He's a politician.
The Court of Appeal has released a Labour peer who was jailed for 12 weeks for sending and receiving text messages while driving minutes before he was involved in a fatal motorway crash. Lord Ahmed, 51, was charged with dangerous driving after using his mobile phone shortly before hitting a stationary car in the fast lane of …
At least he had the decency to plead guilty. Unlike most of our politicians a sense of context if not culpability seems to have beckoned.
Beyond any reasonable doubt, it is difficult to demonstrate that a text conversation had an impact on his concentration leading him to kill someone. Not knowing the content and context of the messages can not help.
Surely though, any reasonable person might conclude that traveling at those speeds, engaging in a text conversation ( audio seems bad enough) would impair the judgement of any driver. And lead them to kill someone.
Politicians just seem to get away with murder these days.
Paris - because she is just as thick.
... meanwhile the motorcyclist who (supposedly*) did 122 mph *without* killing anyone, has got 6 months in jail, but, of course, he doesn't have a high-priced Barrister to argue his "exceptional" case...
*That 122mph figure is highly dubious and he'd have had to dump a *lot* of speed to be able to take the next corner without cranking the bike over a hell of a lot more than he did.
Someone is dead because they got pissed, went for a drive on the motorway, crashed in the central reservation on a dark and unlit stretch of road, and after several people had narrowly avoided colliding with him, the laws of statistics ensured that he would ultimately be culpable for his OWN actions.
I too was outraged by this until I took the time to dig a bit further.
Texting while driving is admittedly outrageously stupid, but he stopped a few minutes before the crash; the judge admits that it was unrelated to the actual crash.
The car he crashed into had ALREADY crashed into the central reservation and spun round to face the traffic, in the third (central) lane of the motorway.
The judge stated that there was nothing the peer could have done to avoid the crash.
There was never any question in the court of 'death by dangerous driving'.
Of course, it didn't hurt that he had the services of a QC to argue these points. But I don't think it's particularly fair to demand murder charges for what was blatantly an unavoidable accident; it's really the media that have jumped on Rich Peer + Texting + Other Guy Died = Blame.
Assuming the BBC to be factual (I know, I know):
"Before the collision with Lord Ahmed, Mr Gombar, who was Slovakian, had crashed into the central reservation, leaving his Audi facing the wrong way in the third lane of the motorway.
Lady Justice Hallett said there was "little or nothing" Lord Ahmed could have done to avoid the collision.
She said he had never been accused of, or admitted, causing death by dangerous driving. "
So it appears it's accepted that the crash and the text messaging were far enough apart not to be related, so he would have hit the poor guy either way.
On the other hand, as other people have said, why does he get away with 'special circumstances' coming into play?
Perhaps you should read the article again - he wasn't charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The dangerous driving was to do with taking text messages two minutes before the crash and, as the judge pointed out, has nothing to do with the accident itself.
The accident happened when the guy who was killed collided with the central reservation and stopped in the outside lane facing the wrong way. His car was clipped by another before the Lord Ahmed's car hit it with fatal consequences. From what I can gather, the charge had nothing to do with the death - it was purely about the prior texting 2 minutes before the incident, and the judge stated there had been little he could have done to have avoided the collision. There were no charges related to the actual death.
To be fair to him, he admitted the charge and didn't claim that his wife (who was in the car) had been making and taking the messages.
So for all you types who have texted whilst on the move, the fact that you haven't yet been involved in a fatal accident makes you no less guilty, and tabloid headlines which gave the impression that this was the cause of the fatal accident are probably deliberately designed to do exactly that.
Read the article again - the guy did NOT get convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. Read that AGAIN if you are hard of thinking.
He was convicted of texting while driving, which the judge agreed had taken place and ended 2 minutes before the crash, which incidentally occurred when a drunk driver had spun his car sideways into the crash barrier in lane 3 of the motorway in the dark, with the lights not visible on an unlit stretch, and then having got out of the car and got to safety, he staggered back across 3 lanes of motorway in the dark to the car to look for his wallet/phone when the aforementioned lord who had not used his phone for the last 2 miles, hit the car almost as it appeared out of the dark. He had no time to avoid it.
It is an unfortunate accident that could have happened to anyone. No matter how clear the night or alert the driver, a dark car sideways with no lights on an unlit stretch of motorway would be almost impossible to see until it was too late.
The texting while driving however, was wrong and dangerous, but how many other people have been jailed for texting while driving? Most get 3 points and a fine. I'm not condoning texting or phoning while driving, quite the reverse, but he was not convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.
