Location of Repository

Criminal charges brought in cases of road death incidents in the East Midlands: Implications for law reform.

By Sally Rachel Cunningham

Abstract

This thesis explores the way in which the criminal law deals with drivers who kill.\ud Special offences exist to provide specific offence labels and punishment for drivers\ud who cause death when driving dangerously or carelessly when under the influence of\ud drink or drugs. However, the general homicide offence of manslaughter is also\ud capable of providing an alternative offence label in cases involving the causing of\ud death through gross negligence. A driver who kills might alternatively face the lesser\ud charge of driving without due care and attention. Knowledge of the way in which\ud these offences operate in practice in cases of road-death was previously sparse. This\ud thesis involves an empirical study of police and Crown Prosecution Service files relating to road-deaths, in an endeavour to increase knowledge on such matters, and to inform proposals for law reform. Over three hundred road-death files were accessed across the three counties of Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, in the East Midlands of England. This thesis explores the role of prosecutorial discretion in such cases, examines the\ud difficulties faced by police and prosecutors investigating and prosecuting offences\ud linked to road-death, and subsequently addresses the question of whether reform of\ud the substantive law is desirable. Whilst the first six chapters deal with the practicalities of conducting the empirical research and presenting the results, the latter chapters engage in a more theoretical discussion of the importance of providing a\ud clear and logical offence structure to this area of the law. This discussion draws on\ud both the empirical findings of the current study and existing literature relating to the\ud philosophy of the criminal law generally and to criminological and psychological\ud explanations for breaches of traffic laws specifically. Ultimately, a new hierarchy of\ud offences is proposed, requiring the abandonment of the current offences contained\ud within the Road Traffic Act 1988

