I'm sure you will all recall the death of a cyclist at the junction of Cross road and Anzac Hgwy last year. I was surprised when I logged on this evening that there was no discussion as the driver of the truck was sentenced today, heard this at work on 891 radio news but I'm fairly sure the following is correct.
He got a 2 month jail term, suspended. And loss of license 6 months.
Apparently the judge took into account the drivers remorse and the fact that the sun was in his eyes making driving difficult. The driver had traces of Amphetamines in his blood.
I know of somebody who recently lost his license for six months for failing to wear a seat belt.
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Thats just plain wrong! The law is just so unbalanced when you see people sentanced like that!
Thanks for the update Clive. It's a difficult situation to comment on, given that we do not know what Simon's family may or may not have said to the judge prior to sentencing. I guess there is always going to be a debate around sentencing in situations like this.
I would expect a tougher sentence after causing a road death while driving with illicit drugs in his body.
Please keep AC updated if you hear more.
slap on the wrist again sigh - SAD !
The Legal system really needs a massive overhaul
wow "The driver had traces of Amphetamines in his blood."
I would have thought that would be a nail in the coffin for a harsher penalty.
Can an AC member chase this up in getting definite details of the outcome? Then we will be in a position to right critical letters to pertinent authorities and politicians.
Magistrates Court does not publish sentencing remarks, as far as I am aware. My searches on the name of the driver brought up an Adelaide Now article that on Google abstract mentions the family's wishes regarding leniency, but the link is broken.
Writing to authorities about this to complain? Its a decision of the DPP whether to appeal against what I agree is a manifestly inadequate sentence, and from my very crude understanding of the facts, any appeal would be unlikely given that the Magistrate complied with what seems to be the family's wishes. I emphasise that I do not know all the facts.
Special K, was Whitely's death partially the inspiration for this site???
Sometimes if enough outcry, politicians (Attorney-General?) will ask DPP to reconsider. If enough cyclists object often enough, will MPs recognise that laws or sentencing need changing? After Eugene McGee got off, the law updated and Nick Xenophon publicly objected that a law body were lenient with their member.
At the link: "Magistrate Paul Foley told Sampson he accepted he had had a momentary lapse in concentration in difficult driving conditions, but said the presence of methylamphetamine in his system made the offending more serious."
If taking illicit drugs "made the offending more serious", why only a 6-month driving suspension?
Julia AC was up and running well before this incident though you may recall that there was a ride of respect shortly after and this site and Special K's journalistic contacts undoubtably helped to swell the number of riders.
There was some discussion on 891 a few weeks back about SA finally setting up a Sentencing Council. The idea was not to look at individual cases but general patterns, what the community thought of them etc. There is news about it here
Call for Expressions of Interest for membership to the Sentencing Council of South Australia
The Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, the Hon. John Rau MP, has announced that a Sentencing Council will be established in South Australia. Expressions of interest are being sought from persons who wish to be considered for appointment to the Sentencing Council.
The Sentencing Council will be an advisory body of part-time members established to improve the quality and availability of information on sentencing in South Australia.
- Download the Information Paper (PDF 30kb)
The Information Paper says the Council will be involved in:
preparing research papers, advice and reports on particular subjects in connection with sentencing (including trends in sentencing) at the request of the Attorney-General;
publishing information relating to sentencing;
educating the public about sentencing matters; and
obtaining the community’s views on sentencing matters.
It would seem like the ideal place to take this discussion of inadequate sentencing for drivers who injure or kill vulnerable road users. It would be good to get a cyclist appointed to the Council. Do we know anyone who is a cyclist and also a likely candidate for appointment ? That link has a form to download for expressions of interest in being appointed to the council.
Even if we don't have a cyclist on the council a submission could still be made to it by BISA or BikeSA.