It seems enough people have repeated the misunderstanding for everyone to somehow have believed it actually happened and jump on the bandwagon calling for his scalp. Thank god we have the law (what's left of it) and don't rely on the rule of the sheep like mob baying for blood.
Causing death by dangerous driving does indeed warrant a harsher sentence, but that's not what he was charged or convicted for. The guy who died was drunk, had spun his car and crashed into the central reservation and was standing in the middle of the road, at night. At least one other car had already hit him before the peer drove into the wreck.
What the peer was prosecuted for was texting *earlier*, ie. a straightforward case of driving without due care and attention. The fact that he was later involved in a fatal accident was irrelevant to that case. He wasn't found to blame for that crash in any way.
The question therefore is whether 12 weeks in jail for a simple offence of driving without due care and attention, which didn't itself result in an accident, is excessive or not. The exceptional circumstances were presumably the fact that as a high profile case in which someone did die the police investigation was exceptionally meticulous and detailed and took over a year to come to court, which would no doubt have been a very uncertain and stressful time for the peer as he didn't know how serious a charge he might face.
Wow he didn't have to wait long before his mates rescued him from prison.
If he hit a stationary object on the motorway then he was simply driving too fast. It's as simple as that.
One rule for them, one rule for the rest of us.
There just isn't a wall long enough to line up all these bankers, lords and politicians.
.. want to live in a country where you can go to jail for sending a text message? The judge said the texting was some time before the crash, and unrelated. So unless that's a lie, this is just someone sending a text message whilst driving. Generally dangerous, yes, but prison is quite absurd. People get less for burglary.
Quote = "...Ahmed’s text messaging had finished two minutes before the accident took place..."
I suppose the judge could be simply taking Ahmed's word that such was the case but I'd like to think that for such an important legal decision there was some precise way of establishing that two minute gap, some technical method of accurately measuring the time between when a text was sent and some other indicator/activity from the mobile.
In fact, I'm sure there was but we probably can't know about it for security reasons!
And it certainly wasn't "Yes, yes, I sent him a text just now, let me try to get the text up on the screen and I'll read it to yaaahh!!!", or a 999 call made one second after the impact. No sirree, Bob.
(Have to admire the BBC 'investigative' reporting, i.e. bland regurgitation, 'cause it's all for the good of the 'community'.)
Do remember that the guy he killed had apparently crashed his vehicle into the central reservation because he was trying to "retrieve" his own phone.
I think it's best to assume that ALL drivers are on the phone until proven otherwise, and behave accordingly.
(Around here, it seems to be about one driver in 30 at any moment in time.)
AC, we know the accident wasn't caused by texting, but the fact remains that he killed someone by dangerous driving! He got handed a prison sentence, which many thought was too short, now on appeal, he's got thing..the sentence has been reduced in duration and it's been suspended which means he won't spend any time in prison at all!
FFS! It's not about whether he was texting or not, it's about his causing death by dangerous driving and getting let off!
There is a book used for driver training called Roadcraft. I have it, I have used it.
It is the same book that is used to teach Police officers how to drive.
It says, you should be travelling at a speed which you can see to stop in.
This is a fundamental concept of driving. If you're driving along then you should be travelling at a speed such that if something out of the blue happens, you have enough time to brake, to bring the car to a stop without hitting the object.
What does this mean in practise? If you're going round a bend, and you can't see around it, you slow down, such that if there's a stationary car around the bend, when you suddenly see it, you hit the brakes, and you're not going so fast you hit it.
The tighter the bend, if it's a really blind bend on a narrow country lane, then you may slow the car right down to 20mph to negotiate the bend!
Same applies on a straight road, you travel at a speed which is suitable for the road and visibility conditions.
The accident wasn't an accident, it was Ahmads fault!
..."there was nothing the peer could have done to avoid the crash."
Well I state BULLSHIT!
If he was unable to stop in the distance in which he could see ahead of him, then he was travelling *TOO FAST*!
He could have avoided the crash by going *slower* such that the distance illuminated by his headlamps was *longer* than his stopping distance.
So, by your reckoning, no accident has ever been caused by anything but negligence, since all accidents could be avoided if you were traveling at 0mph. That's a really well-reasoned viewpoint. I guess we should all be driving slowly enough that if a deer enters the road 10 feet from the front of our car, in the middle of the night, we can stop for it - right? No such thing as an accident, after all. I don't know what the speed limits are in the UK, but in the US, there are plenty of 65mph zones where a sideways, unlit car in the dead of a dark night would be nigh-on invisible. Unless you favor mandating 40mph as the maximum possible speed limit, you're hypocrites.
