law

Whose Objective Is It Anyway?

June is nearly upon us, and with it the end of the consultation period for the government’s “cycle safety review”.

Just enough time, then, to look back at the legal advice procured by the government in relation to that review; specifically, in relation to the proposed introduction of new cycling-specific offences.

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The Law Must Be Fixed… Mustn’t It?

In the aftermath of the high-profile trial of Charlie Alliston for causing the death of Kim Briggs, there have been calls from various quarters to create new legislation around the use of pedal cycles.

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The Incompetence Paradox

This is all about an incident. One that I’ve read about before, but which last week was finally legally resolved. Now, I’m working from media reports rather than court notes so—caveat emptor—there’s a risk I’m dealing with inaccurate information, but… well, given the CPS’s keenness to pursue a charge of dangerous driving in the absence of serious injury, I’m going to infer that even if there are minor inaccuracies then this was nonetheless a case of truly appalling driving.

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A Tale of Two Forces

This week at the House of Lords the Road Danger Reduction Forum presented an award to West Midlands Police—in particular Pc Mark Hodson and Pc Stephen Hudson—for their Operation Close Pass initiative, which targets drivers who pass too close to people cycling when overtaking them. I was invited along to see them receive the well-deserved award and hear more about the details of the operation, as well as about how it has been adapted for use in Camden.

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How to Design a Death

On 21 July 2016, John Toon was struck and killed while using a cycle crossing on the Strategic Road Network, which is managed by Highways England. The precise details of events remain unknown at this stage, but a mere glance at the crossing itself is enough to make it obvious that the design of the crossing is homicidally flawed. And it’s just one of many outrageously dangerous pieces of infrastructure under Highways England’s control.

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Passing Laws

This isn’t the first time I’ve quoted David Allen Green’s article “Should We Ban Banning Things?”

“The legalistic prose in a solemn document is not some magic spell which banishes horrors by invocation. To say there should be a law against a thing is often no more than saying there should be a spell against it. In fact, “banning” things often creates new problems.”

This précis is rarely more applicable than to Motion 14 of this year’s CTC/Cycling UK annual general meeting. CTC council opposes the motion, and—as I’m sure you might already suspect—so do I, although for largely different reasons.

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An Obvious Problem

Earlier this month, Aslan Kayardi appeared at Isleworth Crown Court to defend a charge of dangerous driving. The prosecution was a little unusual in that it was brought privately: the Metropolitan Police had declined to prosecute; however, reportedly, the CPS refused the defendant’s request to effectively veto the case on the grounds of insufficient evidence or lack of public interest: the CPS quite clearly considered the prosecution valid and worthwhile.

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Selling a Dream at the Cost of Reality

Some ideas are good ideas. But sometimes people’s belief in those good ideas can, whether through over-enthusiasm or for other reasons, lose sight of reality. And that can cause problems.

One good idea is that of presumed liability. But has Road Share, the campaign for presumed liability in Scotland, lost sight of reality?

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Guest post: Nipping It in the Bud

This is a guest post by Ralph de Kanter. It’s about just one frustrating aspect of the business of attempting to tackle bad driving: the Notice of Intended Prosecution.

Over to Ralph to share his experience of how this works out in practice, from the point of view of a road user at risk from others’ bad driving. (Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.)

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Karr’s Choice

Charles Rowan, or “Karr the Magician” as he billed himself, was a self-styled magician of the early twentieth century, whose performance came to include escapology. Magicians being showmen, he—like many others—sought to add the excitement of danger to his act.

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Erasure

In the aftermath of a car crash there is silence. An eerie, disturbing silence. But if you listen carefully, you can hear the echoes of the crash throughout the legal system.

And, like any echoes, these become quieter and quieter.

The law, like the life scattered across the tarmac, is being erased.

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Fuck This

Low sun. When do we get our collective heads around this apparently unfathomable phenomenon?

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Arguing For Protection

Amazingly, an MP has stood up in the House of Commons and argued the case for lifetime driving bans as protection from particularly dangerous drivers.

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