Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

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Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 2:05 pm

Truckie not guilty over cyclist death:
http://t.co/32DVANgTcQ @SafeCyclingOz #cycling
I'm not lost for words, but I can't find words fit for this forum right now. I will be talking o Patricia Pollett at some point soon and it's going to be bloody gut wrenching!

THIS IS WHERE IT STOPS!
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by BNA » Mon May 06, 2013 2:11 pm

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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby human909 » Mon May 06, 2013 2:11 pm

It came as no surprise to me. We have an entrenched belief in our society that cyclists riding on the roads are taking their own life in their hands. We have a notion that it is acceptable to driver heavy vehicles within inches of cyclists.

I am angry. I would happily give to any cause that does not let things like this disappear.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 2:16 pm

I'm not stopping till I see change. I'm just not stopping.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby ball bearing » Mon May 06, 2013 2:26 pm

Wow! So, no motorist legally needs to allow room for a cyclist when passing??? Will there be an appeal?
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby queequeg » Mon May 06, 2013 2:33 pm

So all you need is a belief that you have enough room to pass?
I am stunned, but not in the least bit surprised. The same outcome as the woman that doored the cyclist in Victoria and flung him under a truck.
I would love to know the reasoning behind the judgement.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 2:36 pm

The jury fell for this crap!

"Barrister Steve Zillman, for Stevens, told the jury his client was going about his lawful business and driving in a responsible way on the day of the accident.
He said Stevens was not driving erratically or speeding and was effectively "boxed in" by other cars as he approached Mr Pollett on his bike.
Mr Zillman said Stevens was under "the honest and reasonable belief" there was enough room on the road to safely overtake him.
He cited the evidence of eye-witness Maxwell Roy Clothier, which contended that Mr Pollett may have come into contact with the cement truck near to the intersection with Blacon St - a straight section of road before the left-hand bend - and therefore "had the option" of turning down it if he felt unsafe."

SCA will have a new petition starting next week. In '09 we received 5,500 signatures. With sponsorship from the Opposition Leader I want no less than 55,000 this time around!
The Polletts have offered to help effect change in our roads, and that's what we're going to do.
Last edited by The 2nd Womble on Mon May 06, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby ft_critical » Mon May 06, 2013 2:37 pm

Reasonable doubt. Cameras front and back on every bike.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby Rhubarb » Mon May 06, 2013 3:04 pm

I am really saddened and find this decision very hard to believe.

I live in Brookfield so I ride and drive through the spot where this incident occurred virtually everyday. On several occasions I have had to brake and pull in behind cyclists when driving because there was enough room to pass safely. I drive a family wagon, not a cement truck.

If ever there was an obvious case of not enough room to pass safely, this was it. As a society, I find it extremely difficult to understand why we even accept attitudes like "if he thought it was unsafe he had the option to turn off at Blacon St". So get off the road or its your fault???? WT? ?????

SMIDSY has long been accepted as a legitimate excuse. This ruling now validates SMIDGAF as one too. :-( I take conscious actions every day to ensure I don't get involved in incidents where I could injure other parties, even when they are at fault. The road widens up to 3 lanes just 200m further on from where this incident occurred. This guy couldn't wait 20sec and the jury says "No worries mate, no one expects you to lose 20secs. Get em off the road if they've got a problem with it."

Womble - Please advise how we can support your efforts when you get to that point. Signing partitions, encouraging others to do so, whatever. There may be some cyclists on here with legal skills that can assist you etc.

Please also pass on the thoughts of the forum community to the Pollett family. I didn't know Richard personally but I rode past his ghost bike every day and my sister knew him through QSO and QCM, so I feel a personal connection which only makes this decision even more heart breaking.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby AndyTheMan » Mon May 06, 2013 3:10 pm

Womble - Please advise how we can support your efforts when you get to that point. Signing partitions, encouraging others to do so, whatever. There may be some cyclists on here with legal skills that can assist you etc.


Yes, please keep us up to date on this forum and what you would like done to help. Letters, online petition, protest ride. whatever

I will pass on any messages to other forums (including my local club forum, my local BUG facebook page etc).....
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby Shred931 » Mon May 06, 2013 3:15 pm

Rhubarb wrote:If ever there was an obvious case of not enough room to pass safely, this was it. As a society, I find it extremely difficult to understand why we even accept attitudes like "if he thought it was unsafe he had the option to turn off at Blacon St". So get off the road or its your fault???? WT? ?????