Go back to yelling "Get off my lawn!" at kids. It'll be a better use of your time than parading your misplaced arrogance here.
>The judge stated that there was nothing the peer could have done to avoid the crash.
Complete twaddle. He could have been driving at speed suited to the conditions. You should drive at a speed such that you can stop within the distance you can see. He obviously wasn't. Unless you are saying that the judge is right and it is perfectaly acceptable to drive in pitch blackness, in fog, around blind corners, and so on at any speed. He was driving recklessly and the result was a death.
He was also driving in the outside lane when the other lanes were clear and as such was misusing the lanes which I believe is also an offence and was certainly a contributing factor. If he's been following correct lane discipline the accident and subsequent death would not have happened.
I read the original case and am aware of what he was sentenced for, the point is that the original judge felt that even though the texting did not cause the accident he had been driving dangerously in such a manner that required a custodial sentence. Accident or not he was texting someone while driving in the fast lane of the motorway at night, pretty dangerous regardless of the outcome.
Now that sentence has been revoked, that is why I dislike this so intensely, the sentence had nothing to do with the death so it's pointless people trying to say he's justified in being let off as he didn't cause the death.
Once again one rule for some
This is all wrong. All the points above make sense, but the sentence doesn't make sense within the facts.
You don't get a dangerous driving charge for being on a mobile phone with no connection to an accident. There's a specific law for mobile phones and that would result in points and a fine. Simple, if the accident and phone use were not related.
To get a dangerous driving charge, you have to be doing something much worse. So, why was the dangerous driving charge brought? If it was for using the mobile phone alone, he was very hard done by and got a substantially worse sentence than the masses. However, I don't think this was the case. I believe the dangerous driving charge was actually related to the accident.
If you hit a stationary obstacle on a road whatever the conditions, it's your fault. End of story. You should only drive as fast as you can reasonably see and stop in. That's the law. If you hit a stationary object, whatever the lighting etc.etc., it is your fault. Effectively, you have assumed the road is clear without being able to see it. That's the law. Insurance companies would also hold him and not the Slovak to blame for the crash. So, bearing in mind someone was killed, this is much more likely to be the reason for the charge of dangerous driving. It would also be about right. Death by dangerous driving would be a little harsh under the circumstances, as that normally requires you to be actively doing something dangerous like speeding, weaving around, just generally acting like a dick. He was not.
So, someone, somewhere has got this all very muddled up. The "facts" don't match the charge or, indeed, the sentence.
So, so many incorrect statements.
> we know the accident wasn't caused by texting, but
> the fact remains that he killed someone by dangerous driving!
Try publishing that statement in a newspaper then! I dare you
He texted whilst driving. That was his offence. At a later point, he was involved in an entirely unrelated and (according to the Judge) unavoidable accident. You might disagree with some of the Judges conclusions that but the FACT is he did not kill someone by dangerous driving and stating so leaves you open to all sorts of shit.
> It says, you should be travelling at a speed which you can see to stop in.
> If you're driving along then you should be travelling at a speed such that if
> something out of the blue happens, you have enough time to brake, to bring
> the car to a stop without hitting the object.
Again, complete bollocks. The first line is true, the second bit is some bizare, extreme conclusion you have drawn and, again, are now stating as fact when it is far from it. Owning some book doesn't make you an expert. I'm sure I have a copy of the bible around here somewhere but I'm fairly confident I couldn't construct a universe in 6 days. Get some practical experience from someone who has actually done some advanced driving and stop talking Yoda-esque zen bollocks.
Tell me, if you are driving on the motorway at 70mph, do you ALWAYS leave enough of a gap between you and the car in front for you to stop at that speed? Of course not. But this is what you state SHOULD be done.
In this case (again, as recommended by others, actually reading about the case helps) the Peer was following several other cars at night on an unlit stretch. The first few cars obstructed his view of the accident so he could have been travelling at a speed at which he could stop, but it wouldn't have helped. He couldn't see it. It was unavoidable. READ IT
And the Police DO NOT train you to avoid all accidents under all circumstances. Believe me.
How was that established? I can see how they have an accurate time for the text - but who timed the collision? And if he had SENT a text two minutes before - why should we believe he wasn't READING or composing a text at the time of the impact? SOMETHING must have stopped him seeing the car he ran into.
