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Driving Offences - Sentencing Inconsistencies

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by nodz, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. See another case in the news last night.
    Man got two years for hit and run after lying to police about it, while mother and father who helped cover it up got nine month suspended sentances.
    Wonder if the DPP will appeal this one :?:

    See Matt232 article below.....

  2. Disgraceful. But not overly surprising for me.

    Remember, locking them up costs money. Fining people for doing 5kmh over the speed limit is revenue-positive, which do you think Bracksy finds more appealling?
  3. Can someone define culpable driving for me? I think I am missing something somewhere.

    My understanding is, it is commiting a dangerous and illegal act with a motor vehicle that resulted in the death of another.

    If this is the gist of the definition, is the problem in this case that the DPP couldn't prove an illegal act was commited, eg DUI?
  4. (DISCLAIMER; i am appalled with the Driver and his parents trying to evade prosecution, and i am not trying to defend these actions)


    another article (above) associated with this case states that the deceased;
    "... had a blood alcohol concentration of .21 and traces of cannabis in his system. ..."
    "... was walking home alone, was on the road, 30 centimetres from the gutter, when he was hit. ...".

    i travel on the roads at all times of the day and night.
    quite often i encounter drunk people walking on the roads.

    one place that is particularly bad for this is adjacent to the Upper Ferntree Gully train station.
    as you come over the rise and around the corner,
    often there are guys strewn across all 3 lanes, trying to hitch a lift home.
    considering the state they are in, not many people stop to give them a lift.
    these guys are so intent on getting a lift,
    that they often jump in front of your vehicle in an attempt to stop you.

    makes me wonder how i would feel if i hit one of these guys!
    what kind of hell would i go through!!
  5. The mere fact that you have entertained such notions as remorse kind of remove you from being in this particular situation. As long as you wouldn't feel like covering your tracks and denying everything then you are hardly in the same boat.
  6. Was discussing this with someone last night and brought up the point that we don't have all the evidence presented to us by the media and we don't know the contribution the deceased made to his own fate.

    It looks to me more like the driver & family/friends have been done for trying to hide the collision rather than for having the collision especially if the above mention of alcohol & drugs in the victim are true.

    I sat through 2 weeks of Jury Service at the County Court last year and it's interesting to see the legal system at work from the inside (no I'm not going into details of the case 'cos I'm not allowed to).
  7. I recall reading somewhere about this case that they didn't think the driver was at fault as the victim was walking on the road in an intoxicated condition.

    The charges are more to do with the failure to stop & render assistance, perjury and cover up.

  8. Correct .
  9. Culpable & Dangerous Driving charges, in general, represent (IIRC) a CONSCIOUS disregard for safe and legal driving. Hence the person who makes U-turn and takes out a motorcyclist will just get a piddly little fine (and no charge), whereas the person that runs 2 red lights at 160kph will be charged with dangerous driving. If that person then runs into someone, it gets upgraded to culpable driving. For culpable driving, someone HAS to get hurt, otherwise its just dangerous/reckless (can't remember which its called in victoria).

    At least, this is how I remember it working.
  10. My 2c....

    There are 2 acts involved here and often they seem to get merged together in the media.
    1. The accident.
    2. The failure to stop + covering it up etc.

    I believe that the punishment should fit the crime.
    ie. If driver was not at fault for the accident then the total punishment should be related solely to failing to stop + covering it up.

    I believe this has happened in this instance, but there is talk of increasing that punishment in the future.
  11. I haven't heard of that one. Details?

  12. OK, I haven't the time to check for more details but down near Geelong either early 2004 or late 2003 a 4wd pulled out of a side lane and killed a motorcyclist travelling down the main road. The driver of the 4wd was fined for failure to give way.
  13. It cannot be demonstrated that the driver was not at fault due to the subsequent cover up. The prosecution in this case did not pursue 'at fault' because there wasnt enough evidence to make the charge stick, not because they thought the driver was blameless. Innocent until proven guilty.
  14. Yep, correct. And only last week the b/f of a girl I work with was hit by a car (on his Moto Guzzi) - the car made a U-turn (legal u-turn, except she drove straight into him, putting him in hospital) - the penalty - failing to give way, $200 fine.
  15. Question is, if she had done the same thing and killed him would she still have been given the same penalty, although her crime of failing to give way was the same?
    Chances are it would have gone further. That's the kind of thing I was talking about when I started this thread, fine/sentencing inconsistency.
  16. Oh, You mean the one in 2003 where a motorist turned across the path of an oncoming motorcycle, who fell off without hitting the car, and whose non-approved helmet came off when he hit the road, resulting in fatal head injuries. The driver was charged with negligent driving, convicted, and given the maximum penalty.

    Not exactly "the person who makes U-turn and takes out a motorcyclist will just get a piddly little fine (and no charge)" but we shouldn't let a few facts get in the way of a good rant.

  17. Question is, if she had done the same thing and missed him would she still have been given the same penalty, although her crime of failing to give way was the same?

    Chances are it would have been a bit less.

    Are you suggesting that the penalty for negligent driving should be the same. regardless of the outcome?

  18. So lets become vigilanties.. they cant offend again if they have no hands.
  19. This may be the case referred to when Ride For Justice was being organised (several anecdotal cases were stated at the time) or it may be another case altogether. If it was the one you were referring to then maybe the initial charge was simply 'failure to give way' but was increased once viewed to be inappropriate. Dont know the details ATM but may look them up later today if I get time.

    Just for quick reference, what was the source of your info?