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  #151  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
1 was this her first time driving in the UK, or had she already been out and about several times?

2 how far had she been driving on the wrong side? Was it a momentary lapse caused by unfamiliar circumstances(e.g. She just came off a roundabout), or had she been driving on the wrong side without noticing for a lengthy period of time?

3....
About two weeks.

about 200 yards.


None of these need her personal answers. They can be done in a statement.
  #152  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:58 AM
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She was driving on the incorrect (right) side of the road, which was undoubtedly a violation of English traffic law. There may well have been other traffic laws which were broken, like unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. ....
I dunno in the UK, but here in California, a traffic violation is not a "crime". It;s a "infraction".

And diplomats all over the world ignore traffic laws thousands of times daily.
  #153  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:52 AM
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I dunno in the UK, but here in California, a traffic violation is not a "crime". It;s a "infraction".
What on earth are you talking about? Minor traffic violations are indeed infractions, but reckless driving can easily rise to the level of criminal charges.
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23103 (a) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

(b) A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in Section 40008, persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104 or 23105.

23104 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), whenever reckless driving of a vehicle proximately causes bodily injury to a person other than the driver, the person driving the vehicle shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(b) A person convicted of reckless driving that proximately causes great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, to a person other than the driver, who previously has been convicted of a violation of Section 23103, 23104, 23105, 23109, 23109.1, 23152, or 23153, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both the fine and imprisonment. source link
That's when reckless driving is charged as a misdemeanor. It can also be charged as a felony in cases where you're impaired or you kill someone. As I'm not actually a lawyer, I haven't actually found the clause in California law, but multiple lawyer's websites turn up on when googling to provide information such as the following:
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Reckless driving involving certain types of injuries. California Vehicle Code section 23105 allows a judge to impose more severe penalties for reckless driving offenses that involve any of the injuries listed in the statute. Included on the list are concussions, a loss of consciousness, bone fractures, brain injuries, and paralysis. An offense that comes under this statute is a “wobbler”—meaning it can be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony. If punished as a misdemeanor, the offense carries the same penalties as those imposed for reckless driving with minor injuries (see above). But when punished as a felony, the driver faces 16 months to three years in prison.link
I find it bizarre that anyone would think that you can't commit a crime by driving in a reckless or negligent fashion. Arguably this case doesn't rise to the level of negligence required to constitute reckless driving, but it's certainly also arguable that it does.
  #154  
Old 10-14-2019, 03:07 AM
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The reason messing with diplomatic immunity, making exceptions or having a corps diplomatique version of the UCMJ is that in some countries, police investigations are suspect, and at times the outcome is outright for sale. So, prosecuting based on the findings in the host country becomes problematic if the offense took place in Mexico, or Haiti, or Iraq etc.
excluding certain countries from the diplomatic corps justice scheme, or from waiving immunity would create diplomatic problems, including with a close neighbor. Probing the validity of the host country investigation during trial would do likewise.
See the link I posted about the Romanian diplomat.
He was prosecuted in Romanian for a crime committed and 8nvestigated in Singapore.
And isn't the the role of judge and jury to judge the validity of evidence?
  #155  
Old 10-14-2019, 09:15 AM
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She might well have done. Causing death by careless driving could well mean up to 5 years in jail.

But no-one knows until there has been proper investigation including her side of the story.
If the facts are, as we are given them, that she mistakenly drove some distance [a few hundred yards] on the wrong side of a single carriageway and collided with a young man driving a motorbike, resulting in his death; then she would be unlikely to get jail unless she had previous, or there was some other factor that we are not being told about.

Personally, I think she should have stayed and made a statement to the police so that the wheels of justice could grind. IMHO she would have been given a driving ban and a large fine. Any costs from the victim's side would be met by her insurance in the normal way.
  #156  
Old 10-14-2019, 10:26 AM
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Personally, I think she should have stayed and made a statement to the police so that the wheels of justice could grind.
She did, in fact, speak to the police and answer questions prior to leaving the UK.

Looking at this story play out, I see a couple of recurring memes in general (meaning: does not necessarily apply to any one in this thread):

1) Outrage that the murderer is not severely punished. For these folks I'm not sure there's anything other than decades-long jail time that will satisfy them.

