Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby human909 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:52 pm

Duck! wrote:but it should not take the best part of three months to come to a conclusion in a case like this.

You are right but you obviously have a generous faith in our legal system.

There are countless examples of it taking months or years for the known perpetrator to be charged. Another year or so for them to go to trial. Our policing system sucks. Especially it seems when it comes to collisions on the road.

(Even for a simple assault the police justice is slow. In my case it took over a year for me to hear anything, despite witnesses, identification and photos.)

One thing to be aware of is that the victim spent more than a week in ICU and much longer in hospital. His statement may not have been taken until many weeks after the incident.


But that is the problem isn't it. If you hit a vulnerable road user in your car then the onus should be on you to prove that you did not do so recklessly. Some people claim this is guilty until proven innocent but it isn't, the cause of the harm is well established. No different if I shot/punched/knifed somebody on the street with a gun. It would be up to me to prove that I didn't perform the action recklessly.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:40 pm

human909 wrote:
Duck! wrote:but it should not take the best part of three months to come to a conclusion in a case like this.

You are right but you obviously have a generous faith in our legal system.

There are countless examples of it taking months or years for the known perpetrator to be charged. Another year or so for them to go to trial. Our policing system sucks. Especially it seems when it comes to collisions on the road.

(Even for a simple assault the police justice is slow. In my case it took over a year for me to hear anything, despite witnesses, identification and photos.)

One thing to be aware of is that the victim spent more than a week in ICU and much longer in hospital. His statement may not have been taken until many weeks after the incident.


But that is the problem isn't it. If you hit a vulnerable road user in your car then the onus should be on you to prove that you did not do so recklessly. Some people claim this is guilty until proven innocent but it isn't, the cause of the harm is well established. No different if I shot/punched/knifed somebody on the street with a gun. It would be up to me to prove that I didn't perform the action recklessly.


Over on FB, those who know the victim are saying that as far as they know, the police are yet to interview him and take a statement. He is still in hospital.
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby Duck! » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:09 am

human909 wrote:
Duck! wrote:but it should not take the best part of three months to come to a conclusion in a case like this.

You are right but you obviously have a generous faith in our legal system.

There are countless examples of it taking months or years for the known perpetrator to be charged. Another year or so for them to go to trial. Our policing system sucks. Especially it seems when it comes to collisions on the road. Even moreso with a bike, apparently.


(Even for a simple assault the police justice is slow. In my case it took over a year for me to hear anything, despite witnesses, identification and photos.)

One thing to be aware of is that the victim spent more than a week in ICU and much longer in hospital. His statement may not have been taken until many weeks after the incident.


But that is the problem isn't it. If you hit a vulnerable road user in your car then the onus should be on you to prove that you did not do so recklessly. Some people claim this is guilty until proven innocent but it isn't, the cause of the harm is well established. No different if I shot/punched/knifed somebody on the street with a gun. It would be up to me to prove that I didn't perform the action recklessly.

Maybe it is a bit of Utopian thinking on my part, but I agree with your points. The road rules quite explicitly place the onus of overtaking safely on the head of the overtaking operator, so it rather is (or should be) a case of guilty until proven otherwise if one hits someone from behind, and *shouldn't* be that difficult to wrap up a case.... In a similar vein, the driver who hit and killed a young cyclist (who happened to be a friend of mine) near Bendigo just before Christmas has only just been slapped with a range of charges, some seven months later. The guy wo hit me several years ago was never charged... If I knew then what I know now, I might have had the gumption to push a bit harder for cherges to be laid.....
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby queequeg » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:28 am

Duck! wrote:Maybe it is a bit of Utopian thinking on my part, but I agree with your points. The road rules quite explicitly place the onus of overtaking safely on the head of the overtaking operator, so it rather is (or should be) a case of guilty until proven otherwise if one hits someone from behind, and *shouldn't* be that difficult to wrap up a case.... In a similar vein, the driver who hit and killed a young cyclist (who happened to be a friend of mine) near Bendigo just before Christmas has only just been slapped with a range of charges, some seven months later. The guy wo hit me several years ago was never charged... If I knew then what I know now, I might have had the gumption to push a bit harder for cherges to be laid.....


I noticed on the FB page, those that know the victim have said that he was hit head on, not from behind, with the driver on the wrong side of the road. The police media release said he was hit from behind, so until we actually hear something it's difficult to know what actually happened.

There is equal silence about what is going on with the Mike Hall inquest, which was supposed to have had another direction's hearing on May 1st, and that has gone silent, and there is no further hearings listed for the matter, so it's not likely to be even started any time soon.
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:31 am

A slightly confrontational question following this devastating collision and other tragedies, is there a difference in consequences or a better / worse outcome when:
- more facts are released by the police?
- the ‘party at fault’ is named?