Better stop typing before the capslock jams again...
It seems, from the evidence I have read, that the man should not have been gaoled for his part in the death of the Audi driver. He should, perhaps, have been gaoled for being a twat by texting.
This twat should, however, definitely be gaoled for incitement to racial hatred for threatening to unleash 10,000 Muslims if Wilders was admitted to this country.
Nonetheless, I applaud this knobhead for further bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.
ID No: 377466209867647
The one thing everyone seems to have missed - he was sending multiple messages, in other words he was having a text message conversation, now what do the majority of mobile phone texters do when they have sent a message requiring a reply, they constantly look at the phone waiting for the message. So he sends a message two minutes before the crash, he is now distracted waiting for a reply, hence he is not fully in charge of his vehicle.
Yes I bloody do if you're driving a bloody car at the time.
Let's think of a few other things that require concentration and coordinated action and consider whether you would send a text while doing them.
Free rock climbing.
Moving a bottle of nitroglycerine.
Cycling down a cliff path.
The only difference here is that doing so while driving poses as much, if not more*, risk to some other poor bastard as it does to you.
The fact that this miserable git had finished his text session *before* running into something is pure luck. The fact that idiotic wankers like this still have driving licenses turns ordinary, day-to-day tasks (crossing the road, reversing out of your drive, riding a motorcycle) into a dice with death.
*The other party may not be encased in something that converts itself into a bouncy castle on wheels at the first sign of trouble.
The conviction was sound. Even the appeal lords ruled that the prison sentence was appropriate.
What is in question here is what the "exceptional circumstances" were, because it looks suspiciously like "oh, you're in the House of Lords, have a get out of jail free card".
Re : Roadcraft
Yes, precisely. If you can't see then you change matters so that you can. Too many idiots drive on motorways on sidelights / foglights only at high speed.
Now a minor point, we drive on the left in this country. Said Lord whassername was in the outside lane and hit a stationary car. One would assume that he was that lane whilst in the process of overtaking other traffic; in which case there would be traffic ahead of him illuminating said stationary (and bollocksed) vehicle. It is often easy to see ahead by the lights of other vehicles and, since people have a tendency to slow down as they approach something dangerous it would normally make the presence of the vehicle even more apparent.
Frankly, I'd suggest that Lord thingummy was :-
a) in the incorrect lane
b) driving too quickly for the prevailing conditions and
c) likely to not be using all the facilities at his disposal to make the road ahead more visible
and thus safer for all.
Which probably (in my inexpert opinion) boils nicely down to driving without due care and attention and quite possibly causing death by dangerous driving - at the very least it was driving like a idiot.
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"you should be travelling at a speed which you can see to stop in"
Yes, you should. However, we are humans and make mistakes. How many people have been knocked off bicycles while wearing dark clothes on a dark night because they were not seen? It is nothing to do with driving too fast. If you were driving at 70mph on a clear straight road on a clear night on the motorway and could easily see there was nothing ahead in the distance you can stop in, and a car had spun to face you with it's headlights still on, the human mind would see the headlights and assume it was on the other side of the motorway coming towards you. It would only be when you were right on top of it that you would get the "oh shit" moment as you realised it was in fact on your side, and by then it is too late to avoid collison. Other drivers had clipped the car before he hit it head on, do you think they were all bastards who should be locked up too?
It must be nice having a nice black and world where good guys are all badly done to and bad
guys are all Lords and loaded. Strikes me as old fashioned nasty narrow minded us and them bigotry. I'd hope someone gave you the benefit of the doubt in similar circumstances.
Even if you drove at 30mph on the motorway, there are still circumstances when you could not avoid collision, quite apart from the likelihood of a juggernaut up the arse because he did not see you, or being (rightly) arrested for dangerous driving.
There are some people here who have no sense of reality. If you are required to be traveling slowly enough to avoid an accident with an unlit car or person who just happens to be in the outside lane of a motorway, you had better restrict your speed to about 40mph. Even at 60mph the "official" stopping distance including thinking time is 80 yards. Try you dipped headlights one day and see just how much they will illuminate at nearly the length of a football pitch.
Just hope that one day none of you are presented with a drunk guy wandering around in the outside lane of an unlit motorway at night. Well mayb you will be superhuman, or maybe you will be driving at a speed more suited to an urban road, but I suspect the know-it-all absolutists here will not be doing that. I once came across some kids who ran across the M4 in front of me during the evening - frankly, if the timing had been slightly different, they would have been dead, almost no matter who was driving. At 70mph things happen fast - slow and vulnerable groups like pedestrians and
The guy who was killed was drunk and he was ultimately the architect of his own fate. He could quite easily have killed somebody else in that state. It's a sad thing that he killed himself, but he was the one primarily to blame for his own demise.
