CPS

RhiaWeston's picture

Careless driving charge contested by the Cycling Lawyer

The Crown Prosecution Service has a penchant for reducing motoring offences from dangerous to careless. The bureaucratic loops one must jump through to challenge this decision put most people off pursuing a complaint, but a prominent barrister has done just that.
Lorry driver overtaking dangerously close

On the Road Justice website CTC has recorded numerous cases where a driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving only for the CPS to lessen the charge to careless driving or to accept a guilty plea for careless driving. A swift conviction is more likely to be secured for careless than dangerous driving, which undoubtedly is one of the reasons the CPS choose to lessen the charge.

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Roger Geffen's picture

Crushing a cyclist with a lorry while on a mobile - is that really "careless" driving?

After a week in which we learnt of two disturbing acquittals for alleged driving offences, Roger Geffen reflects on a meeting with Justice Minister Helen Grant MP, and looks forward hopefully to action to address the legal system's compacent response to bad driving in 2013.
The Ministry of Justice

A couple of days ago, my colleague Rhia Weston responded to the two disturbing court verdicts announced last Friday (14th December 2012).

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Roger Geffen's picture

Minister backs talks to improve traffic justice

CTC has welcomed a commitment from Helen Grant MP, the Minister for Courts and Victims, to support discussions on how to improve the legal system's response to road traffic offences.
Old Bailey - Scales of Justice

CTC's Campaigns & Policy Director Roger Geffen met Helen Grant, together with representatives of British Cycling and road crash victims charity RoadPeace, at the Ministry of Justice this morning. 

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RhiaWeston's picture

Lenient sentencing is just the tip of the iceberg

As the Mary Bowers’ case demonstrates careless driving charges and small fines do not reflect the severity of crimes committed by bad drivers. Sentences, therefore, need to be harsher, but we must also be aware of the large number of collisions that do not even make it to court in the first place.
Stop SMIDSY campaign

The lorry driver who hit Mary Bowers in November last year as she waited at a traffic light in an advanced stop box was sentenced last Friday (14/12/12) to an eight month driving ban and a £2,700 fine. This sentence has been termed ‘insulting’ by Mary’s father, who would have preferred to see the driver convicted of dangerous rather than careless driving offence, correctly reflecting the danger of his actions.

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RhiaWeston's picture

Lorry driver in Mary Bowers case receives ‘insulting’ £2,700 fine for careless driving

Lorry driver Petre Beiu, a Romanian national, was acquitted of the dangerous driving charge he received after hitting Mary Bowers as she commuted to work in November 2011. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of careless driving, for which he received a £2,700 fine and an 8 month driving ban.
Launch of The Times Cities fit for Cycling campaign

According to the London Evening Standard on hearing the sentence Mary Bowers’ father stated "I regard the sentence as a complete insult…inconceivable that a verdict other than dangerous driving was reached."

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Roger Geffen's picture

Open meeting with CPS on how they prosecute bad driving offences

Road crash victims' charity RoadPeace held a timely open meeting on Tuesday (13.11.12) about the Crown Prosecution Service's proposed new guidance on prosecuting bad driving offences. It was a powerful, emotive and well informed panel discussion, which the CPS will hopefully take heed of.
Crown Prosecution Service

The panel included RoadPeace's Director Amy Aeron-Thomas, Sally Cunningham (who is probably the leading academic researcher on this area of the law), Chris Hunt Cooke (who is Chairman of the Magistrates' Association's road traffic committee) and Lara Orija (the CPS's lead on road and traffic offences).

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Chris Peck's picture

Crown Prosecution needs to treat dangerous driving as dangerous

CTC has responded to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance on prosecuting bad driving, calling for a more rigorous interpretation of the law as it stands - namely, that dangerous driving should be charged as such, not downgraded to careless driving.
Charges for motoring offences involving death have changed substantially

When you hear of a case of bad driving where you feel the driver has been 'let off' without significant punishment, it's pretty likely that the reason is in part because the CPS has chosen an offence which only carries a minor penalty.

Where death has resulted, the CPS has a range of offences it can choose from, from murder or gross negligence manslaughter to causing death by dangerous or careless driving. How it decides on which offence to choose depends on the circumstances - essentially the culpability of the driver.

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Chris Peck's picture

Call for justice review comes just as Crown Prosecution Guidance consults

This week British Cycling increased pressure on the Government to review the way criminal justice treats road crash victims, securing an agreement to meet and discuss the issue. Meanwhile the Crown Prosecution Service are consulting on their guidance for prosecuting bad driving.
Old Bailey

British Cycling have stepped up their campaign for a review of traffic justice, following high profile cases of injustice earlier this year. CTC joined in the campaign urging MPs to sign up to an Early Day Motion (EDM) demanding a review of road traffic justice.

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