Mr. Demeanour | 25.10.2004 22:04 | Oxford
Anyone else caught going at double the speed limit would lose their licence, even if they didn't kill anyone, or even have an accident. We are all supposed to be equal under the law; this guy has been let off by the courts, because he is a policeman.
Apparently the police brought loads of witnesses to court, who all testified that the girl had stepped out into the road without looking. I remember their poster campaign in the area, asking for witnesses, and it's surprising that they had a lot of witnesses, under the circumstances. I wonder how many of them had testimony that was unfavourable to the police? Did the police share all of their witnesses with the defence?
Anyway, that's not the point - if the copper had been driving at 30mph, the chances that this girl would have died would have been much smaller; every increase in speed of 10mph doubles the chance that an impact with a pedestrian will be fatal. That's the reason there is a speed-limit. If the courts are going to say that it's OK for the police to break the speeding laws, then they should at least require that those same policemen are such competent and careful drivers that they absoulutely never kill people. The police should have been given a clear message by the court that they are allowed to speed if the crime merits it; but if they speed and as a consequence hurt people, they will get busted.
This judgement gives a signal to the police that they can drive recklessly at maniacal speeds down busy Oxford streets that are crowded with bars and pubs, and that even if they kill people, they will get off scot-free, and be re-instated. It's a bloody disgraceful judgement.
I gather that this incompetent police driver is in discussions with his management about his career options. Let's hope he gets relocated to somewhere he's less likely to drive into civilians - Mars, perhaps.
The police in Oxford are arrogant and high-handed enough already - this was the second killing of an innocent cilvilian in Cowley Raod by a police driver last year. The court has just given the Oxford police a licence to zoom up and down our streets regardless of our safety. It was a bad judgement.