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VIC VERY disturbing legal precedent?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by [FLUX], Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Check out this story: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25098882-2862,00.html

    In summary, a guy speeds along. Another guy (in a Ferrari) takes off after him. Ferrari driver subsequently loses control, crashes, and dies and kills his female passenger as well.

    The guy in the other car is jailed for the offence of culpable driving. Seriously, WTF? He wasn't responsible for making the Ferrari guy go fast and kill himself.

    Getting back to motorbikes, I find that this has greatly disturbing legal implications for group rides. If any of us leads a ride, and someone who's following runs off the road and kills themselves, can it then be successfully argued in court that the person leading was responsible for the death and jailed as a result for that? All it would take, it would seem, would be for someone to say that they thought you were speeding at some time (you being the leader) and you're now in the shit trying to prove that it wasn't you who steering the dead guy's motorbike off the road.

    Heck, doesn't even appear to be an issue with group rides. If you overtake anyone at all, and they subsequently run off and die, are you then responsible if it can be ascertained that the person who killed themselves was trying to catch up to, or tail you, even if they did that without your knowledge (you being in front and all)?

    Shit like this makes me very concerned.
  2. And what's the position on Loser's Flypasts?
  3. Im not endorsing this train of thought but consider this...

    Group ride is lead onto questionable terrain and accident occurs - how do you think this would go down in litigation for the ride leader?

    I accept the riders are not lemmings and have a choice of who to follow where, but there are many circumstances that can lead to finding one self in situation with out enough time to gauge the situation and I guess trust is placed with the ride leader.
  4. concerning...yes


    after all we live in Australia, the lucky country where there is always somebody else to blame for whatever happens to you :roll:
  5. sort of makes you go cold doesn't it. Any of our resident legals got an opinion?

    Calling Tramp!! banana phone!
  6. Fixed it for you.
  7. I don't think we have enough info here to draw any conclusions, especially with the media's clear moral code & accurate reporting :? , but it is a very scary precedent.

    We need more personal accountability not less FFS.
  8. Geeze, if the Ferrari was taking evasive action to avoid the guy, I'd understand. But here the Ferrari voluntarily starts following the other guy, crashes and kills the driver/passenger, and its the other guys fault? WTF?

    Yeah so anyone here who's done 160km/h should be dead. Netrider would be looking pretty empty.

    What a stupid resolution by a stupid judge.
  9. It's an utterly stupid statement. If disaster was inevitable, then the guy being jailed would've crashed and been killed as well. That didn't happen though. So basically the guy in the Ferrari has done the wrong thing and travelled at a dangerous speed, evident by the fact that he crashed and died, and the guy who safely negotiated the road travelling at a speed that allowed him to avoid "inevitable disaster" makes him the one responsible for the Ferrari driver's actions?
  10. Yet this cretin got away with actually and directly killing someone...

    A TRUCK driver who killed a motorcyclist while doing an illegal U-turn has avoided jail after a court heard the accident had left him a shell of a man.

    Alex Walker, 20, had been married just six months before he was killed on Sunbury Rd near Tullamarine in February 2007.

    His body landed just metres from the "No U-turn" sign that truckie Pasquale Massari had failed to see.

    County Court Judge John Nixon said Mr Walker would have had no chance of avoiding the large truck as it crossed his path.

    Massari, 45, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

    The judge said that while speed, alcohol, drugs or fatigue did not play a part, Massari's actions still had catastrophic consequences.

    After missing his turn off Massari pulled the truck towards the left emergency lane so he could swing and complete a right U-turn.

    But he did not check for approaching traffic before turning into the motorcyclist's path.

    After Mr Walker slammed into the side of the truck and was flung from his motorcycle the truck completed its U-turn, running over the bike.

    Judge Nixon said Mr Walker's wife Ella, who has suffered severe depression since the loss of her husband, did not harbour any hatred towards Massari.

    The judge said Massari, a father of four, was suffering from post-traumatic stress from the crash and had vowed never to drive a truck again.

    So has he lost his licence forever - I bet he hasn't.

    He had an unblemished record of 20 years as a professional driver and was devastated by Mr Walker's death.

    The judge said he accepted evidence from those close to Massari that he was now a shell of man unable to cope with the simplest of tasks.

    And the guy he killed isn't even that. It would be interesting to see what he's like in six months time after the case is over.

    He said it was a very sad case and that Massari's rehabilitation would not be helped by sending him to prison.

    Judge Nixon jailed Massari for 15 months but suspended the term for three years.

    So deterrence doesn't matter when a motorcyclist is killed - but does when it's a Ferrari driver?
  11. I dunno, it doesn't sound like she places all the blame on the one guy. It appears that she blames both the drivers for the death of the female passenger. I obviously don't know much if any of the details (I'm guessing none of us do), but if you "street race" (I'm thinking The Fast and the Furious) and kill a third party then I say fck 'em up...