2) Shock about the existence of diplomatic immunity and what that entails. Diplomatic immunity is nothing new and recalling a holder of such immunity when they do something wrong in their host country is pretty SOP in the world.
  #157  
Old 10-14-2019, 11:39 AM
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I can certainly see that, after just three weeks of being in the UK, she might have reverted to the longstanding habit of driving on the right side of the road, as in the US. There is no indication, so far at least, that she acted with any malice. But a man died, the local police are obligated to investigate, and the US should not obstruct that investigation. The UK is an invaluable ally of ours and we come across as an arrogant, hypocritical superpower when we pull stunts like this.
  #158  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:15 PM
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I doubt anyone thinks she was driving on the wrong side of the road intentionally.
How else did she get on the wrong side of the road? If she was in control of the car, it was where she intended.
  #159  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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The UK is an invaluable ally of ours and we come across as an arrogant, hypocritical superpower when we pull stunts like this.
What in the world makes this a "stunt"? Or arrogant and hypocritical? This is a standard application of diplomatic immunity that countries of all levels of power employ.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-14-2019 at 12:41 PM.
  #160  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:51 PM
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What in the world makes this a "stunt"? Or arrogant and hypocritical? This is a standard application of diplomatic immunity that countries of all levels of power employ.
This. And while it might be shocking or look arrogant to her ex-neighbors, no one in the UK government will have batted an eye. They would expect exactly this, both for her and for a UK diplomat who did the equivalent in the US.
  #161  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:53 PM
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How else did she get on the wrong side of the road? If she was in control of the car, it was where she intended.
Assuming this is the case of someone coming from driving on the right side of the road accidentally going to the right in England, she never intended to go on the wrong side of the road. She thought she was correct. There was never intent to be wrong or put someone else in danger. Her state of mind was never to cause harm or do the wrong thing. She was mistaken.

It's not the same as saying intentionally performed an illegal act. She intentionally performed an act that she thought was legal, but she was mistaken.
  #162  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:55 PM
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Exactly. She intentionally drove on the right side of the road instead of the left side of the road, but she didn't intentionally drive on the wrong side of the road.
  #163  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:47 PM
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Driving on the wrong side of the road is illegal. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. The claim that she had forgotten which side of the road to drive on does not excuse the crime of driving on the wrong side.
  #164  
Old 10-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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Driving on the wrong side of the road is illegal. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. The claim that she had forgotten which side of the road to drive on does not excuse the crime of driving on the wrong side.
Well sure, but there are levels here. Intentionally driving on the side of the road which you know to be the wrong side is reckless, and would be fully deserving of criminal reckless driving charges. Intentionally driving on the right side of the road when the correct side is the left due to an unintentional mental lapse is fully deserving of being ticketed for a serious traffic violation, but it is arguably the case that it doesn't reach to the level of criminal reckless driving, or, if it does, only to the level of a less serious criminal offense that would typically be penalized with a fine and possibly probation and mandatory driving courses rather than incarceration.
  #165  
Old 10-14-2019, 03:37 PM
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She intentionally performed an act that was not only illegal, but was clearly likely to cause harm. If you're going to drive, you are expected to know the rules of the road. I can't see how someone can end up on the wrong side of the road by either recklessly not paying attention, or recklessly driving despite not being fit to, whether through ignorance of the rules or by impairment.
  #166  
Old 10-14-2019, 03:57 PM
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She intentionally performed an act that was not only illegal, but was clearly likely to cause harm. If you're going to drive, you are expected to know the rules of the road. I can't see how someone can end up on the wrong side of the road by either recklessly not paying attention, or recklessly driving despite not being fit to, whether through ignorance of the rules or by impairment.
The only possible conclusion is that she wanted to run over someone on a motor bike.
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  #167  
Old 10-14-2019, 05:03 PM
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She intentionally performed an act that was not only illegal, but was clearly likely to cause harm. .

intentionally is not only not proven but not even alleged by the police.

