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Thread: You are only worth $400
08-09-07, 06:25 AM #1
You are only worth $400
The justice system protecting the innocent again... The 'Hell ride" is an organised bike ride each weekend along the beach front in Melbourne - fyi
A HELL Ride cyclist who ignored a red light and killed an elderly pedestrian has been fined what a magistrate labelled a "pathetic" $400.
William Raisin-Shaw pleaded guilty to failing to stop at a traffic signal, fatally striking 77-year-old James Gould as he crossed Beach Rd, Mentone, last August.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg criticised the law that limited the penalty he could impose.
Road safety campaigners have pledged to lobby for tougher sanctions for rogue cyclists.
Mr Rozencwajg said intermediate legislation should be considered.
"This situation really highlights the incongruous state of the law, because there are such severe consequences of your riding on this particular day -- namely, the loss of the life of James Gould," Mr Rozencwajg said in Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
"I'm now going to impose what everybody would consider a pathetic fine of $400.
"It has got to be made clear it is not an offence involving injury or the death of an individual."
The maximum fine for failing to stop at a traffic signal is $550.
Mr Gould's friend, Ivan Lomasney, said he was offended his mate's life was worth only a few hundred dollars.
"He got the penalty under the law, which is something. But the law is inadequate," he said.
"That man has to live with what is on his conscience."
An inquest on Mr Gould last month condemned the "high-risk" behaviour of the Hell Ride cyclists.
The CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Victoria, Harold Scruby, said it would make an urgent formal submission to Premier John Brumby.
"It's a scandal," he said. "The legislators have shown utter contempt for the rights of the most vulnerable road user -- pedestrians.
"With an ageing population, we demand legislation which gives us protection at traffic lights."
Chairman of the Amy Gillett Foundation Duncan Murray said it was inappropriate that motorists faced different criminal consequences than cyclists.
"If cyclists want the same rights, they should face the same consequences," he said.
The Amy Gillett Foundation, in memory of the Commonwealth Games track rider killed two years ago, promotes harmony between cyclists and other road users.
Mr Raisin-Shaw was one of about 100 cyclists on the high-speed Hell Ride through the bayside suburbs on August 26.
Defence lawyer Michael Sharpley told the court his client was in the middle of a pack, and riders behind him yelled "rolling, rolling" to indicate they were running the red light.
"One must not underestimate group dynamics and group pressure," Mr Sharpley said.
Prosecutor Sen-Constable Amber-Lea Brown told the court the traffic lights were clearly visible, and the walk signal had been green for three or four seconds.
She said he had told police: "I couldn't stop safely in time." Mr Gould died in the Alfred hospital the next day.
State Coroner Graeme Johnstone found Mr Gould's death was "unnecessary and preventable", and that bunching cycle riders were a catastrophe in waiting.
He did not single out Mr Raisin-Shaw as responsible for Mr Gould's death."Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"
08-09-07, 08:08 AM #2
Where's the Negligent Homicide charge?
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
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That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
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08-09-07, 12:07 PM #3The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of WarVerified LEO
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There may not be one...
In VA, it's hard to charge someone with more than reckless driving, even if they kill someone, unless they're drunk or you can raise it up to murder.
08-09-07, 12:14 PM #4
ALABAMA STATE LAW has a code for this.
Criminally negligent homicide.
(a) A person commits the crime of criminally negligent homicide if he causes the death of another person by criminal negligence.
(b) The jury may consider statutes and ordinances regulating the actor's conduct in determining whether he is culpably negligent under subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Criminally negligent homicide is a Class A misdemeanor, except in cases in which said criminally negligent homicide is caused by the driver of a motor vehicle who is driving in violation of the provisions of Section 32-5A-191; in such cases criminally negligent homicide is a Class C felony.
(32-5A-191 is DUI)
08-09-07, 12:24 PM #5
Here in Calif it is termed "vehicular manslaughter" and someone could face serious jail time, depending on the circumstancesWell behaved women rarely make history.
08-10-07, 03:15 AM #6
No such charge here. I believe the informant threw every charge under the sun onto the court brief. The red light was really the only clear charge where the necessary points of proof could be proven without question. Very unfair.."Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"
08-14-07, 01:42 PM #7
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