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/4178

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. 37 A term first coined by Lloyd-Bostock: Lloyd-Bostock,
  2. (1988). 52 In the case of Broady
  3. (2002). 7 An offence of causing death by careless driving appears to remain under consideration following the TRL’s report:
  4. (1972). 79 Cr App R 277 Broady
  5. (1900). 80 Crimes Act
  6. (2002). A Better Way of Convicting Businesses of Avoidable Deaths and Injuries?”
  7. (1990). A Matter of Record,
  8. (1990). A Matter of Record, Cambridge:
  9. (1997). A Study of the Impact of the Revised Code for Crown Prosecutors”
  10. (1979). A Theory of Criminal Justice,
  11. (1982). AC 510; [1981] 1 All ER 974 Liddel v.
  12. (1999). Accessing and Analysing Police Murder Files”
  13. (1990). Agency and Criminal Liability: Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law,
  14. (2000). Alcohol Levels in Road Accident Fatalities for
  15. (1996). An Explanatory Memorandum for Use in Connection with the Code for Crown Prosecutors,
  16. (1986). An Independent Crown Prosecution Service?”
  17. (1981). Are We All Less Risky and More Skilful Than Our Fellow Drivers?”,
  18. (2000). Association of Chief Police Officers, Murder Investigation Manual, Bramshill: National Operations Faculty,
  19. (2001). Association of Chief Police Officers, Road Death Investigation Manual, Bramshill: National Operations Faculty,
  20. at 1044–1045.
  21. (1987). Attitudes to Road Traffic Law,
  22. (1970). Australia Law Reform Committee, Report on Manslaughter or Dangerous Driving Causing Death, Project No.17,
  23. (2000). Australia Police Service, Annual Reported Crime Statistics
  24. (2001). Australia Police Service, Fatal Traffic Crashes and Fatalities
  25. (1998). Australian Model Criminal Code Officers Committee of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, Discussion Paper: Model Criminal Code,
  26. (1994). Case Screening by the Crown Prosecution Service: How and Why Cases are Terminated, Home Office Research Study No.137, London: Home Office,
  27. (1970). Causing Death by Reckless or Dangerous Driving: a Suggestion”
  28. (1993). Censure and Sanctions,
  29. (2002). Changing Attitudes to Punishment,
  30. (1987). Constructing the Case for the Prosecution”
  31. (1994). Consultation Paper
  32. (2001). Context and Culpability in Involuntary Manslaughter: Principle or Instinct?”
  33. (2002). Corporate Killing – the Implications”, Paper presented at the National Blue Light Users Conference
  34. (2001). Corporations and Criminal Liability,
  35. (2003). Cr App R (S) 60 Cox
  36. (2002). Crime Reduction and the Justification of Punishment”
  37. (2002). Crime, Compliance and Public Policy”
  38. (1997). Criminal Justice: The Development of Criminal Justice Research in Britain”
  39. (1964). Criminal on the Road,
  40. (1999). Danger Down Under”
  41. (2002). Dangerous Driving a Decade On”
  42. (2002). Dangerous Driving and the Law, Road Safety Research
  43. (1997). Death on the Road: The Role of the English Coroner’s Court in the Social Construction of an Accident”
  44. (1987). Death on the Roads: Changing National Responses to Motor Accidents”
  45. (2002). Definition of Bad-Driving Offences Ten years after the proposals in the North Report were enacted, the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) was asked by the Government to evaluate the impact 49
  46. (1999). Department, Judicial Statistics Annual Report
  47. (2001). Department, Judicial Statistics Annual Report 2000, Cm 5223,
  48. (1998). Desert and Penance”
  49. (1992). Determinants of Intention to Commit Driving Violations”,
  50. (1993). Discretion to Prosecute and Judicial Review”
  51. (1969). Discretionary Justice: A Preliminary Inquiry,
  52. (1993). Disqualification from Driving: An Effective Penalty? Research and Planning Unit Paper 74, London: Home Office,
  53. (1997). Does Retesting Deter Dangerous Driving?
  54. (2000). Doing Research on Crime and Justice,
  55. (1985). Drinking Drivers: The Limits to Deterrence”
  56. (1985). Drinking Drivers: The Limits to Deterrence”,
  57. (1973). Drivers After Sentence,
  58. (1900). Driving Causing Death: Section 52A of the Crimes Act
  59. (1995). Driving Errors, Driving Violations and Accident Involvement”,
  60. (1996). Driving Offences Charging Standard,
  61. (1998). Entry Into the Criminal Justice System: A Survey of Police Arrests and Their Outcomes, Home Office Research Study No.185, London: Home Office,
  62. (1990). Errors and Violations on the Roads: a Real Distinction?”
  63. (2000). Evaluating the Effectiveness of the United Kingdom’s National Driver Improvement Scheme”, unpublished article available at: http://www.ex.ac.uk/~cnwburge/pages/ndis03.html
  64. Form and Function
  65. (2000). Further Evidence of The Relationship Between Legal and Public Opinion on the Law of Homicide”
  66. Gauging Criminal Harm:
  67. (1988). Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out and Getting Back”
  68. (1975). Home Office and Lord Chancellor’s Office, Report of the James Committee on the
  69. (1996). Home Office, Reforming the Law on Involuntary Manslaughter: The Government's Proposals, London: Home Office,
  70. (2004). Improvements in medical care and technology reductions in traffic related fatalities in Great Britain”,
  71. (1998). Investigating Road Death,
  72. (1996). Involuntary Manslaughter: A View from the Coroner’s Court”
  73. (1993). It Won’t Happen to Me: Unrealistic Optimism or Illusion of Control?”
  74. (2002). Jervis on the Office and Duties of Coroners,
  75. (2002). Law as Last Resort,
  76. (1970). Law Reform Committee, Report on Manslaughter or Dangerous Driving Causing Death, Project No.17,
  77. (1996). Legislating the Criminal Code: Involuntary
  78. (1980). Manslaughter and Causing Death by Driving Recklessly”
  79. (2002). Measuring Attitudes to Sentencing”
  80. (1968). Mens Rea and Criminal Responsibility” in Punishment and Responsibility,
  81. (1985). Motor Vehicles as Weapons of Offence.”
  82. (2000). Offences Relating to Motor Vehicles England and Wales 1999: Supplementary Tables,
  83. (2000). Offences Relating to Motor Vehicles England and Wales 1999: Supplemetary Tables, London: Home Office,
