Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduced

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

Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby high_tea » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:00 pm

Oh, there are plenty of examples of strict criminal liability. Most (all?) of the Road Rules, unlawful wounding in Queensland, etc etc. There's nothing new there. As this thread shows, however, that's not what the typical strict-liability-supporter has in mind. What they do have in mind is anyone's guess, which is kinda the problem.
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by BNA » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:21 pm

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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:21 pm

Strict liability has a very specific meaning in Australian criminal law, and from what I can gather Automatically at Fault would be a better term to describe what is really required.
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby high_tea » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:04 am

Beats me why. Consider dangerous driving. The hard bit to make out is the dangerousness, the fault element. Now, dangerous driving without a fault element doesn't make a lot of sense. Consider a hitting-a-vulnerable-road-user offence. You don't need a fault element for that one. You hit a VUR, you're gone (subject to defences of accident, mistake, etc). That's strict liability in the technical sense. It's a criminal law, so insurance companies can't go messing the normative effect up. It is, more or less, the criminal analogue of the Dutch (civil) law that everyone is ga-ga for (AFAIK nobody in the world has gone and done it - criminal strict liability for VUR offences - so here's Australia's shot at another world first!). Nice and simple. I've suggested this a few times and nobody has been able to explain why it's a bad idea (apart from being controversial, which is a problem with any VUR law you care to come up with.

Want another idea? Making injuring a VUR a circumstance of aggravation to breaches of the Road Rules. Sell it as a way to punish Lycra louts who mow pedestrians down.

But no, we have proposals that are much more vague and/or much more complicated, like a civil penalty regime (what, like for breaches of directors' duties? Why?) I can only speculate why.
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby greyhoundtom » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:25 am

high_tea wrote:<snip>
Want another idea? Making injuring a VUR a circumstance of aggravation to breaches of the Road Rules. Sell it as a way to punish Lycra louts who mow pedestrians down.

But no, we have proposals that are much more vague and/or much more complicated, like a civil penalty regime (what, like for breaches of directors' duties? Why?) I can only speculate why.

Sounds like a damn good idea to me as it makes everyone that has behaved in a dangerous manner under the existing road Rules causing injury or worse (cyclists included), more liable to penalties that will assist in curbing that type of behavior.
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby jules21 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:53 am

high_tea wrote: Consider a hitting-a-vulnerable-road-user offence. You don't need a fault element for that one. You hit a VUR, you're gone (subject to defences of accident, mistake, etc).

Want another idea? Making injuring a VUR a circumstance of aggravation to breaches of the Road Rules. Sell it as a way to punish Lycra louts who mow pedestrians down.

these are good ideas. the first one already exists on shared paths, if you hit a pedestrian (expressed as a duty to yield to pedestrians) - so we know it can work.
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby find_bruce » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:52 pm

find_bruce wrote:I was looking to see if there was any further developments in this case. It appears that the driver did give evidence see man denies lying about pedestrian accident however I can find no reports as to his cross examination by the Crown, nor anything that occured on the second day of the hearing, 5 June.

The driver has finally been found guilty
Only 20 months after the crash, 5 months after the hearing.

Sentencing in January
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby greyhoundtom » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:58 pm

I find extremely disheartening that cyclist advocacy groups are not pushing harder, and doing more to protect vulnerable cyclists on Australia’s roads.

To bloody busy organising expensive “fun rides” to increase their income. :roll:
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:35 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:I find extremely disheartening that cyclist advocacy groups are not pushing harder, and doing more to protect vulnerable cyclists on Australia’s roads.

To bloody busy organising expensive “fun rides” to increase their income. :roll:

Gee. Somebody on here noticed???
The only good Cyclist is a Bicyclist

Huge fan of booted RGers who just can't help themselves
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Negligent driver avoids jail

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:28 pm

No-one can complain that the wheels of justice turn too quickly.
  • On 14 March 2011 Mrs Emma De Silva who was pushing her 19 day old daughter Eloise in a pram on the footpath along the Princess Highway at St Peters when she was run down by a car.
  • In June 2012 the evidence was heard.
  • In November 2012 the driver Bruce Wayland was found guilty of negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm.
On 17 February Magistrate Graeme Curran disqualified Bryce Wayland from driving for 15 months and sentenced him to all of 50 hours of community service see SMH article
Magistrate Curran said he accepted Wayland's claim that his pedal had become jammed, but he had plenty of time to stop before the accident if he used the brakes instead of trying to free the accelerator.
"Behaving as a reasonably prudent driver, he should have applied the brakes," he said.
Magistrate Curran said the evidence showed Wayland was about 70m from the crash site when his pedal got stuck and would have been able to stop the car in around half that distance.

15 months disqualification seems like a long time, unless you understand that the penalties for "negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm" are, for a first offence, a minimum disqualification of 12 months, there is no maximum disqualification period and the disqualification in the absence of a specific court order is 3 years.

Mrs De Silva did not get off so lightly - she was in a coma for two months, a further year at Royal Rehabilitation Hospital in Ryde, has brain damage and can no longer walk without assistance.
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby human909 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:19 pm

Accepting the "floor mat" stuck the accelerator excuse seems absurd. This guy should get charged for the crime he committed. His clear negligence maimed [EDITED] somebody.

If you cannot control your vehicle in a rational and sensible manner then you shouldn't be driving one. I have had a "stuck" accelerator before that relined the vehicle. It was a company vehicle where the battery moved impacting the accelerator cable.


Personally I am sick of the 5+ years for somebody who is 0.08 on alcohol killing somebody yet the 0 years for somebody who is sober. :twisted: If your incompetence kills somebody you should be held criminal liable.
Last edited by human909 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Strict Liability - Examples of why it should be introduc

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:50 pm

I am not sure at what point you stopped reading & started writing but just to clarify

(1) nobody was killed

(2) the driver was found guilty of a criminal offence "negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm"

I do agree the sentence is light both in terms of 6 days community service & the short period of disqualification.

As far as I can see at no time prior to his conviction has he expressed anything like remorse or an acceptance that it was his failure to brake that caused the collision.
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