So, are you just making stuff up now?
  #168  
Old 10-14-2019, 05:19 PM
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It's easily done when you make a turn. I've done it myself when abroad. If there's no other obvious traffic to remind you what you should be doing it's easy to revert to ingrained habits as to which side of the road to keep to.
Traffic around that region is pretty sparse, I was up there in June. Didn't go by the base, though.
  #169  
Old 10-16-2019, 08:19 AM
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Oh good, Donald Trump is now personally involved. As usual, he is being very tactful about this, by attempting to stage a reality show about it in the White House:

Quote:
The Dunn family, now in the United States to drum up support to send Sacoolas back to the U.K. to face justice, had accepted an “urgent” invitation by the White House from National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, to visit Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. Trump, it seems, thought he could convince the Dunns to meet the woman who killed their son, and would do so by opening a side door through which she would walk. The whole scene would be captured by a pool of photographers who had been summoned for the meeting.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 10-16-2019 at 08:21 AM.
  #170  
Old 10-16-2019, 08:58 AM
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Weirdly, I am beginning to feel some sympathy for this woman. She made a stupid mistake with horrible consequences and now she is being manipulated by politicians for their own advantage. Of course, I feel sorry for the Dunns, but I thought at the time that they were making a mistake going to the US. It seems that I was correct.
  #171  
Old 10-16-2019, 09:49 AM
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Of course it was incorrect for them to go to the States. I can understand the emotions involved but I can't imagine what they expect to get out of it. I read a quote from them saying an apology is not enough...ok but what else do they possibly expect? What is even their itinerary while in the States?

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-16-2019 at 09:49 AM.
  #172  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:05 AM
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Oh good, Donald Trump is now personally involved. As usual, he is being very tactful about this, by attempting to stage a reality show about it in the White House:
Oh my god, that is so callous and disgusting. I can't imagine a worse idea than to manipulate people like it's the Jerry Springer show, only filmed in the Oval Office.
  #173  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:16 AM
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Weirdly, I am beginning to feel some sympathy for this woman. She made a stupid mistake with horrible consequences and now she is being manipulated by politicians for their own advantage.
What horrible consequences? So far, she seems to have escaped facing any consequence.
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  #174  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:22 AM
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What horrible consequences?
A young man died. And it must have been traumatic for her too.

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 10-16-2019 at 10:23 AM.
  #175  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:25 AM
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Oh my god, that is so callous and disgusting. I can't imagine a worse idea than to manipulate people like it's the Jerry Springer show, only filmed in the Oval Office.
I think Trump fits more naturally into the role of a guest on Jerry Springer.

"I don't care, I do what I want!", as he take off his high heels and starts ineffectually beating Nancy Pelosi around the head with them, while a musclebound Secret Service agent in a black tee-shirt tries to keep them apart without fully restraining them.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-16-2019 at 10:26 AM.
  #176  
Old 10-16-2019, 12:47 PM
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What horrible consequences? So far, she seems to have escaped facing any consequence.
So, being vilified in the press isn't a "consequence"?

  #177  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:03 PM
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intentionally is not only not proven but not even alleged by the police.

So, are you just making stuff up now?
Do not accuse other posters of lying. This is...close.

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  #178  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:20 PM
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Oh good, Donald Trump is now personally involved. As usual, he is being very tactful about this, by attempting to stage a reality show about it in the White House:
I was so very sure this was a headline from the Onion when I read this earlier today.

I should have learned by now that when it comes to things Donald Trump says or does, he is way ahead of the Onion.

I suppose he imagined he could go full Judge Judy and make a ruling, in his great and unmatched wisdom to which surely even Solomon would sit down and applaud, and both sides would blush with admiration at the extreme fairness and cleverness of his judgment, and everybody would go home with a gift basket and wearing MAGA hats.
  #179  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:54 PM
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But not without hamberders following the photo op!
  #180  
Old 10-16-2019, 03:04 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if he also had DNA tests done, with the hope of springing questionable paternity issues on the couple while he was at it.
  #181  
Old 10-16-2019, 03:28 PM
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intentionally is not only not proven but not even alleged by the police.

So, are you just making stuff up now?
I'm observing that she intentionally put her car on the right hand side of the road, that it wasn't a fault with the car or a signpost. She was not there inadvertantly or accidentally.

As has been said a few times here, this seems to be a relatively common mistake. Which just supports something I've thought for a long time, that far too many drivers are effectively on autopilot, not paying full attention to what they're doing.

I don't think she intended to harm or kill anyone. I think it's certain she intended to drive on that side of the road.
  #182  
Old 10-16-2019, 04:15 PM
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Oh good, Donald Trump is now personally involved. As usual, he is being very tactful about this, by attempting to stage a reality show about it in the White House:
"nincompoops on the run"

That certainly describes the current administration.

