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The Age: Driver spared jail over motorcyclist death

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Mouth, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. #1 Mouth, Apr 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2014
    "A driver who while tuning his car radio veered onto the wrong side of the road and killed a motorcyclist, has walked free from court."


    And the 'establishment' wonder why people think judges and our judiciary are out of touch with what the community wants. Judge Margaret Rizkalla obviously has no idea of the value of a human life! 18mth license cancellation and a 3 yr good behaviour bond for killing a totally innocent person is beyond belief.
  2. how is that even relevant in court?

    if the rider was alive and being charged with riding an unrestricted bike, then that may be relevant but it makes me angry to think that the defence would have used that fact as part of an excuse for killing the rider
  3. If you want to kill someone, do it in a car. For some reason you're viewed as some poor sod by the court systems rather than being held accountable for YOUR actions with resulted in someones death. Oh but that's right, it's only speed that kills...
  4. It looks like they have decided to blame the victim for riding a bike more powerful than his learners permit allowed.
  5. Reading the article that same line jumped out at me. Why drag it up?
  6. They forgot to add "Speed was a factor in the accident" :roll:

    Vehicular manslaughter seems quite acceptable these days.
  7. The victim was on his L plates and riding a safer motorcycle than his license allowed.
  8. [rant]

    This is total BS! I'm figuring a Vehicular Manslaughter charge at the very least. So what if he had a momentary lapse of concentration? Thats the whole damn point! His actions directly caused the death of another person. He was driving a vehicle at the time, and even though it wasn't a deliberate action, it impacted said person and directly contributed to their death. Ergo, Vehicular Manslaughter.

    I reckon if the victim had been a little kid the guy would've gone down, and hard.

    I suppose we aren't familiar with the intricacies of the case, but this guy killed somone. Even by the standard of a 'reasonable person', this guy is guilty:

    'I place before the court that a reasonable person would consider drifting onto the wrong side of the road, whilst distracted by changing a radio setting, a likely occurance.'
    'Motion granted.'
    'Futhermore, a reasonable person would forsee the consequences of this distraction as possibly lethal; to themselves and others.'
    'Motion granted, the defendant is guilty. Rot in hell.'


    Sorry, but this is exactly the sort of thing that really irritates me.

    - boingk
  9. Thats FKD. :evil:

    Am sure he would have been fine if he was on a lambs bike, its the extra hp that made that guy slam into him. Where the FK is common sence these days.
  10. In a nice way they are trying to say - "Hey, he was liable to kill himslef, so its not such a bad thing if someone did in a car"

    I am outraged by the sentenced handed down,
    But taking into account all the factors which I dont know anything about is another thing,

    Maybe the guys a freaking saint and he is in his own prison for life, If I killed someone, that sh*t would stick for life, you probably would go nuts thinking about it.

    Maybe there are extenuating circumstances,
    Just a thought.
  11. a Toyota driver?
    driving lethally??

    i'm disgusted.
    my faith in this country just dropped another notch
  12. Yeah, thats what I'm getting at. If the guy said he wasn't sorry at all, it was his right to use the radio while driving, I reckon the judge would've been a LOT harsher. Its the remorse that changes things, although taking a life often brings remorse, supposedly.

    I have no doubt that he feels terribly bad for this and wishes he could take it back, but at the end of the day it really does look like he is criminally negligent.

    - boingk
  13. It's the appearance of remorse that does it. And how well the defendant does it depends on how good an actor is.

    When people express remorse it's not because they did a bad thing. Rather, it's because they got caught doing it.

    Judges are supposed to be smart people. Sometimes I have to wonder about that.

    I wonder if the fellow went on a bender with his mates after being let off.
  14. The defence for the driver could argue that the motorcyclist may have been able to react better and possibly avoid the collision, had he been more experienced or riding a motorcycle commensurate with his actual experience level. This could then be a mitigating factor in determining the sentence.

    RIP, rider.
  15. you could try but i cant see how someone could possibly prove that. not that i even believe that to be true, its just a cover and an excuse
  16. I also think he needs to be punished more, but jail for someone who isn't a repeat offender is a bit much,

    All i can go on is what i would feel like if i was the driver, if i was responsible i would wish death on myself too which is almost enough of a punishment then on top of that your whole family and friends know you killed someone. the shame would be unbelievable.

    But i guess you never know the thought processes of the driver, maybe he is a total wanker who thinks its the bikes fault too or maybe it has ruined his life more then any of you realize, so why would jail make a difference, don't forget about how much it costs the tax payer to put him away too.. if his life feels like a jail for the next few years anyway whats the difference. (not getting his s*it pushed in?)
  17. What he was riding was irrelevant in this case. If he was on a high performance bike and doing an insane speed not attainable by a LAMS bike then it might well have some bearing - but that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

    I now wait to see what will happen with the off-duty cop who pulled a u-turn and killed a rider recently. She'll probably get a medal... :evil:

    However for all those who have expressed an opinion here - don't let it sit. Write to the Herald-Sun - you can do it online at http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/editorial/letter/

    Or email the attorney-general rob.hulls@parliament.vic.gov.au and complain about the sentencing. Rob Hulls rides a Bolwell scooter so he should be somewhat sympathetic (if only in self defence).
  18. No, it's a fact that should be presented for consideration by the sentencing judge, who would most likely find that it did not contribute to the accident. What if the rider had been wearing no helmet? The accident would still be the driver's fault, but the defence could argue that the rider may not have died if he had been wearing a helmet - and so the sentence could possibly be reduced. Every fact must be considered, and I'd guess that anybody who wishes to know whether the judge took that particular fact to be of relevance can read the judgement here pretty soon:


    Should mention too that I think the sentence is too light.
  19. I knew a guy who was partially responsible for the death of a motorcyclist (in his car, which wasn't the only car involved). He didn't even realise his involvement at the time, but turned himself in to the police voluntarily. The other driver didn't, even though they contributed more to the crash. Guess who the police pursued most vigorously? I found this quote disturbing:
    I don't believe that, and if you do it says more about your moral code than other people's. This guy was genuinely shattered by what he had done.

    As a motorcyclist I was torn between the desire not to appear too lenient towards negligent driving, and the knowledge that someone I knew to be a decent person could be up for severe punishment. He made a stupid mistake, but putting him away in prison wouldn't remedy that or bring back the dead. What was interesting at the time was reading the uninformed opinions of the general public on boards such as this. It's amazing how many people are willing to be judge, jury and executioner depite the fact that they know next to nothing of the facts.

    Personally I think that better mandatory driver training and enforcement of road rules other than speeding would be a lot more effective than harsher manslaughter penalties.
  20. Exactly Theyak, though I would have argued that if he was unlicensed to ride the bike he was riding at the time, then he shouldnt have been there when the incident took place. I have heard of this argument being used by insurance companies in court

    I dont think you can reasonably expect the full protection of the law if you are doing something illegal (loophole being a burglar can sue you if they fall in a hole and break an ankle on your property while trying to break into your house.... weird huh?)

    This is a sad case and I feel sorry for the dead bloke and his family. I couldnt imagine what it would be like for the guy driving the car either, having to live life knowing that your stupidity killed an innocent man
    pretty sad all round