7 posts • Page 1 of 1
No jail sentence. Change of legislation required given the max penalty
http://www.themercury.com.au/article/20 ... -news.html
A TASMANIAN driver avoided jail despite a "high degree of negligence" evident when he killed a cyclist last year. Stephen Francis Ferris, 53, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Andrew Bingley, 45, by negligent driving on June 16. Magistrate Tim Hill yesterday sentenced Ferris, of Deloraine, to four months' jail but suspended it on the condition he be of good behaviour for 12 months. The court heard Ferris had failed to see Mr Bingley who was riding west on the Bass Highway about 4.30pm when Ferris hit him from behind. Mr Bingley did not have lights on his bike but legally was not required to at that time of the day. Mr Hill said other drivers had seen Mr Bingley, who was only kilometres from his home at Travellers Rest.
"Given the distance that he could have been seen, the degree of negligence is relatively high," Mr Hill said. "There was ample opportunity to see Mr Bingley."
Mr Bingley's wife, Rosalie, and her sisters left the court without commenting on the sentence. Mr Hill said he accepted Ferris was remorseful and that the incident had had a major impact on his life and family. "But that is no consolation to Mr Bingley's family," he said.
He said a maximum penalty under the legislation was a fine of $1300 and a 12-month jail sentence. Ferris was also disqualified from driving for 12 months. A police prosecutor last December told the court a witness who was travelling behind Ferris had seen Mr Bingley from 400-500m away and had expected the car to move around the cyclist. Instead it had continued forward in a straight line.
Bicycle Tasmania president Jeff Dunn last night hit out at the sentence.
"I think it is very lenient, far too lenient," he said.
He said that in Tasmania sentences did not reflect the harm caused. In many other countries where harsher sentences were handed down there was greater respect for bicycle riders.
"Drivers have got to care more or if they don't it should come back to get you if something goes wrong," Mr Dunn said.
"The easy way to make better drivers is to have stiffer penalties when they let their concentration lapse."
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
YES YES YES.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
Very much an after the horse has bolted approach. In this case the bolting horse kills. Not a great approach to my mind.
Better drivers come from better and ongoing driver education and training.
GT Avalanche 1.0 | TCR Alliance 0 | Giant Bowery | BMW K1300R
Two wheels good, Four wheels bad
Given human nature you need to add some stick. Training without accountability is just entertainment.
Might have been raised as a defence by the defendant.
Who knows, it might have worked. A recent case in Victoria, the driver got off fatally ramming a rider from behind because he failed to have a *front* light.
Nominate the Masters post for understatement of the century. My take would have the word censor bluescreening.
Classic example of blameshifting that would invite nationwide media outrage if it was directed at any other group.
Did the local Plod even consider examining this Ferris clowns mophone records?
Condolences to Mr Bingleys family and friends
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
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