Last edited by cochrane; 10-16-2019 at 04:16 PM.
  #183  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:05 PM
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While criminal, none of those examples are crimes resulting in death.
But they ARE on purpose. Which do you feel should receive a harsher punishment: Someone who kills someone in what is 100% an accident (if she was, say, drunk, that'd be absolutely different), or someone who routinely beats their wife so hard they end up hospitalized?
  #184  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:15 PM
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Why is it "absolutely different" if she's drunk?
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  #185  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:19 PM
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Why is it "absolutely different" if she's drunk?
Probably because drunk driving is a crime in itself.
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  #186  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:55 PM
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I'm observing that she intentionally put her car on the right hand side of the road, that it wasn't a fault with the car or a signpost. She was not there inadvertantly or accidentally.
Do you still seriously not understand that, "She intentionally drove on the right side of the road," and "She didn't intend to drive on the wrong side of the road," can both be true statements?
  #187  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:16 PM
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Do you still seriously not understand that, "She intentionally drove on the right side of the road," and "She didn't intend to drive on the wrong side of the road," can both be true statements?
I understand that very well, which is why any crime she would be guilty of would involve negligence or recklessness. My point is that her car did not accidentally end up on that side of the road, it ended up there because she intentionally put it there - but I'm assuming she put it there due to not paying enough attention, not due to malice.

But killing someone when driving because you're not paying enough attention is still a serious crime. This was not an accident, this was 100% her fault.
  #188  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:54 PM
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This was not an accident, this was 100% her fault.
Those aren't mutually exclusive terms. "Accident" doesn't mean, "Something happened that's nobody's fault," it means, "Something happened that nobody intended." This woman didn't deliberately hit this guy with her car; that was an accident. It was an accident that was (apparently) entirely her fault, but it's still an accident.
  #189  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:54 PM
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I'm observing that she intentionally put her car on the right hand side of the road, that it wasn't a fault with the car or a signpost. She was not there inadvertantly or accidentally.
Actually, nowadays you don't even know that. What if she imported her American car and the lane correction software did it?
  #190  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:10 PM
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Actually, nowadays you don't even know that. What if she imported her American car and the lane correction software did it?
That's the case where it could actually be an accident rather than a mistake by the driver, if you want to argue that it's not reasonable that a driver should know that a car has that feature. It's an interesting hypothetical, but I expect that she would have said if that happened rather than admitting responsibility.
  #191  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:21 PM
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Those aren't mutually exclusive terms. "Accident" doesn't mean, "Something happened that's nobody's fault," it means, "Something happened that nobody intended." This woman didn't deliberately hit this guy with her car; that was an accident. It was an accident that was (apparently) entirely her fault, but it's still an accident.
That's not the way the term is used in the UK (officially) these days. Here's a Wiki link, both the cites are UK organisations.

Quote:
Some organizations have begun to avoid the term "accident", instead preferring terms such as "collision", "crash" or "incident".[7][8] This is because the term "accident" implies that there is no-one to blame, whereas most traffic collisions are the result of driving under the influence, excessive speed, distractions such as mobile phones or other risky behavior.

As for the meaning of the word "accident" a basic Google search gives this -

Quote:
1. an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

2. an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.
This event was neither unexpected nor without apparent cause, and was therefore not an accident. It did not happen by chance, it happen because one person acted in a way prohibited by law.

I don't think I'm being needlessly pedantic here, I think it's important to realise that incidents like this are not simply unfortunate chance but are directly caused by, and preventable by, specific individuals.
  #192  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Steophan;21922948...


As for the meaning of the word "accident" a [URL="https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=accident+definition"
basic Google search[/URL] gives this -



This event was neither unexpected nor without apparent cause, and was therefore not an accident. It did not happen by chance, it happen because one person acted in a way prohibited by law.

I don't think I'm being needlessly pedantic here, I think it's important to realise that incidents like this are not simply unfortunate chance but are directly caused by, and preventable by, specific individuals.
Yes, no one 'expected it". It was certainly "unintentionally".

All accidents have a cause., so by your reasoning there are no accidents.
  #193  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:01 AM
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There is a line of argument out there to rename automobile accidents as 'crashes', to change the subtle implication that they are an unavoidable consequence of driving.
  #194  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:52 AM
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Yes, no one 'expected it". It was certainly "unintentionally".
It is obviously to be expected that if you drive on the wrong side of the road you'll hit someone. That's the point, this is not some inadvertent, random happening, it's a clearly forseeable result of someone's action.