Disgusting victim blaming! Imagine standing up in court and speaking those words. Horrid.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby Red Rider » Mon May 06, 2013 3:21 pm

I find the verdict given at odds with what I have read of the case. Namely:
In his summing up of the case, Judge Michael Rackemann told the jury it needed to consider two primary issues, including whether the operation of the cement truck was dangerous and whether it was a "substantial and significant" cause of Mr Pollett's death.

He said the jury needed to exclude the possibility Mr Pollett fell from his bike for reasons that didn't involve the truck as a cause. [my bold]

"The Crown asks you to infer that it was something about the truck being, they would say, too close to the cyclist that has in some way - which they can't pin-point - significantly and substantially resulted in this cyclist falling under the truck," Judge Rackemann said.

He said the Crown contended it would otherwise be a "coincidence" if the cyclist fell at a time when a truck was passing.

"The defence says: 'how can you possibly be satisfied by that?'," Judge Rackemann said.

Courier Mail

I'm not sure what other way you could interpret the judges instruction. According to the judge, Richard fell due to the truck.

Also, the excuse given that Stevens was 'effectively "boxed in" by other cars as he approached Mr Pollett on his bike' is a panecea for running any cyclist down on a busy road. I think anyone and everyone can agree Stevens cut it too fine and couldn't be bothered altering his normal driving speed and line enough to safely pass.

[Mr Zillman] cited the evidence of eye-witness Maxwell Roy Clothier, which contended that Mr Pollett may have come into contact with the cement truck near to the intersection with Blacon St - a straight section of road before the left-hand bend - and therefore "had the option" of turning down it if he felt unsafe.


Seriously?? :evil:
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby warthog1 » Mon May 06, 2013 3:33 pm

This decision effectively legitimises other road users bullying us off the road.
I definitely feel saddened at the injustice for Richard's family and less safe on the road as a result.

We were out bunch riding last weekend and passed by a tradie ute and trailer combo. The driver deliberately cut close narrowly missing the lead rider with the trailer. No oncoming traffic and we were single file.
The lead rider yelled out "f you c" and gave chase. I followed and we distanced the other riders up the hill. The driver continued on and got away.
Had he stopped I think there would have been violence.
It seems this is the only consequences dangerous drivers need fear. Certainly the courts aren't doing anything to encourage safer driving. :x
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 3:37 pm

Despite the Judges best efforts to do half of the jury's job for them...
Our legal system will always fail cyclists when the jury that is charged with doing what is right in the courtroom is doing wrong by us out on the roads.
The Qld Attourney General has demanded that the murder of two school pets for which the offender received a 6 month suspended sentence be further investigated re sentencing, MUST look into the verdict in this case. A case where it was concise red undeniable by the judge that the truck driver played a decisive part in Richards death.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby Marty Moose » Mon May 06, 2013 3:52 pm

What a suprise NOT. I find it amazing that a Cyclist/person can be killed buy an overtaking vehicle and the driver not be found at fault. How can the judge and lawyers possible sleep at night.

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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby twizzle » Mon May 06, 2013 4:06 pm

I think the judges instruction might have been reported incaccurately. To me it reads that he wasn't instructing them to ignore alternative possibilities, I think it was saying that one of the primary issues they needed to consider was whether they could exclude that he "fell from his bike for reasons that didn't involve the truck as a cause" . ie. If there is a possibility that wind/road debris/mechanical failure/rider error could be blamed, then the driver can't be found guilty. Until the transcripts come out, we won't know for sure. But as every cyclist who has ever been passed by a heavy vehicle at speed... trying to control a bicycle when you are in turbulent air is almost impossible - but can you exclude all other possibilities beyond reasonable doubt?

It fecal's me that they can bring in mandatory laws imposing stability control on new vehicles, but heavy vehicles don't have to have mandatory front/side/rear camers.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby g-boaf » Mon May 06, 2013 4:24 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:Truckie not guilty over cyclist death:
http://t.co/32DVANgTcQ @SafeCyclingOz #cycling
I'm not lost for words, but I can't find words fit for this forum right now. I will be talking o Patricia Pollett at some point soon and it's going to be bloody gut wrenching!

THIS IS WHERE IT STOPS!


Makes me sick to the core and disgusted with the legal system. It will set a precedent and then our roads will be a more dangerous place.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby thecaptn » Mon May 06, 2013 4:26 pm

Twenty seconds of time for a cement truck is more valuable than this young man's entire life. This judge has some explaining to do IMO. It's simply not good enough and the community should demand better.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 4:41 pm

The Judge does deserve some credit. Before the jury retired to consider it's verdict, the judge did tell them that the truck had hit Richard and that that fact was not and could not be open to dispute. It was the jury that should be absolutely disgusted with themselves. They are the ones responsible for such a sickening outcome.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby twizzle » Mon May 06, 2013 4:48 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:The Judge does deserve some credit. Before the jury retired to consider it's verdict, the judge did tell them that the truck had hit Richard and that that fact was not and could not be open to dispute. It was the jury that should be absolutely disgusted with themselves. They are the ones responsible for such a sickening outcome.