  84. (2001). Offences Relating to Motor Vehicles England and Wales 2000: Supplementary Tables, London: Home Office,
  85. (2001). Officers seem to develop an objective view of the evidence before 3 Cunningham, S., “The Reality of Vehicular Homicides: Convictions for Murder, Manslaughter and Causing Death by Dangerous Driving”
  86. (1998). On the General Part of the Criminal Law”
  87. (1992). Perceived Consensus
  88. (2002). Perceptions of Physical, Psychological, Social and Legal Deterrents to Joyriding”,
  89. (1991). Police and Public Perceptions of the Seriousness of Traffic Offences”,
  90. (2003). Principles of Criminal Law,
  91. (1968). Prolegomenon to the Principles of Punishment” in Punishment and Responsibility,
  92. (1998). Proportionate Sentences: A Desert Perspective”
  93. (1989). Prosecution and the Public Interest,
  94. (2002). Prosecution Service Inspectorate, Review of the Advice, Conduct and Prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service of Road Traffic Offences Involving Fatalities in England and Wales,
  95. (1995). Public Prosecutors and Discretion: A Comparative Study,
  96. (1974). Punishment: A Critique of Emphasis on the Results of Conduct in the Criminal Law”
  97. (1985). Qualitative Methodology and Sociology,
  98. (1988). Quantity and Quality
  99. (1992). Reform Commission of Victoria Report No. 45, Death Caused by Dangerous Driving,
  100. (2000). Reforming the Law on Involuntary Manslaughter: The Government’s Proposals, London: Home Office,
  101. (1985). Report on the Draft Criminal Code,
  102. (2002). Report on the Review of Road Traffic Penalties,
  103. (1978). Rethinking Criminal Law,
  104. (2002). Review of the Advice, Conduct and Prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service of Road Traffic Offences Involving Fatalities in England and Wales,
  105. (2001). Reviewing Crown Prosecution Service Decisions Not to Prosecute”
  106. (1980). Revision Committee, Fourteenth Report on Offences Against the Person,
  107. (1976). Revision Committee, Working Paper on Offences Against the Person,
  108. (1995). Road Accidents in Leicestershire: The Casualty Report
  109. (1999). Road Rage and the Defence of Necessity”
  110. (1988). Road Traffic Law: A Review of the North Report”
  111. (1900). Road Traffic Law: A Review of the North Report" [1988] CrimLR 707 at 714. part of that
  112. (1983). Road Users and the
  113. (2003). Sentencing Advisory Panel, The Panel’s Advice to the Court of Appeal: Causing Death by Dangerous Driving,
  114. (2000). Sentencing and Criminal
  115. (1996). Sentencing and the Climate of Opinion”
  116. (1972). Sentencing the Motoring Offender,
  117. (1995). Sleep Related Vehicle Accidents”
  118. (2001). Sleep-related Vehicle Accidents: Some Guides for Road Safety Policies”,
  119. (1997). Social Psychological Aspects of Motorcycling Safety”
  120. (1995). Statistical Analysis of Motorcyclists’ Perceived Accident Risk”,
  121. (1986). Superintendents and the Prosecution of Offences”
  122. (1993). Surveying Discretion by Criminal Justice Decision Makers”
  123. (2000). Survival times following road accidents, Transport Research Laboratory:
  124. (1992). Table of Cases Adams [2002] 1 Cr App R (S) 87 Adomako [1995] 1 AC 171 Allen v. Patterson [1980] RTR 97 Andrews v DPP [1937] AC 576 Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. v.
  125. (1993). Taking the Consequences” in
  126. (1983). Textbook of Criminal Law,
  127. (1976). The Age of the Automobile,
  128. (1980). The American Prosecutor: A Search for Identity,
  129. (1991). The Case for the Prosecution,
  130. (2000). The Criminal Histories of Serious Traffic Offenders,
  131. (1998). The Criminal Process,
  132. (1994). The Crown Prosecution Service and the Police: A Loveless Marriage?”
  133. (1986). The Crown Prosecution Service”
  134. (1972). The Decision to Prosecute,
  135. (1998). The Deterrence of High Speed Driving: a Criminological Perspective”,
  136. (1998). The Development of Remedial Strategies for Driving Violations,
  137. (1987). The Director of Public Prosecutions: Principles and Practices for the Crown Prosecutor,
  138. (2000). the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Tomorrow’s Roads – Safer for Everyone,
  139. (1999). The High Risk Offender Scheme for Drink-drivers,
  140. (2002). The Law of Evidence,
  141. (1998). The Moral Worth of Retribution”
  142. (1967). The Motoring Offender - Who is He?”
  143. The New Code for Crown
  144. (1994). The New Code for Crown Prosecutors (2) A Response”
  145. (1979). The Ordinary Man, and the Psychology of Attributing Causes and Responsibility”
  146. (1998). The Place of Public Opinion in Sentencing Law”
  147. (1998). The Principles of Penal Law”,
  148. (2001). The Reality of Vehicular Homicides: Convictions for Murder, Manslaughter and Causing Death by Dangerous Driving.”
  149. (1998). The Review of the Crown Prosecution Service: A Report, Cm 3960,
  150. (1989). The Road User and the Law,
  151. (1991). Traffic Policing in Changing Times,
  152. (1988). Transport and Home Office, Road Traffic Law Review Report (North Report),
  153. (2001). Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Road Accidents Great Britain 2000: The Casualty Report, London: The Stationary Office,
  154. (1997). Understanding Judge Ordered and Directed Acquittals in the Crown Court”
  155. (1992). Unlawful Driving Behaviour: A Criminological Perspective”,
  156. (1999). Using Computers to Analyse Qualitative Data” in Silverman, D., Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook,
  157. (2002). Victims”
  158. (2001). Voices from the Field:
  159. (1900). What Did Policemen Do When There Weren’t Any Motors?’ The Law, the Police and the Regulation of Motor Traffic in England,
  160. (1989). Who Passes Unduly Lenient Sentences? How Were They Listed? A Survey of Attorney-General References Cases
  161. (2003). Why do people drive the way they do?”, conference paper given at the National Blue Light Users Conference 29.8.02 available at: http://www.ex.ac.uk/~cnwburge/pages/airso/Birmingham02.htm
  162. (1991). Why Punish?
  163. (2003). Wilkinson’s Road Traffic Offences,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.