I am asking whether is likely that there is no change to the outcome? Is there an increased chance of altering the ability to conduct a fair and just hearing?

On the flipside, there is public interest and sometimes a penalty can appears ill-suited to the severity. Public outrage can influence the outcome when a stronger deterrent or awareness is reach through the penalty.

What are your thoughts?

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby human909 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:25 am

For various reasons some of them quite clearly legitimate, police take their time and don't release details of their investigation to the public. There is a problem here and I'll resort to paraphrasing a couple quotes:

"justice needs to be seen to be done"

"justice delayed is justice denied"

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby RobertL » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:10 am

queequeg wrote:
human909 wrote:Safe Cycling has managed to have a fight with almost everyone. Kudos to some of the work they've done but Dave has put plenty of noses out of joint.


I used to follow the SCA Page, but Dave's "my way or the highway" confrontational approach was getting too much, and for my own sanity I had to leave. There were numerous fights with Cycle on issues where there shouldn't be disagreement. I got the feeling that SCA is not really in it for the good of cyclists, but only for big noting themselves. I don't have time for that.


I got blocked by SCA for standing up for Qld TMR removing a person's gender from their driver's licence. Seriously, I made two comments defending TMR against the slagging off it was receiving on the page and got blocked.
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby human909 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:18 am

RobertL wrote:
queequeg wrote:I used to follow the SCA Page, but Dave's "my way or the highway" confrontational approach was getting too much, and for my own sanity I had to leave.

I got blocked by SCA for standing up for Qld TMR removing a person's gender from their driver's licence. Seriously, I made two comments defending TMR against the slagging off it was receiving on the page and got blocked.

Sounds all about right.

In an additional defense of Edward Hore. His biggest fault in any conflict that occurred was to take it too personally. (Though I believe there were some very specific personal comments directed his way.) He is big hearted and that means that conflict can take its toll. I see him as far less confrontational than the average person around this forum including myself.

I don't know him well. But well enough to have had a chat and a beer with him.


For what it is worth. I do follow Cycle and SCA facebook pages. SCA is better than nothing, but it would be nice if they didn't pick fights.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby queequeg » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:28 am

AUbicycles wrote:A slightly confrontational question following this devastating collision and other tragedies, is there a difference in consequences or a better / worse outcome when:
- more facts are released by the police?
- the ‘party at fault’ is named?

I am asking whether is likely that there is no change to the outcome? Is there an increased chance of altering the ability to conduct a fair and just hearing?

On the flipside, there is public interest and sometimes a penalty can appears ill-suited to the severity. Public outrage can influence the outcome when a stronger deterrent or awareness is reach through the penalty.

What are your thoughts?


Some indication that an investigation is in progress would be a start. Generally you'll see NSW Police very quick to lay charges against a driver who has injured or killed someone. Just browse the NSW Police Media Releases, and in many cases it's barely 48 hours before someone has been charged with a string of offences. The police then go and prepare their evidence etc. They can always upgrade their charges if circumstances change, and this happens quite often (i.e. where someone dies a couple of weeks after the event)

I am at a loss to understand how it is that a cyclist is still in hospital almost 3 months after the collision, with life threatening and permanent injuries, and police have not sought to even interview him, nor has anyone been charged. The question is, why not? What is the delay?
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby AdelaidePeter » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:01 pm

queequeg wrote:I am at a loss to understand how it is that a cyclist is still in hospital almost 3 months after the collision, with life threatening and permanent injuries, and police have not sought to even interview him, nor has anyone been charged. The question is, why not? What is the delay?


But do you know that the police haven't interviewed or charged them [I thought it was a "her"]? Maybe they have, and just haven't released the information.

Mind you, in some ways that is worse - there is no information, so there is no way to bring accountability to the police if they fail to prosecute.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby queequeg » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:14 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:
queequeg wrote:I am at a loss to understand how it is that a cyclist is still in hospital almost 3 months after the collision, with life threatening and permanent injuries, and police have not sought to even interview him, nor has anyone been charged. The question is, why not? What is the delay?


But do you know that the police haven't interviewed or charged them [I thought it was a "her"]? Maybe they have, and just haven't released the information.

Mind you, in some ways that is worse - there is no information, so there is no way to bring accountability to the police if they fail to prosecute.


According to those close to James, the police are yet to interview him. He is still in hospital. It seems odd that after all this time, they have not asked the victim for his side of things. Maybe they don't need to speak to him, as chances would seem pretty good that the car involved would have had a dashcam running (as part of the media day).
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby AdelaidePeter » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:25 pm

queequeg wrote:According to those close to James, the police are yet to interview him. He is still in hospital. It seems odd that after all this time, they have not asked the victim for his side of things. Maybe they don't need to speak to him, as chances would seem pretty good that the car involved would have had a dashcam running (as part of the media day).


