Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

uart
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Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:28 am

In what looks a little like London's recent Charlie Alliston case, I notice that the Perth rider, who injured a young woman when she stepped out onto the roadway in front of him, got slammed pretty hard recently in court.

This time there was no question of dodgy braking like in the Alliston case, but simple inattention by the rider who apparently didn't notice the woman step out in front of him. A one year jail sentence, but suspended for 18 months. Not as harsh a penalty as Alliston, but still quite significant.

The thing that strikes me most about this case however is the judges comments about his bike being a weapon. Yes the guy definitely should have seen her, but for a low speed incident (20 km/h or less) and the pedestrian not at a crossing, I feel it would be very unusual to hear a car driver accused of using their car as a weapon in similar circumstances.

Just wondering what others think about this.

Story:
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/footage-shows-true-force-of-bike-crash-ng-b88733513z
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/like-a-weapon-ng-b88732030z

Site of incident. (Pedestrian stepped out onto the roadway roughly between the two trees on the left of the screen)
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-31.9534983,115.856865,3a,75y,294.11h,57.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szuRdU80VnVf3SYhntHNNTw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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P!N20
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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby P!N20 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:22 am

uart wrote:The thing that strikes me most about this case however is the judges comments about his bike being a weapon.


In light of recent events both here and overseas, I find the judge's comments baffling.

I don't disagree with the verdict, but if the vehicle was a car, I bet the question would be why did Ms Goodson step out into traffic.

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Leaf T
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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Leaf T » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:11 am

Neither were paying attention. He wasn't looking ahead and she stepped out before looking. Bang! too late. Accidents happen. Or you do your best to avoid them by watching where you're going. Seems the current attitude is "responsibility? meh not my problem."

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby P!N20 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:54 am

Leaf T wrote:Neither were paying attention. Accidents happen.


If the operator of a vehicle (car, bike, scooter, bus, whatever) isn't paying attention, then it's not an accident.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:56 am

P!N20 wrote:
uart wrote:The thing that strikes me most about this case however is the judges comments about his bike being a weapon.


In light of recent events both here and overseas, I find the judge's comments baffling.

I don't disagree with the verdict, but if the vehicle was a car, I bet the question would be why did Ms Goodson step out into traffic.


Yes and even more so, imagine if the vehicle in question was a car (at 20 km/h), and instead of a pedestrian it was a cyclist hopping the curb (not at a crossing) and then pausing on the roadway... And if the cyclist was wearing dark clothing and no helmet (like the pedestrian) ... To think that the court would have (even for one second) considered the car driver to be "using his car like a weapon" in that case is completely laughable. Quite the opposite in fact, almost all of the blame would have been shifted to the cyclist.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:04 pm

Leaf T wrote:Neither were paying attention. He wasn't looking ahead and she stepped out before looking.

Yes I totally agree. Fault on both sides there. It just seems strange to me to see the bicycle described as a weapon by the judge. A car is certainly a MUCH more effective weapon than a bicycle, and yet it's rare to hear a judge describe them as such - particularly in low speed accidents like this involving simple inattention. I don't recall ever hearing a car being described as a weapon in a case of a low speed accident due to inattention.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Leaf T » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:29 pm

True. Another example of what is considered an everyday low risk by drivers is car dooring. Like the poor guy who was killed in Sydney Rd a few years ago when a driver opened her door in front of him. Was it said the driver was using her car like a weapon? Nope. How many of us have had drivers use their vehicle as a weapon to intimidate us? Plenty.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Nate » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:58 pm

I think it clearly shows the judge is biased & incapable of making an accurate & reasonable decision.
To say a bicycle is a weapon is ridiculous.

As for the pedestrian - they broke the law clearly & have blame:

Aust Road rules (i couldnt find if its not applicable in WA, so assume it is)
236—Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction
(1) A pedestrian must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Thoglette » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:03 pm

uart wrote:Just wondering what others think about this.


I'd like to see Judge Linda Petrusa's track record on car-vs-vunerable-road-user cases.

It is, in my observation, extremely rare for a non-fatal MV accident involving a cyclist to result in a custodial sentence.
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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby queequeg » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:11 pm

It's a pretty ridiculous judgement. If the benchmark is now that a bicycle traveling at 20km/h is a deadly weapon, then what does that make a motor vehicle? Does this set a precedent? Very rare for motorists killing people to get a gaol sentence.

IN the CCTV footage of the crash, it looks like the young woman was crossing the road, then stopped in the middle of it, presumably as she saw the rider approaching. If she had just continued walking she would have been well clear before he was anywhere near her.
I wonder if the rider had also expected her to continue walking with the intent to pass behind her, and because she stopped, and he may have been distracted by something else, he's run into her.
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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:32 pm

Seems a case of two people not paying appropriate attention. With one being breaking failing to give way. So it sounds very similar to many other road accidents. So why is this being treated so differently?

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Thoglette » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:15 pm

queequeg wrote:It's a pretty ridiculous judgement.


It will be interesting to see if Mr Watt's lawyer believes that there's grounds for an appeal.
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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby eeksll » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:29 pm

very very unfortunate for the victim.

I think if a car had run a red light and hit a pedestrian in that manner, the driver of the car would be facing much worse than a suspended sentence.

I disagree with the pedestrian not paying attention, it certainly seemed she stopped and waited, so was paying attention.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby eldavo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:05 pm

Looks like the rider had head down accelerating into the assumed vacant street.
Plenty of footage of riders accelerating from lights similarly and crashing into the back of vehicles that stop accelerating for a reason, e.g. giving way to a bus or turning vehicle.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:17 pm

eeksll wrote:very very unfortunate for the victim.

