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Changes to Highway Code

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16 minutes ago, happynomad said:

Being expected to know and remember where switches are is unreasonable and probably outside the scope of the law. ..

 

Having ploughed into a throng of pedestrians at the bus stop. ..  

 

 

"I was driving an unfamiliar car for the very first time and it was raining heavily.  At the time of the accident I was simply staring at the dashboard whilst trying out every switch and knob I could find to make the wipers work."

 

. ..seems like a reasonable defence.

 

 

 

You can just hear the defence, “sorry I killed 400 passengers but I wasn’t familiar with where the landing gear lever was, I cut the throttles instead”

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31 minutes ago, Alexbee said:

 

I dont think anyone would be silly enough to think that paying for a burger at a drive through, by a mobile app was any more dangerous than using notes from your wallet, but some of the posts would suggest otherwise.

It depends if the Court agree that the drive through (public place but private proprty)  constitutes a road for the purpose of the Road Traffic Act and case law. The matter was debated on here a year or so ago and it just went round and round in circles! Every case is treated on it's own merits so unless we are in possession of all the facts we can't really comment.

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44 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

It depends if the Court agree that the drive through (public place but private proprty)  constitutes a road for the purpose of the Road Traffic Act and case law. The matter was debated on here a year or so ago and it just went round and round in circles! Every case is treated on it's own merits so unless we are in possession of all the facts we can't really comment.

 

Now I thought if a road is open to the general public it was a public highway on private property .

 

Dave

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32 minutes ago, happynomad said:

Being expected to know and remember where switches are is unreasonable and probably outside the scope of the law. ..

 

Having ploughed into a throng of pedestrians at the bus stop. ..  

 

 

"I was driving an unfamiliar car for the very first time and it was raining heavily.  At the time of the accident I was simply staring at the dashboard whilst trying out every switch and knob I could find to make the wipers work."

 

. ..seems like a reasonable defence.

 

 

I am inclined to believe the above is made tongue in cheek. ..

 

Afterall, it would be considered, at the very least, careless to take to the controls of a car you were unfamiliar with on a day when it was either raining or likely to rain without first checking where such essential controls  such as wipers and light switches were before setting off.

 

If a dearly loved relative  was killed due to a driver who came out with such an excuse at court, who would be content if the court exonerated the driver with perhaps the advice to check before driving next time?

 

Armchair warriors are quick to find the laws to be foolish, but if applied with a modicum of common sense, they do in general work well. Most legal practicioners do apply common sense.

 

Stories in the popular press would not appeal if all the facts were accurately reported.

 

Journalistic licence may be applied to make the story more sensational and/or to make legal practicioners and the law look foolish or out of date.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

 

 

Now I thought if a road is open to the general public it was a public highway on private property .

 

 

Dave

It isn't so simplistic and there have been a number of stated cases over the decades. Firstly, "highway" and "road" have different definitions. Secondly,  a "public place" has it's own legal definition and being one isn't a pre-requisite for being a road.

 

For example, there is a stated case concerning a private car park at the corner of a junction controlled by traffic lights. The car park was not a public place as it was for the private use of employees. It had vehicle access on two sides. When the traffic lights were red some drivers who wanted to turn left at the junction had a habit of cutting through this carpark. An accident happened where a car quickly using the short cut hit an employee walking through the car park. The Court were satisfied that "regular" use of this short cut by drivers had been proved, albeit as tresspassers, and it constituted being a road for the purpose of the Road Traffic Act.

Edited by Legal Eagle

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I haven't read the new Highway Code but presumably it's formalised the custom of not using direction indicators?  :D:blush:

Edited by MalH
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As said you should familiarise yourself before driving a vehicle as it is your responsibility as a driver not to drive without care and attention on the road including basics like tyres your responsibility . No excuses .  

 

The only time I have heard of a driver not responsible for the vehicle was years ago when a London Transport bus was stopped for having illegal bald tyres but in the court case the drivers defence was the tyres that they used was under a contract and hired from a well known very large tyre company and the bus garage had a full time tyre mechanic employed by the tyre company that would recut the tyres and that was his responsible for the tyres and the driver was not required to check . The driver was cleared .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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1 hour ago, happynomad said:

Being expected to know and remember where switches are is unreasonable and probably outside the scope of the law. ..