Sorry, I misread. I thought you meant they hadn't interviewed the driver.
As for the cyclist, it would depend on his condition.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:30 pm

AUbicycles wrote:What are your thoughts?

I would hate to see a situation where information and/or misinformation in the public impacted the outcome

There's also the possibility of the modern equivalent of the linch mob. We need justice to be completed by the authorities

BTW I'm seeing that my question about what happened as still being a valid question, with conflicting stories
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:05 pm

From my experience, I expect that many people connected may consciously choose to refrain from sharing details and information (out of respect, to allow due process and to avoid creating emotional public discourse).

The interest I have as a non-involved person is to know that there is justice because this helps create a deterrent or leads to infrastructure changes or improvements.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby fat and old » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:07 pm

human909 wrote: If you hit a vulnerable road user in your car then the onus should be on you to prove that you did not do so recklessly. Some people claim this is guilty until proven innocent but it isn't, the cause of the harm is well established. No different if I shot/punched/knifed somebody on the street with a gun.


Absolute bollocks, and an excellent example of why this idea can’t even win 100% of cyclist backing let alone the greater population.

No one is going to walk into your fist, knife or gun. We have all however seen vids of cyclists riding out in front of large vehicles, trains, trams and even bridges!

Edit: this is no way to be read as a comment on the current situation....I have no idea what happened.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby Thoglette » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:01 pm

fat and old wrote:We have all however seen vids of...

...men walking on the moon.

You need to grok the subtleties of what is proposed.
Right now, the legal assumption is that it's an each way bet. That is, fault is equally likely to be the cyclist as the motorist.

Whereas it's at least 4 times more likely to be the operator of the inherently dangerous machinery at fault* (that number would be higher but dead men tell no tales). If you "don't trust experts" go through the various fatalities threads and you will note that those caused by cyclists failing to obey the road rules and impacting motor vehicles are few and far between.

And we have stupid precedents like the NSW case (sorry, cites in the other office) where a magistrate attributed fault to a cyclist because the bike's front light was off. The cyclist was hit from behind. By a car driver in a car with fully functioning head lights. Who "didn't see" the cyclist. No wonder "dangerous drivers" are the number one reason people don't ride in this country.

Now, in any other road vehicle context, running into the back of another road user is prima facie evidence of fault. This means at first appearance" and there are affirmative defenses in the rare instance that, well, a man walks on the moon.

This is what is being asked for: that the legal starting point match the reality.

*This is not news. E.g. first one I looked at in my stash of articles from a decade ago.
Walker 2009-12-16 The Guardian wrote:The data, which was analysed by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), showed that more than a quarter of all cycling deaths in 2005-07 happened when a vehicle ran into the rear of a bike. This rose to more than one-third in rural areas and to 40% in collisions that took place away from junctions.
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:47 pm

queequeg wrote:
I am at a loss to understand how it is that a cyclist is still in hospital almost 3 months after the collision, with life threatening and permanent injuries, and police have not sought to even interview him, nor has anyone been charged. The question is, why not? What is the delay?

For me you can add to your thoughts how it is that an accident that is apparently serious enough to require such a long stay in hospital is pretty well not reported on at the time or on progress of the victim.
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:56 pm

I appreciate that this hasn't become a trending media story as they tend to foster extreme and crass commentary along with distortion and skewing.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby fat and old » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:51 pm

Thoglette wrote:
fat and old wrote:We have all however seen vids of...

...men walking on the moon.

You need to grok the subtleties of what is proposed.
Right now, the legal assumption is that it's an each way bet. That is, fault is equally likely to be the cyclist as the motorist.

Whereas it's at least 4 times more likely to be the operator of the inherently dangerous machinery at fault* (that number would be higher but dead men tell no tales). If you "don't trust experts" go through the various fatalities threads and you will note that those caused by cyclists failing to obey the road rules and impacting motor vehicles are few and far between.

And we have stupid precedents like the NSW case (sorry, cites in the other office) where a magistrate attributed fault to a cyclist because the bike's front light was off. The cyclist was hit from behind. By a car driver in a car with fully functioning head lights. Who "didn't see" the cyclist. No wonder "dangerous drivers" are the number one reason people don't ride in this country.

Now, in any other road vehicle context, running into the back of another road user is prima facie evidence of fault. This means at first appearance" and there are affirmative defenses in the rare instance that, well, a man walks on the moon.

This is what is being asked for: that the legal starting point match the reality.

*This is not news. E.g. first one I looked at in my stash of articles from a decade ago.
Walker 2009-12-16 The Guardian wrote:The data, which was analysed by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), showed that more than a quarter of all cycling deaths in 2005-07 happened when a vehicle ran into the rear of a bike. This rose to more than one-third in rural areas and to 40% in collisions that took place away from junctions.


