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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Road accidents do happen.

The anti Driver Revenge Lobby insist that there is no such thing as a Road Traffic Accident. (RTA) anymore.

The police call them collisions now. (RTC) and in some cases an incident.

A recent tweeter told me there is no such thing as an accident and asked me to provide a single example of one. I could've cited loads but simply wasn't prepared to then face a long sequence of responses that all concluded that road collisions occur because a driver wasn't concentrating or driving carelessly or dangerously and so on. I simply responded: 'So when you cut your hand or hit your thumb with a hammer it's not an accident?' 

In a recent article by a cyclist-who else?- to make his case, a driving accident was actually turned into 'violent conduct'.

In The Concise Oxford Dictionary, the definition of accident includes 'Unintentional act, chance, fortune, mishap and an unforeseen course of events.' In Odham's Concise it says ' Unexpected event, unintended action, unpremeditated act and mishap'.   

So why has the word 'accident' been replaced so that, by using RTC, the police do not acknowledge that road accidents do happen and indeed nearly all collisions are in fact unintentional and thus accidents? 

The answer stems from a very controversial anti driving ex Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom who, according to Wikipedea, was known as 'The Mad Mullah of The Traffic Taliban'. He took the view that all road death should be treated as a murder and investigated as such; I have noticed how many road accidents are investigated by detectives as opposed to the uniform branch now.

It certainly hasn't dawned on the Brunstrom adherents that closing motorways and strategic roads for many hours, when the cause of an accident was pretty obvious from the start, that we actually kill more people from the knock on effects of that than from the accident in the first place. Neither does it occur to anyone that the object of this forensic examination isn't to prevent a recurrence but to either look for a culprit to prosecute or provide evidence for wealthy lawyers to pursue their actions.     

But the most obvious reason that the word 'accident' has been ditched is that police can look for a culprit from the word go. In fact, the routine arrest of drivers after an accident before anything has been established is all part of this. See our questions here

But this brings me to a legal possibility. If road traffic accidents do not officially exist, do drivers need to stop after a collision, even one causing injury? See sec 170 of the RTA 1988 on this If the police refuse to acknowledge road accidents, no-one can complain if we all ignore Sec170 then.

In this case, the coroner deemed it a tragic accident Even though the cyclist had entered a roundabout at speed and failed to give way on the roundabout. Had it been the other way round, the driver would've been facing jail. 

There is a simple answer to this. Bring back the RTA and treat all road accidents as just that until investigations prove otherwise.  Innocent until proven guilty by a court is what I am saying.

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