Indeed. Clearly a head clash. Though we never got to see the video in the Alliston case, I'm guessing it was quite a similar incident.

I think if a car had run a red light and hit a pedestrian in that manner, the driver of the car would be facing much worse than a suspended sentence.
However it didn't actually happen at the crossing area of the lights, it was well past that. And TBH, if you look at all of the footage he appears to be relatively slow and cautious back in the Mall part where there are a lot of pedestrians around, so it's unlikely to have happened if she was crossing with the lights as he seems to be paying quite a lot of attention there.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Philistine » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:42 pm

Is the information linked by the OP the only video evidence available? I cannot see how anyone can draw any meaningful conclusion about the cyclist's attention level on the strength of what can be seen in the video. I can see only two interpretations: either (1) he was paying attention and didn't have time to react, or (2) he wasn't paying attention and he would have been able to avoid the pedestrian if he had been. The evidence does not support a firm conclusion either way.

Also, does anyone know if a jury found him guilty or was it a judge only trial? Juries are unpredictable,and ,if he was found guilty by one (however flawed their reasoning), he has actually got off lightly. If the judge found him guilty, he has been royally stitched up, and should appeal the verdict.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Leaf T » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:39 pm

eeksll wrote:very very unfortunate for the victim.

I think if a car had run a red light and hit a pedestrian in that manner, the driver of the car would be facing much worse than a suspended sentence.

I disagree with the pedestrian not paying attention, it certainly seemed she stopped and waited, so was paying attention.

Looks to me like she was following the ped in front and was out in the road before looking left. The rider had built up speed and for him it was a case of is she continuing or do I ride behind her. Kind of like the funny dance we do dodging others in a crowded supermarket isle. She could have even been on the phone but they won't look at phone records even though someone was seriously injured. Or have an unjust lifelong criminal record.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:42 pm

Philistine wrote:Is the information linked by the OP the only video evidence available? I cannot see how anyone can draw any meaningful conclusion about the cyclist's attention level on the strength of what can be seen in the video. I can see only two interpretations: either (1) he was paying attention and didn't have time to react, or (2) he wasn't paying attention and he would have been able to avoid the pedestrian if he had been. The evidence does not support a firm conclusion either way.

Watching the video, she first steps onto the roadway when he is only about halfway across Williams St. That places him around twenty metres away when she first stepped out (yes she is very slow). Yet he seems to take no evasive action of any kind, so it sure seems to point to not paying attention to me.

eldavo wrote:Looks like the rider had head down accelerating into the assumed vacant street.
That's also how I think it likely happened eldavo.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby biker jk » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:45 pm

uart wrote:
Philistine wrote:Is the information linked by the OP the only video evidence available? I cannot see how anyone can draw any meaningful conclusion about the cyclist's attention level on the strength of what can be seen in the video. I can see only two interpretations: either (1) he was paying attention and didn't have time to react, or (2) he wasn't paying attention and he would have been able to avoid the pedestrian if he had been. The evidence does not support a firm conclusion either way.

On the video it appears that she first steps onto the roadway when he is about halfway across Williams St. That places him around twenty metres from her when she first stepped out (yes she is very slow). He seems to take no evasive action of any kind, so it sure seems to point to not paying attention to me.

eldavo wrote:Looks like the rider had head down accelerating into the assumed vacant street.
That's also how I think it likely happened eldavo.


That's how I saw it as well. Rider wasn't looking ahead while accelerating and bang. :roll:

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Philistine » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:00 pm

biker jk wrote:
eldavo wrote:Looks like the rider had head down accelerating into the assumed vacant street.
That's also how I think it likely happened eldavo.

That's how I saw it as well. Rider wasn't looking ahead while accelerating and bang. :roll:


You may be right but does the phrase "beyond reasonable doubt" hold any meaning for you?

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby eldavo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:10 pm

Seeing the chicken lay the egg, eliminates reasonable doubt that the chicken wasn't responsible for the egg. Without such footage, you may doubt it, and more strongly believe it possible the egg divinely appeared independent of the chicken. Immaculate KFC.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:26 pm

Why do cyclists "plough into" pedestrians but they are "hit by" cars?
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:40 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Why do cyclists "plough into" pedestrians but they are "hit by" cars?

Yes good point. Now if they were being at all consistent with how they normally report car cyclist incidents, then they should have reported it as "the pedestrian collided with the bicycle".

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby John Lewis » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:06 am

I notice the article has started a flurry of letters to the editor about those dangerous lycra loons.
A call for cyclists to be licensed and carry compulsory third party insurance as well as be required to have passed a test on road rules.
Then also the usual stuff about 2 abreast etc.

I'd suspect most adult cyclists on the road are also drive. Likely they know the rules better than most as they are probably well aware of both the general vehicle and bicycle specific rules.

Almost feel like writing letter to editor myself but hey it wouldn't suit their agenda so likely wouldn't be published.

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Re: Judges comments about using a bicycle as a weapon?

Postby uart » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:31 am

Philistine wrote:You may be right but does the phrase "beyond reasonable doubt" hold any meaning for you?


So let me get this right. You're saying that if you had have been running this guy's defense that you would have argued that there was a "reasonable doubt" that this happened due to inattention, and that it therefore might have been the case that he deliberately targeted and run down the woman? :? Wow I hope you're not a defense lawyer. :wink:

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