 

Having ploughed into a throng of pedestrians at the bus stop. ..  

 

 

"I was driving an unfamiliar car for the very first time and it was raining heavily.  At the time of the accident I was simply staring at the dashboard whilst trying out every switch and knob I could find to make the wipers work."

 

. ..seems like a reasonable defence.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, reluctant said:

I am inclined to believe the above is made tongue in cheek. ..

Do you really think so.  

 

Phew, after posting the comment I worried that some may have taken it seriously.  :D:):D

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2 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

It depends if the Court agree that the drive through (public place but private proprty)  constitutes a road for the purpose of the Road Traffic Act and case law. The matter was debated on here a year or so ago and it just went round and round in circles! Every case is treated on it's own merits so unless we are in possession of all the facts we can't really comment.

 

Must admit there was no clarity to my post, but I was I suppose wondering why paying for a toll or parking or indeed a burger with a mobile phone  while sitting in a running vehicle would ever be considered more unsafe or prosecution worthy than paying for same by fumbling money or a credit /debit card from a wallet, but I get the feeling that it would be, even though I can see no difference in the safety aspects of the acts. Now I do understand that either could easily be considered offences under the law, but I would be as unsurprised as could be, if someone told me that they had been done for paying a bridge toll for example using their mobile, while at the same time Id be very surprised if someone told me that theyd been charged with an offence when doing the same with a card.

 

maybe its just me.

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So when my mate was distracted by a topless woman standing at a crossing in Orpington high street & he rear ended the car in front & the car behind him then rear ending him seemingly distracted by the same woman, they were both committing the offence of careless driving? 

And yes this really did happen, a few years ago now, but it did happen.  

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1 hour ago, Woodie106 said:

So when my mate was distracted by a topless woman standing at a crossing in Orpington high street & he rear ended the car in front & the car behind him then rear ending him seemingly distracted by the same woman, they were both committing the offence of careless driving? 

And yes this really did happen, a few years ago now, but it did happen.  

 

But did have his mobile in hand taking a photo at the time ?

 

 

Dave

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One should have an intimate knowledge of the controls/switches/buttons in ones car and be able also to use them in the dark even to the extent of changing stations on the radio.

There are many people that just get behind the wheel and do not even familiarise themselves with the most basic and most often needed controls/switch-gear/buttons.

How many 'Brain-dead' drivers do you see that have high intensity rear fog guards on in traffic and haven't a clue as to what the little red/orange lights are for on the dashboard.

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4 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

 

But did have his mobile in hand taking a photo at the time ?

 

 

Dave

I said it was a few years ago Dave -in the time before mobiles.  

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20 hours ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

You can just hear the defence, “sorry I killed 400 passengers but I wasn’t familiar with where the landing gear lever was, I cut the throttles instead”

 

:D !!!! Like that one. .. Will say it again. ..  Agreed any form of distraction inside any moving vehicle that creates a danger to other road users should be punishable. My point being there is Dangerous Driving and Careless or Inconsiderate Driving.

 

A distraction of any form endangering other road users is in my book is " Dangerous Driving" but using a hand held phone or any other electrical device when the driver was avoidably {but not dangerously} distracted by that use may be considered to be careless or inconsiderate driving . Straight out of Legal eagles link. .. 

 

So surely any form of distraction is Dangerous  ????  So there should be only one Rule !   AS I said before "Clear as Mud " . ..... 

 

GAS . ...:ph34r:

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Dangerous driving is by far the more serious offence to careless/inconsiderate driving.

The below is a lift from the . gov website for both offences.

 

 

Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

 

If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.]

 

 

Meaning of dangerous driving.

 

(1)For the purposes of sections 1 [F2, 1A] and 2 above a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if (and, subject to subsection (2) below, only if)—

(a)the way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and

(b)it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

(2)A person is also to be regarded as driving dangerously for the purposes of sections 1 [F2, 1A] and 2 above if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.

(3)In subsections (1) and (2) above “dangerous” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of those subsections what would be expected of, or obvious to, a competent and careful driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.

(4)In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) above the state of a vehicle, regard may be had to anything attached to or carried on or in it and to the manner in which it is attached or carried.]

 

Andy

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19 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

Dangerous driving is by far the more serious offence to careless/inconsiderate driving.

