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$500 fine for causing MotorCyclist Death [general]

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by GavinB, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Firstly - apologies if that has been seen before - I have not previously noticed it here at NR - but n line with recent discussions about bike riders receiving custodial sentences for speeding.

    Article from: Herald Sun
    Natalie Tkaczuk Sikora
    November 07, 2008

    A SPEEDING driver was purposely travelling on the wrong side of the road when he hit and killed a motorcyclist, a coroner said yesterday.

    An inquest on the death of Gerard Vincent Gauci, 28, found Leon Cirelli was driving his Nissan four-wheel-drive about 20km/h over the recommended speed around a hairpin bend on The Boulevard in Kew before skidding and hitting Mr Gauci who was almost at a standstill on his bike.

    Coroner Peter White said marijuana had been found in Mr Gauci's system, but the drug in no way contributed to the accident.

    Mr White found Mr Cirelli -- who refused to give evidence at the inquest on the ground that it could incriminate him -- had had "ample opportunity" to realise he was travelling on the wrong side of the road.

    Mr White said Mr Cirelli understood that his driving was a "serious threat" to other road users.

    Mr Cirelli was charged with culpable driving causing death, but the charge was dropped after a magistrate ruled there was insufficient evidence. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving, and was convicted and fined $500.

    After the finding was delivered, Mr Gauci's grieving mother said Mr Cirelli should be stripped of his licence for life and put behind bars.

    "Not only did he kill my son, he killed my whole family," Mrs Gauci told the Herald Sun.

    "I have suffered heart attacks from the stress and my husband has had a severe stroke and will never come home. Cirelli just got a $500 fine. He should be in jail."

    Mrs Gauci welcomed the coroner's finding and said her son had finally received justice.

    "I knew that my son, Gerard, was always a responsible driver and rider. I feel that my son's dignity has finally been restored," she said.

    The inquest heard road signs were changed after the accident and warnings painted on the road.

    In his finding, Mr White recommended that sets of rumble strips should also be installed on the road near the hairpin and other similar bends on The Boulevard to slow down drivers. He said suggested speed signs should be replaced with mandatory speed limit signs.
  2. Um, what good are rumble strips if he's on the wrong side of the road?? :?

    I've said it before, if you want to get away with doing bad things in a moter vehicle, just make sure you kill someone, because you can't get away with speeding, but murder is different........
  3. And the other guys getting 1 year jail for speeding.
  4. The Gauci family are pursuing this one further through the legal system. I'm not sure where it's at at the moment.
  5. This again exposes the court system and the Magistrates lack of balls. Police charge driver with Culpable driving causing death and the Magistrates drops the charge to Careless driving due to insufficient evidence. WTF, he's purposly driving on the wrong side of the road and 20km/h over the speed limit.
  6. WTF :?

  7. Comprehension check time:
    The man was 20kph over the 'recommended speed' (the advisory corner-speed signs), not the mandatory speed limit.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Interesting, so he wasn't speeding at all. He was *just* on the wrong side of the road for an extended period of time, contained trace amounts of marijuana (probably uninteresting), and killed a motorcyclist when attempting to avoid him (hence the skidding).

    $500 and no jail time/driving suspension does seem quite lenient. However they mention 'insufficient evidence', and you must stick to your principles (innocent until proven guilty).

    You can get away with manslaughter, but not for speeding. It does seem odd that a 'crime' that causes no suffering attracts 10 months and a several year driving ban, whereas a crime that kills a young man attracts a small fine.
  9. The coroner found the weed in the riders system, not the driver.

    Yes he killed a rider, but that's just down to chance. What about the thousands of drivers that have run wide on that hairpin and not killed a rider?

    Fixing the road and changing advisory signs, etc will possibly prevent a recurrence.

    Still, 'careless' should probably be increased to 'negligent' or something more serious considering he left his lane, etc. That's more than just careless. A larger fine and possible suspension should be mandatory when it is proven that you caused the death of another.
  10. Potentially he could still have been speeding (relative to the mandatory limit) too, but the article makes no mention of the speed limit of the area or his speed relative to it.