How about you stop posting until you have calmed down and can think about this logically. The law is to blame, not the people in this case. The prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the driver was solely responsible. And if you change the law to have mandatory guilt & penalties, the occasional innocent person would be jailed - and that's not fair either.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby Rhubarb » Mon May 06, 2013 5:36 pm

I'm with Womble on this one. Yes he's emotional (and justifiably so) but he's not being illogical.

As he says, if reported accurately, it reads as if the judge was pretty dissappointed too. Womble has identified this.

The driver was charged "dangerous driving causing death". The law was sufficient in this case. The prosecution provided no extenuating circumstances ie that he swerved out in front etc, only that he believed it was fine. The jury were the ones who decided his actions weren't dangerous.

The required changes to the law need to be where the onus needs to be put on the motorist to prove that it was the cyclist's (or other vulnerable road user's) fault.

In the Netherlands, he would be automatically guilty as he provided no defence other "I thought it would be ok".

This is the attitude that needs to change. This applies to silly cyclists buzzing pedestrians on shared paths too BTW.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby AndrewBurns » Mon May 06, 2013 5:46 pm

twizzle wrote:How about you stop posting until you have calmed down and can think about this logically. The law is to blame, not the people in this case. The prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the driver was solely responsible. And if you change the law to have mandatory guilt & penalties, the occasional innocent person would be jailed - and that's not fair either.


Ok so lets look at this in terms of facts.

- Fact, the truck hit the cyclist, the truck hitting the cyclist caused the death of the cyclist
- Fact, the truck was passing from behind the cyclist to ahead of the cyclist in the same lane

It doesn't matter that the cyclist could have turned off earlier, he was under no legal or reasonable requirement to do so. It doesn't matter if he was riding slowly or even if he was riding erratically, he didn't leave his lane before being hit. I don't see how it is possible to determine that the driver wasn't the sole cause of this man's death, there is nothing that the cyclist could have done that would have contributed to his death in any way, even if he had grabbed two handfuls of brake the truck is expected to have left enough of a gap behind the cyclist and would be expected to stop before a collision.

I mean this literally I don't see an argument legal or otherwise for determining that the cyclist was in any aspect and in any fraction responsible for his own death, unless of course as has been mentioned you take the opinion that a cyclist on the road takes his life into his hands. I also don't see the decision having gone this way had he been riding a motorbike.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby KonaCommuter » Mon May 06, 2013 6:11 pm

Be honest


How many of us have friends, (actual friends not mere acquaintances) and family members basically say that we don't belong on the road?

Be honest with yourselves, how many times have you heard pure malice / hatred towards cyclists even though they know that you ride?
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby mick243 » Mon May 06, 2013 6:17 pm

how many on the jury were "drivers" of some variety?
how many were cyclists?
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 7:08 pm

First draft:

"The petition of citizens of Queensland draws to the attention of the House deficiencies in the current overtaking laws in that motorists may come dangerously close to a cyclist while overtaking and at considerable speed, posing an undeniable risk and yet breach no law.Your petitioners therefore request the House to enact legislation to modify existing regulations requiring that a motorist maintain a minimum safe distance of one point five metres between their vehicle and a cyclist whilst overtaking. Such a measure will strengthen current laws with respect to cyclists. This proposal, by providing clear boundaries, will better serve the interests of motorists and cyclists alike. Furthermore, this proposal would also reflect the fact that it is not necessary for a motorist to collide with a cyclist in order to endanger either life or health; an anomaly that must be addressed if the government is to reduce congestion and promote cycling as a viable alternative means of transportation. I acknowledge the importance sustainable green initiatives, and due to ever increasing environmental awareness, more Queenslanders are now seeing cycling as a positive way of reducing their carbon footprint and minimizing congestion. We question how long such enthusiasm will last while the current ambiguous legislation remains unchanged. A minimum distance of one point five metres has the potential to maintain this momentum, as well as contributing towards the Governments current Cycling Strategy, helping more Queenslanders enjoy a healthier, safer future.
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Re: Shaking with rage! Not Guilty!

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon May 06, 2013 7:21 pm

Thanks to Precrime and Oxford for helping with such a well written petition. We feel that modification to suit the new distance and changed government's directives are all that's required. This is more relevant now than it was in '09!
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