I have absolutely no issue with the concept of hit someone in the rear = instant liability and agree that it is disgusting that this goes out the window when it’s a cyclist that’s hit. I have no answers to this and would support without question any move to ensure liability both civil and criminal was worn by the offending party.

However, this does not occur 100% of the time, and I can’t support a blanket proposal like strict liability either criminal or civil.

I honestly have no answer to cases such as this or Mike Halls. It seems that once again “it’s just a cyclist”. Hard to believe society can be so callous, at least until you watch any documentary on any war.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby trailgumby » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:01 pm

human909 wrote:But that is the problem isn't it. If you hit a vulnerable road user in your car then the onus should be on you to prove that you did not do so recklessly. Some people claim this is guilty until proven innocent but it isn't, the cause of the harm is well established. No different if I shot/punched/knifed somebody on the street with a gun. It would be up to me to prove that I didn't perform the action recklessly.

I agree with this statement. It was a key plank that enabled the Dutch to turn around their driving culture. It's not about blame. It's about requiring people to take care, and to balance the power differential between well funded insurance companies and financially financially vulnerable people struggling to get back on their feet after serious injury.

And it is absolutely not without precedent here in Australia. Presumed liability already operates in the realm of tax law. If the ATO makes a determination it is up to the taxpayer to provide the evidence they are wrong. This reversal of the onus of proof was met with much hand-wringing among the legal and tax accounting profession, but it was a result of the notorious "bottom of the harbour" tax avoidance schemes of the 80's.

In these schemes, business owners would engage in asset stripping, lodge dodgy tax returns, and then shred the ledger and dump it in the harbour (in some cases) and the ATO would not be able to get their hands on the records to disprove the dodgy tax return. The govmint was losing significant sums. So they reversed the onus of proof. It's been in place for approximately 30 years.

Anyone who says it's a violation of our legal system is a bloviating flesh bag.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby human909 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:34 am

fat and old wrote:Absolute bollocks,

Huh? Bollocks? Try to find something that is less refutable before making such claims.

fat and old wrote:No one is going to walk into your fist, knife or gun.

Um. Yes when using guns many many people ARE injured or killed from walking into the line of fire. Accidental shootings do quite regularly, particularly in places where guns are common. If one person accidently shoot another person then the situation is treated quite different from a motor vehicle collision.

Regarding your claim about fists. This is almost our current situation for cyclist on the road:

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby fat and old » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:16 am

human909 wrote:Um. Yes when using guns many many people ARE injured or killed from walking into the line of fire. Accidental shootings do quite regularly, particularly in places where guns are common.


True enough. Not what you said however

No different if I shot/punched/knifed somebody on the street with a gun


Please provide evidence of an accidental shooting "on the street". Maybe it does happen. Police excluded.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby human909 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:09 am

fat and old wrote:Please provide evidence of an accidental shooting "on the street". Maybe it does happen. Police excluded.

Evidence?

You seem to be missing the point. If I accidentally shoot somebody, then I better have a damn good explanation for the police on why it was an accident and it was not reckless. I'll struggle to get away without charges if my excuse was "I didn't see him" or "I thought I gave him enough space".

In contrast such excuse routinely are acceptable. Sorry Mr Plod, I did look but didn't notice that cyclists there, I'm sorry he died. Minor traffic infringements or no punishment at all is common.

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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby Thoglette » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:12 am

fat and old wrote:Please provide evidence of an accidental shooting "on the street". Maybe it does happen. Police excluded.

I'm old enough to remember when carrying a rifle or shotgun in public wouldn't result in the TRG arriving five minutes later, but that's a long, long time ago. Now, even the SAS don't carry in public.

Americans (who are allowed to have firearms "on the street" ) do it all the time, unfortunately.

Again, you're misunderstanding what "strict liability" means. It does not mean "100%" - it means that the starting gates are moved.

Another current example is knife laws: one needs to have a lawful excuse as an affirmative defence. That is, if I am stopped on my way home from the shops with my new kitchen knife the assumed position is that I'm breaking the law. It is then up to me to present evidence that I had/have a lawful excuse. (e.g. it is still in the bag and I've got the receipt showing I've just purchased it).

That's how this sort of thing works: it's not "100%" or some "blanket coverage".

Does that make sense?
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Re: Motoring Journalist in McLaren Hits Cyclist at West Head/Akuna NSW

Postby fat and old » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 pm

Yes, it does. Is there any situation in your knife example where you do not need an affirmative defense? Is there any way you can carry that knife (under current laws as you said) without having a valid reason? If not, isn’t that “100%” or “blanket coverage”?

The “starting gates are moved” My understanding of that is that the default position is that in a motor vehicle/cycle incident the motor vehicle is deemed to be at fault, 100% of the time until proven otherwise? Where have I got this wrong? I’m seriously not seeing this and am willing to be shown.

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