    There's only mention of "A speeding driver" at the start, but that could arguably be in the 'excessive-speed-for-the-conditions' sense. Active verbs add exciting spice to the opening line, too!
  11. The issue here is that it's alleged that he didn't just cross over to the wrong side on a corner - there were allegations that he had been deliberately driving on the wrong side of the road for quite some time.

    It's my understanding that it's the deliberate part that there was insufficent evidence for. The rider was almost at a standstill and right over on the left hand edge of the road when he was hit.
  12. Another example of the 'speeding rethoric', as per the head line. This bloke was being a negligent fvck, why can't that be the opening line??? Going over the suggested speed for corners is not speeding, doing at least 20 over the suggested limited is still way under what could be safely done through most corners. Fully laiden trucks can still go over the suggested speed safely.

    I would have though the fact this guy was on the wrong side of the road and killed a motorcyclist would have been sufficient evidence? I just dont understand this double standard with people caught speeding, and people being killed. Its like there's some sympathy from the courts from fvckwits who cant drive and accidentally kill someone, yet give it a squirt and it's jail time.
  13. Further to what I said previously - here's The Age report from that time.

    The coroner found that the driver was deliberately on the wrong side of the road. Unfortunately that was after the pr1ck had already been to court where the magistrate found insufficent evidence.

    Peter Gregory THE AGE
    November 7, 2008
    A GRIEVING mother has called for justice over her son's death after a coroner found a motorist deliberately drove on the wrong side of the road before running into him.

    Carmen Gauci said she wanted driver Leon Vincent Cirelli, 24, to face more severe punishment after his four-wheel-drive vehicle hit and killed her son Gerard on September 18, 2004.

    Cirelli was fined $500 in November 2006 after pleading guilty to careless driving over the crash in Yarra Boulevard in Kew.

    A culpable driving charge was reported to have been dropped after a magistrate ruled there was insufficient evidence.

    Yesterday coroner Peter White said Cirelli's vehicle travelled on to the wrong side of the road while negotiating a tight left-hand bend, and collided with the motorcycle being ridden by Mr Gauci, 28.

    He said Mr Gauci and the motorcycle were propelled backwards, and he died at the scene from his injuries.

    Mr White said signs indicated an advisory speed of 35 km/h near the hairpin bend, but Cirelli was found to have been driving between 53 km/h and 56 km/h. The speed limit in the area was 50 km/h.

    Mr White said there was no evidence showing that Cirelli drove on the wrong side because he was confused by road markings.
    "Rather, the evidence establishes that he purposely drove on to the wrong side of the road while understanding that his driving constituted a serious threat to road users travelling in that carriageway," he said.

    Cirelli successfully applied not to give evidence at the inquest because he might tend to incriminate himself, and the evidence could be used in later proceedings.

    Outside the Coroner's Court, Mrs Gauci said she wanted prosecutors to look at the case again and charge Cirelli with a more serious offence.
  14. If he genuinely was traveling at 53-56kmh, then is was one of few who actually stick to anything remotely near the limit. But that's largely irrelevant to the whole business.

    What I'm left wondering is how the coroner has managed to determine that he drove on the wrong side purposely. Witnesses? Without knowing the evidence I guess we'll never know.
    And the magistrate heard the case before the coroner's report was completed? WTF?
  15. [quote="Harte
    Fixing the road and changing advisory signs, etc will possibly prevent a recurrence.

    As surely as my backside points to the ground it will not make one ounce of difference, whatsoever.

    The DPP can review this and have this re-tried. Culpable driving is a charge used when someone has died as a result of a motor vehicle incident. Manslaughter, murder etc are too difficult to use in traffic incidents, hence the creation of this. Is it a pissweak sentence and approach by the magistrate? Yes. Is it odd that the trial has taken place before the coroners report? Absolutely.
  16. Unfortually it's common practice that criminal trials proceed prior to coronial enquiries.

    Having read the article I can assume there were no witnesses so it would be diffucult for the procecution to prove dangerous driving beyond a reasonable doubt .

    With the coroner's findings I hope the family can convince the DPP to appeal the earlier decision made by the courts so real justice is served .

    There is also civil action that can and should be considered in these cases ,
    It won't bring the loved one back but hopefully will cause some financial pain for the killer driver and it wont be a measily $500 . Hopefully defending a new upgraded charge ( if it can be done ) and a civil case will somehow teach him a lesson and provide some justice for the family .