Guilty till proven innocent

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: Guilty till proven innocent

Postby find_bruce » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:49 pm

I was pleasantly surprised to read the above post as it was not at all what I was expecting. To me two of the strongest points were made in the following paragraphs
Like most countries in the world, the Netherlands has a rule by which a driver whose car collides with the rear of a car in front is normally held to be responsible for the collision. The threat of being held liable has not eliminated rear end crashes either in the Netherlands or any other country. Such crashes are rarely intentional. It is a human failing that results in crashes like this occurring. The "strict liability" law in the Netherlands is very similar. It also has not had an appreciable effect on the rate of crashes between drivers and cyclists as these also are not intentional. All it has done is to make clear where financial responsibility lies after damage has been caused.

It is very rare that a more severe punishment results in less crime. If it did, then we might expect that the USA having capital punishment for murder in most states might have eliminated murders in the USA. However, the USA has an intentional homicide rate of 4.8 per 100000 people in comparison with a rate of just 0.87 per 100000 in the Netherlands, where there is no capital punishment. There is no direct relationship between punishment and behaviour. Other factors are involved.

2nd Womble, just where do you get off posting sensible, rational material like that ? I am sure it won't catch on :D
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by BNA » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:59 pm

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Re: Guilty till proven innocent

Postby Livetoride » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:59 pm

find_bruce wrote:I was pleasantly surprised to read the above post as it was not at all what I was expecting. To me two of the strongest points were made in the following paragraphs
Like most countries in the world, the Netherlands has a rule by which a driver whose car collides with the rear of a car in front is normally held to be responsible for the collision. The threat of being held liable has not eliminated rear end crashes either in the Netherlands or any other country. Such crashes are rarely intentional. It is a human failing that results in crashes like this occurring. The "strict liability" law in the Netherlands is very similar. It also has not had an appreciable effect on the rate of crashes between drivers and cyclists as these also are not intentional. All it has done is to make clear where financial responsibility lies after damage has been caused.

It is very rare that a more severe punishment results in less crime. If it did, then we might expect that the USA having capital punishment for murder in most states might have eliminated murders in the USA. However, the USA has an intentional homicide rate of 4.8 per 100000 people in comparison with a rate of just 0.87 per 100000 in the Netherlands, where there is no capital punishment. There is no direct relationship between punishment and behaviour. Other factors are involved.

2nd Womble, just where do you get off posting sensible, rational material like that ? I am sure it won't catch on :D

2nd Womble, some good and valid points there, I believe from the information I have read and doco's I have seen that the Netherlands have drastically reduced their road deaths, injuries and accidents between cars and bikes by introducing a number of key factors
1 - A road and bike lane network that has been integrated into the city where by both parties can drive and ride without crossing paths (excluding driveways, cross roads etc)
2 - Strict Liability
3 - A basic understanding by 101% of the nation that the road accidents and deaths (at the time prior to these introductions) can quit easily be fixed and need to be fixed.
4 - A understanding that a vehicle when used incorrectly is a dangerous weapon and if used in that way (whether or it be on purpose or by accident) and someone (i.e cyclist in our case) is seriously hurt and dies, the driver is treated accordingly. It appears that people understand and can see the logic with this in that a car is like a loaded gun, where as here...

I don't believe that one of any of the above three would help us here in Australia, BUT all three... Yes and I would go as far as to say that some sort of method of tracking cyclists is also obviously needed (we all know there's heaps of cyclists out there all day every day breaking the laws)
Last edited by Livetoride on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Guilty till proven innocent

Postby RonK » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:05 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:Appologies for the sheer length of the Post but it's worth the read

It is certainly worth the read - argues convincingly that a simplistic approach won't be effective. Quite clearly road safety for all users has to be designed in the road system.


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Re: Guilty till proven innocent

Postby Livetoride » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:07 pm

RonK wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:Appologies for the sheer length of the Post but it's worth the read

It is certainly worth the read - argues convincingly that a simplistic approach won't be effective. Quite clearly road safety for all users has to be designed in the road system.


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+ 1, but with a number of other attributes to ensure all is well at the end of the day.
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Re: Guilty till proven innocent

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:14 pm

Sorry for posting something sensible :( I don't know how to feel inside atm.
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Re: Guilty till proven innocent

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:46 am

The 2nd Womble wrote:Sorry for posting something sensible :( I don't know how to feel inside atm.

It's a stage - you'll get thru it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Guilty till proven innocent

Postby zero » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:55 am

find_bruce wrote:I was pleasantly surprised to read the above post as it was not at all what I was expecting. To me two of the strongest points were made in the following paragraphs
Like most countries in the world, the Netherlands has a rule by which a driver whose car collides with the rear of a car in front is normally held to be responsible for the collision. The threat of being held liable has not eliminated rear end crashes either in the Netherlands or any other country. Such crashes are rarely intentional. It is a human failing that results in crashes like this occurring. The "strict liability" law in the Netherlands is very similar. It also has not had an appreciable effect on the rate of crashes between drivers and cyclists as these also are not intentional. All it has done is to make clear where financial responsibility lies after damage has been caused.

It is very rare that a more severe punishment results in less crime. If it did, then we might expect that the USA having capital punishment for murder in most states might have eliminated murders in the USA. However, the USA has an intentional homicide rate of 4.8 per 100000 people in comparison with a rate of just 0.87 per 100000 in the Netherlands, where there is no capital punishment. There is no direct relationship between punishment and behaviour. Other factors are involved.

2nd Womble, just where do you get off posting sensible, rational material like that ? I am sure it won't catch on :D


Have to bear in mind that murder is (more often) a crime of passion, where as most motor accidents are due to negligence. Punishment is a far more effective a deterrent for negligence than it is for passion. I'm not that concerned about being run down by a deliberate murderer, I am however concerned about the behavior of the average person.

You need only look at the effect of OH&S law and the way that civil works in the modern era proceeds. (ie large building companies and government depts are far less negligent in providing safe workplaces in this era).
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