Quote:
All accidents have a cause., so by your reasoning there are no accidents.
That would get rather deeper into philosophy and physics than this thread really warrants, but determinism is certainly a valid position, although may well be incompatible with quantum physics.

What I would say is that anything caused by carelessness, recklessness, negligence, or anything of that nature is not an accident. Using the term "accident" is a way to allow people to avoid responsibility for their actions in many cases - such as this one.
  #195  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:29 AM
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That's not the way the term is used in the UK (officially) these days. Here's a Wiki link, both the cites are UK organisations.




As for the meaning of the word "accident" a basic Google search gives this -



This event was neither unexpected nor without apparent cause, and was therefore not an accident. It did not happen by chance, it happen because one person acted in a way prohibited by law.

I don't think I'm being needlessly pedantic here, I think it's important to realise that incidents like this are not simply unfortunate chance but are directly caused by, and preventable by, specific individuals.
I think you are being needlessly pedantic, and the way you are using the words is at best confusing in US usage. (and really, I think it's just wrong in US usage.)

I work in the Property/casualty insurance industry, and we care a great deal about whether incidents are intentional or unintentional. In particular, for first party coverages (when the insurance company pays the policy holder, rather than paying some person injured by the policy holder) we only cover unintentional damage. But we absolutely cover carelessness and stupidity.

For example:
If you pour gasoline around your home and light it on fire, we will not pay for the damage to your home -- because you intentionally burned down your home.
If you fall asleep while smoking and light your house on fire, we will pay.
If you are stir-frying, get a phone call, wander off, and then flee your burning house (because the oil caught on fire, and set the kitchen on fire...) we will pay.
If you add a few electrical circuits, without knowing or following the relevant electrical code, and your shitty wiring causes your house to catch on fire, we will pay. (unless there's some reason to believe you ran those wires for the purpose of burning down your house.)

Yes, she intentionally drove on the right side of the road. She did not intentionally drive on the wrong side of the road. I don't know UK auto insurance law, but if that had happened in the US, and she'd been a UK visitor driving on the left side of the road and gotten into a collision, her auto insurance would pay for the damage to her car. Because we would consider that unintentional.


Now... "criminal negligence" is a thing. The precise laws vary widely from state to state, but she could well be found criminally liable for the kid's death in the US. But it would be criminal negligence.

If the court found that she intentionally drove on the wrong side of the road (rather than intentionally driving on the left, not realizing that was the wrong side) that would be a more serious crime in most US jurisdictions. So that distinction is important to us.

Last edited by puzzlegal; 10-18-2019 at 10:31 AM.
  #196  
Old 10-18-2019, 11:56 AM
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That's not the way the term is used in the UK (officially) these days. Here's a Wiki link, both the cites are UK organisations.




As for the meaning of the word "accident" a basic Google search gives this -



This event was neither unexpected nor without apparent cause, and was therefore not an accident. It did not happen by chance, it happen because one person acted in a way prohibited by law.

I don't think I'm being needlessly pedantic here, I think it's important to realise that incidents like this are not simply unfortunate chance but are directly caused by, and preventable by, specific individuals.
You are rather comically misinterpreting your cites. "Some organizations have begun avoiding the word 'accident'" isn't some new official meaning of the word. And the first definition from your google fits this situation perfectly well.
  #197  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:27 PM
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There is no way that anyone could not have expected that driving on the wrong side of the road would lead to a collusion. This was not an accident, and the only reason to call it such is to try to claim that its OK to drive a car without paying sufficient attention.
  #198  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:45 PM
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Lapses of attention happen to all drivers pretty much on every trip. That's just the reality of human nature.
  #199  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:02 PM
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There is no way that anyone could not have expected that driving on the wrong side of the road would lead to a collusion. This was not an accident, and the only reason to call it such is to try to claim that its OK to drive a car without paying sufficient attention.
Oh gee, I watch the street sweepers and postal trucks weaving back and forth, often driving on the wrong side of the road for minutes at a time. They clearly do not 'expect" to cause a accident.
  #200  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:19 PM
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There is no way that anyone could not have expected that driving on the wrong side of the road would lead to a collusion.
Your claim is that she drove her car in a manner expecting to have a head on collision.

If you had evidence that she was suicidal, I might be willing to agree with you.
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