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Driver fined $750 for killing rider

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by roundman58, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. A 24-year-old man has been fined $750 for driving without due care and causing an accident that killed a motorcyclist in South Australia.

    Benjamin Paul Staveley of North Haven, in Port Adelaide, also had his licence disqualified for eight months.

    Staveley's lawyer pleaded guilty on behalf of his client in the Port Adelaide Magistrate's Court today.

    The magistrate said Staveley had a momentary lapse of concentration when he turned into the path of a motorcyclist at an intersection in Ethelton in 2004.

    The victim's mother, Julie McIntyre, says she is disappointed with the result.

    "I feel as though my son has been treated as road kill by our justice system," she said.

    "There is something strange about a justice system when you consider that fines that are issued by our courts are presumably worth less than the lawyers' fees involved in defending the charges."

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  3. "There is something strange about a justice system when you consider that fines that are issued by our courts are presumably worth less than the lawyers' fees involved in defending the charges."

    I think that sums it all up.
  4. i find it sad when i know guys who lost their licence for 2 years+ and $2000+ in fines for hooning

    where hooning = drags on a deserted road in the middle of no-where, hurting no-one
  5. This is rediculous, but there are many cases sadly of people literally geting away with murder with their cars in my State of South Australia. It is really sad, no wonder so many people cant drive.

  6. Does this mean that he wasn't even in court ??

    Everyone makes mistakes, but when your mistakes kill someone you need to be held accountable.

    It paints a pretty clear picture of what people think of riders. If this guy hit a kid near a school during 'a laps in concerntration', Im sure this would be a different story!!
  7. im getting me a monster truck and goin to S.A
    run over a couple of people and blame my lapse on concentration
    :evil: :evil:
    the law is going stupid
  9. What can you say? What if you had a momentary lapse of judgement while driving a truck? Or at the shooting range? Would you still get off with just a fine?

    Something doesn't add up. I could get suspended for 12 months and cop a larger fine on a backroad with nobody around, just by speeding. As Androo said, do a burnout and I could be looking at a $2000 fine. WTF! :p

    I dare say the entire motorcycling community is disappointed with the result, not just Julie McIntyre. :(
  10. that's correct. The story was in the paper yesterday.
    The driver was charged with "driving without due care". it was optional for him to appear in court & he chose not to attend.

    he SHOULD have been charged with "causing death by dangerous driving" which is a much more serious offence.

    Nick Xenephon (MLC) has been speaking with the victim's mother & is going to be introducing legislation making it mandatory for those convicted of a traffic offence that resulted in a death to appear in court.

    The family should have the right to face their son's killer & read a victim impact statement.
  11. Maybe a letter campaign to Port Adelaide Magistrates Court and the S.A Justice Dept. should be considered.
  12. pathetic individual for not botering to attend court :mad:
    you'd think the judge would take that into account and hit him with a harder sentence but i guess not.
  13. Bloody hell.. that is so scary, i couldn't imagine being the driver of that car, that is so irresponsible. And you cant put a price on someones life, thats pretty distressing.
  14. I hate judgements like this - seems to be that if drivers hit pedestrians it's a serious offence but somehow motorcycles seem to be "fair game" for drivers.
  15. I lost my license for two years and $2000 dollar fine for trying to race cops but I hurt no one. And this guy gets off like that.
    Equality in the law is for those that can afford it.
    Sometimes I believe motorcyclists are partly blamed for accidents because of the perceived risk of motorcycle riding allowing a reduced sentence to the perpetrator. Just an opinion. :evil:
  16. We had a case just like this several years ago here in Vic. Driver turned in front of an approaching rider in Geelong - fined $500.

    Netrider and the MRA organized an Awareness Ride to aid the family of the victim who were collecting signatures for a petition.

    Now, I would hope that some rider group in SA would have picked this one up and organized some sort of public awreness campaign. Or, has that already happened?

    I would hate to think that only we here in Vic are the ones who make a noise about this sort of stuff :( :(

    Is anything being done in SA????

    As an afterthought - wouldn't it be nice if the judge could have imposed some other sort of penalty, like making the guilty driver appear before his peers as part of an awareness campaign to make drivers their age recognize that they need to take care on our roads.
  17. don't know, but thanks for the suggestion. i'm an MRA member so i'm going to e-mail them with the suggestion right now.
  18. I wonder if the family have considered taking civil action against the offender since the criminal justice system have failed them?

    It seems to me that they should have some sort of case for financial compensation. I'm not suggesting that money fixes this sort of thing, because it doesn't, but it would at least make the person who in effect got away with what should be vehicular manslaughter sit up and take notice.

    I don't know if the rider killed had dependents, but if he did then grounds might exist for support payments.

    Other than that it would certainly have the effect of creating extra publicity which would help show how inadequate the laws in this area are.
  19. This is a case where justice seems to have been sadly miss placed and the victim’s family is made to suffer under an unfair and inadequate fines and punishment system.

    I'm not hard liner but I would like to see a mandatory suspension of all driving licences for a period of five years if you cause a fatal accident due to negligence. After that it’s the courts role to issue fines to the driver / rider.

    After the period of five years you’re treated as a first year learner and have to re sit your provisional licence.

    If you think this is unfair, you just kill someone. Their dead say their 20 when the accident occured, then you just robed them of 50+ years. Five years isn’t really that long when comaired to 50.

    Dead is a long time.
  20. Oh to have a magistrate/judge who has ridden on our roads. In this particular case, it doesnt sound like the driver was deliberately acting in a dangerous manner and thats all that has been considered. It seems his complete negligence has been overlooked and not considered a factor, perhaps because a motorcyclist is perceived as accepting this risk :evil:

    My perspective, but $500 and say $1000 in legal fees and no attendance at court are going to set no example whatsoever - probably the 8 month suspension is more penalty! Given this fellow has now killed a human being, this just seems ludicrous.

    How about:
    * some serioius drivers ed when (if) he returns to the road
    * volunteer work in a rehab center for traffic accident victims
    * an apology to the family
    * put his face up on a traffic awareness ad - "here are the faces of the killers on our roads"

    All of these are within the magistrates power. Unfortunately, here in the wide land of Aus we dont have a smart system for financial penalties - they are all capped at particular amounts. Ideally, we could do something like Finland and fine him something proportionate to his income such that he would not ignore the penalty.

    Makes you sick thinking about it - this guys life was measured as being worth less than what most of us would be wearing in safety gear!