None of this excuses texting whilst driving, but they are two different incidents. I don't have a problem with jail sentences for dangerous activities whilst driving, but for those that wish it beware. That glance at a map, that fiddling with the mp3 player or the satnav - well that might be deemed the same way. Just hope that there isn't a drunk wandering around the outside lane of your local motorway in the dark.
Yes, a deer can leap out 10 feet in front front of you. It may well get run over as a result. Stationary, stalled cars, however, tend *not* to jump out in front of anything; they are a large, obvious obstruction, and careful drivers may well find themselves able to avoid them. Your analogy is utterly without merit.
You note that you do not know about UK driving speeds. I humbly submit that this is one of many, many things about which you remain cheerfully ignorant, without letting it get in the way of your self-important ranting.
This thing reminds me of one clear sunny morning when I was driving to work. I noticed cars sitting in odd positions about half a mile down the road, there was a filling station there and it looked like there had been an accident. I took my foot off the gas and let the car slow down, cars were still overtaking at high speed, some running into cars already stopped.
As I got closer (now down to a few mph) cars were still flying past and adding to the carnage. As I was wondering how I could get my car out of the way (as both lanes were now blocked) another car came flying past with all wheels locked -- he piled into the cars and actually knocked some out of the way -- I was able to slowly drive through to safety. More cars were still piling into the wreckage while an announcement came over the radio saying the road was now completely blocked.
My point is what the **** were those drivers thinking about? -- the weather was clear and dry with good visibility, due to the layout of the road you could see the accident from a good bit away, more than enough time to respond but they didn't -- they just ignored it until too late.
Fortunately despite the carnage nobody was seriously hurt.
With driving standards like that I'm not surprised a stationery car on the motorway at night was hit, it wouldn't be a question of if but when.
It's a lot safer to reverse into your drive, it's never a good idea to reverse out into traffic.
Throatwobbler Mangrove = "What - you mean like comparing the time of the last sent text message to the time the accident actually occurred?"
Where, exactly, is there an independant and accurate source for timing when the accident occurred?
Are we to take Ahmed's 999 call as the time of the accident? Would it have been like this?
"Yes, just ploughing into some poor bastard that other drivers avoided and thought I'd let you know immediately before falling unconscious, making a dazed recovery, getting my-fat-self and the ladies out and herding the hysterical bints to relative safety - you know, the usual quick exit from a crumpled car.
And, by the way, it didn't have anything to do with my previous texting as I certainly wasn't composing yet another text message at the time."
The legal thinking seems to be that if he had transmitted a text at the precise second of the crash (still needing an independant timer here) then that would be related to the crash, but if he is engaged in a series of long text exchanges prior to the crash we can take a Lord's word for it that he wasn't distracted preparing to send anymore, honest!
I just wonder if there was a two or three minute gap between any of the previous messages transmissions, as they were being read or prepared? Still, I'm sure we can rely on the police, CPS and unbiased Judges to do a technically proficient job on anything relating to IT - I'd let them work on my network anytime (not!).
(PS, and not related to you TM - I see the Liebor supporters are out in force. Good on you, lads, coming out en masse when there's a message to be pushed. I swear it's nearly as good as a fire alarm.)
I find it amusing that you use the words "sense of reality" and "official stopping distance" in the same paragraph!
The fact is that those figures are well out of date, but they're unlikely to be changed at any time in the future (probably because it's better to have people err on the side of caution).
And you then go from a *car* in the outside lane to a *drunk* wandering around...
I suggest you look up the words "Straw Man".
As much as I would like to think the rich aren't bending us mortals over again.
You can't help but wonder what all the facts are, I mean, none of us no for sure as we weren't in the courtroom or at the accident.
But think about these:
1. so he sent his last message 2 miles up the road, there's no way to know he wasn't, a. reading another message, b. fiddling with his phone or c. writing a reply.
2. If it was dark on an unlit part of the motorway isn't it the drivers responsibility to ensure their travelling at a safe speed for the terrain, weather and visibility.
3. How many other cars before him managed to avoid the crashed vehicle?
Draw your own conclusions, but it wont change the fact that the rich and in government always seem to get away with things.
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