    The thing with the truck driver is really dodge. He's meant to be a professional and he should have acted like one...
  12. And did you all learn the valuable lesson?

    If you are racing someone, or it even looks like you COULD have been racing someone, and they crash: do not stop to render aid.

    You f*** off and hide and never speak of it to anyone.

    ... maybe call an ambulance anonymously.
  13. That's just it though. He wasn't "equally reckless". If he had crashed, and yet lived through luck, then yeah, I'd call him "equally reckless", but even then I wouldn't charge him with culpable driving for the death caused by a completely different individual in a completely different car, UNLESS he actively forced that car to crash by colliding with it.

    The guy jailed did NOT make the Ferrari driver give chase and crash. I fail to see how he could be held responsible.

    This whole case smacks of vengeance gone mad. If the Ferrari driver had lived and yet his passenger died, he'd be the one rightfully charged with dangerous driving occasioning death. He's dead now and the law can't touch him, so it looks to me like they've done the next best thing and attempted to apportion blame to those not even responsible for controlling the vehicle, but just happened to be nearby, and through proximity alone, assumed to be party to the incident.

    Ktulu has it quite right. If someone is near you and you see them crash, and Nanna Mary back down the road thinks that you both flew by her "rather quickly" while she was doddering along at 30kph in an 80kph zone, then this case now makes it very murky as to whether you should stop and render assistance lest you get the stick for being nearby when the crash happened.
  14. This tragic tale does indeed have alarming consequences. I'm in two minds here about it, mainly because I knew the woman. She had delivered a Honda ATV I think it was, to the Ferrari guy. Apparently she was admiring the car and he offered to take her for a spin in it before she went home.

    It does seem unfair to jail the Falcon driver, particularly as he didn't cause the crash. I heard snippets of what might've gone down but it's a while now and I can't remember exactly. So I won't speculate here.

    As for group rides and a rider "leader" being subjected to litigation if a crash occurs, it won't happen. Sure, they can try, but when you're licensed you are considered competant to ride on the road unsupervised. Anything that happens as a result of decisions that you make, the consequences are yours to bear. ie. if they ride goes down a dirt road and you fall off, you can't blame anyone, unless, of course, that someone runs into you, for example. But if a crash occurs due to a lack of riding skill then how, in all fairness, can anyone other than you be blamed?

    The same thing applies with this case, I s'pose, except that both parties were breaking the law.

    If the Falcon driver appeals, maybe the Supreme Court will have a different view of the matter.
  15. Its a tricky one and its will open up a can of worms when you get charged for some else bad driving. :shock:

    But ...I guess this is the way the judge looked at the big picture. :?

    They both had deadly weapons ...Car = gun ... and they just started shooting at each other and the girl was stuck in the middle ,her Farrari friend ended up shooting her.
    Should the other person that missed get away with nothing. :?

    Just the way I sort of read it. :oops:
  16. U rang?

    Ok, in this case (and just judging by what I have read), BOTH drivers contributed to the accident by thier speeding and dangerous behaviour.

    In a group ride scenario, IF the ride leader was doing 150kmh (for example) and IF someone pranged the same charges could be laid.

    But, if the group leader was doing the speed limit and some idiot rider flew past him at 150kmh (and pranged) he would be safe as he was not involved and did not contribute to the accident.
  17. #17 [Freddy], Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2014
    So can you explain again how the group ride scenario is different to this accident? It does not say the Ferrari guy was unlicensed (not that is matters) so how would it differ if you road past me on a group ride and I took off after you and crashed? With the above precedent you'd be liable. :?:

    Yes, but what if the leader sped up as a result of that "some idiot" and crashed himself? It would appear that "some idiot" is liable? Tell me it isn't so!

    What a f**king joke.
  18. To me, reading that article beggars belief... sure if they had raced and caused an accident killing someone else i can see how one or both would be charged but surely the driver of the car is responsible if he/she decides to participate? How is that the other persons fault (assuming no collision etc)? So if i'm at the traffic lights and some bogan wants a bit of fun, we take off and he loses it and crashes into a pole... i get charged? WTF?
  19. Its deviating a little but...

    Scenario 1:
    Group ride - beginner friendly.
    Ride "LEADER" - title implies something, no? - takes the ride into situations not suited for a beginner... is this considered negligent?

    Scenario 2:
    As above, but ride scenario becomes illegal - could be parking circumstance, or riding somewhere not permitted - Surely this opens a can of worms?

  20. Just had a word with a 'source'... this isn't a precedent at all, quite common in fact, and as for why the other driver is being charged with culpable driving, he said this:
    "Because he engaged in a illegal street race, your considered a co-defendant same as if you do a robbery with someone and your partner kills someone, you get charged with the murder to".

    I don't really see that as entirely fair, you should be responsible for your own actions, but his reply was that if you weren't racing then the other person wouldn't be trying to keep up to begin with.