 

 

 

 

Indeed Mr Plodd but in relation to using electronic equipment what would you say ? There seems to be two rules for the one offence in relation to electronic equipment thus finding it slightly confusing . .. It's All Dangerous in my Book. ..

 

Maybe its just me . .. :blink:

 

GAS . ...

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Grumpy old

 

Its one of those pieces of legislation that has to be considered on a case by case basis, it’s not a simple black or white issue.  

 

Some of my pet hates concern sat navs,  some people seem to think it’s ok to stick them in the middle of the windscreen blocking a big chunk of view and then others don’t seem capable of setting them to dim at night. I am sure you have seen them in the middle of the windscreen as bright as a cinema screen lighting up the isndie of the car AND shining directly into the drivers eyes and wrecking their night vision. Is that careless, inconsiderate, dangerous or just plain stupid????  

 

Andy

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3 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 I am sure you have seen them in the middle of the windscreen as bright as a cinema screen lighting up the isndie of the car AND shining directly into the drivers eyes and wrecking their night vision. Is that careless, inconsiderate, dangerous or just plain stupid????  

 

Andy

 

There are laws for “careless, inconsiderate and dangerous driving”, unfortunately they haven’t yet been able to legislate for “stupid” 😂😂

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4 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

Grumpy old

 

Its one of those pieces of legislation that has to be considered on a case by case basis, it’s not a simple black or white issue.  

 

Some of my pet hates concern sat navs,  some people seem to think it’s ok to stick them in the middle of the windscreen blocking a big chunk of view and then others don’t seem capable of setting them to dim at night. I am sure you have seen them in the middle of the windscreen as bright as a cinema screen lighting up the isndie of the car AND shining directly into the drivers eyes and wrecking their night vision. Is that careless, inconsiderate, dangerous or just plain stupid????  

 

Andy

I'm not 100%  on this,

 

I thought it was/would be, illegal to have an objected placed within the sweep of the wipers.

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Comes under exactly the same offence of not clearing snow and ice off your windscreen.

One of the problems these days is the virtual abandonment of road traffic policing so these sorts of offences go undetected/punished. When there were dedicated traffic patrols those, and many other offences were routinely detected and the drivers prosecuted. Now there are precious few traffic cops to do the job and the general response coppers simply don’t have the time to even look for traffic offences, so standards have dropped a lot. Plus of course there’s the reliance on cameras which only detect speeding offences.  

 

When was the last time you heard of anyone being done for defective lights (think how many single headlight vehicles you see these days) or a bald tyre, or crossing double white lines etc???? It’s the same with these satnavs in the middle of the windscreen no-ones around to deal with them, it’s FAR more important to investigate celebs etc for touching someone’s bum 40 years ago.  

 

Andy

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17 minutes ago, Simple Life said:

I'm not 100%  on this,

 

I thought it was/would be, illegal to have an objected placed within the sweep of the wipers.

 

It is, so is speeding but in both cases they have to be caught in the act for them to be prosecuted.

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24 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

There are laws for “careless, inconsiderate and dangerous driving”, unfortunately they haven’t yet been able to legislate for “stupid” 😂😂

 

Oh how VERY true indeed!

 

Andy

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7 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Oh how VERY true indeed!

 

Andy

 

Might be true, but theres no need because as long as stupid doesnt become careless or dangerous its ok, and when it does become careless or dangerous, we have it covered. :)

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On 01/12/2018 at 11:32, Grandpa Steve said:

 

You can just hear the defence, “sorry I killed 400 passengers but I wasn’t familiar with where the landing gear lever was, I cut the throttles instead”

I think you getting a bit absurd and taking things to the extreme!  Lighten up for a change.   ;)

On 01/12/2018 at 16:02, AWanderingLancastrian said:

One should have an intimate knowledge of the controls/switches/buttons in ones car and be able also to use them in the dark even to the extent of changing stations on the radio.

There are many people that just get behind the wheel and do not even familiarise themselves with the most basic and most often needed controls/switch-gear/buttons.

How many 'Brain-dead' drivers do you see that have high intensity rear fog guards on in traffic and haven't a clue as to what the little red/orange lights are for on the dashboard.

The above is quite correct but it does not take into account human nature as many of us can be creatures of habit.

 

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Cross-referring to the abbreviations/acronyms thread - ' read the manual '...

. ..that's what I remember from workshops and offices I worked in. ..

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