and "thronged" (depending on which paper ypou read). Yes, the actual collision occured when someone was near a traffic island, but there is no evidence I have seen that says the surrounding pavements were anything but extremely crowded.


As barbados says below:

barbados wrote:
We can assume that the pedestrian had already crossed half way because the report suggests she stepped back onto the traffic island - in which case, the pedestrian traffic on the pavement is irrelevant, as she was not on the pavement - she was in the middle of the road.


If the cyclist hit someone on a traffic island, they must've been about as far from the pavement as it's possible to get.

 

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