[News] NR to Take Dangerous Car Driver to Civil Courts

Status
Not open for further replies.
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,522
Location
Yorkshire
The full story is on the Sunday Mail, a Tory paper.

Link: http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/printable_version.cfm?objectid=16225938&siteid=64736

HEIDI, 81 SUED FOR £150,000 AFTER SHE DELAYS 3 TRAINS Oct 9 2005
OAP's shock over huge claim
By Gordon Currie

RAIL chiefs are suing an 81-year-old woman for more than £150,000 - claiming she delayed three trains when she crashed her car at a level crossing.

Network Rail launched their compensation claim against Heidi Beerensson in the same week the firm were fined £3.5million for safety failures in the Hatfield rail disaster which killed four people and injured 102Last night, Heidi, of Perth, who was going to a dog rescue centre at the time of the crash, said she was stunned by the huge claim.

She said: "The whole thing has been such a shock."

Network Rail want the pensioner to cough up £156,960 to cover the cost of penalties they incurred for late trains. They also want £600 to pay for the safety inspection which was carried out at the level crossing immediately after the accident.

They are even claiming back the £2.50 they were charged for getting Heidi's address from the DVLA.

The firm raised the compensation claim at Perth Sheriff Court and said Heidi was to blame for the accident and delays to three trains.

The company's action claims: "Network Rail have incurred penalties. These costs arise because three trains were delayed a total of 202 minutes.

"The collision was caused by the fault and negligence of Miss Beerensson. It was her duty to drive with reasonable care and attention. It was her duty to keep a proper lookout and not enter the level crossing when it was unsafe.

"She failed in her duties. But for her failures the accident would not have occurred." Retired social worker Heidi said: "I had held a driving licence for 53 years and never had so much as a parking offence.

"The sun was in my eyes that morning and I couldn't see properly where I was going. That was how it happened.

"When I was told about the court action it came as a bit of a surprise. It has taken a long time after the accident to come up."

ScotRail, GNER and Arriva trains were delayed after the accident at the Forteviot level crossing on December 30, 2003.

Heidi was banned from driving for two years and fined £200 at Perth Sheriff Court last August after she admitted driving carelessly.

The court heard how her Ford Ka collided with a London-bound GNER train carrying nearly 200 passengers and travelling at around 90mph The canine-loving OAP had been visiting the Perthshire Abandoned Dogs Society (PADS) kennels next to the crossing when she swerved round a lowered barrier and failed to stop despite warning lights flashing. The train driver was unable to stop in time.

No one on the train was seriously injured and Heidi also escaped with only minor injuries.

She had only just started driving again after a hip replacement op.

A few weeks after the accident PADS named a new £25,000 "cottage hospital" wing for unwanted dogs after the pensioner and charity volunteer
(note that the article has no ending).

Typical Tory drivel!

Will the Tories answer these questions?

1. She admits she "couldn't see properly", so why didn't she stop? why didn't she slow down? :?

2. If she "couldn't see properly" then how come she swerved round the barriers? In order to do this she would have had to have crossed to the other side of the road. Did she blindly do this without being aware of it?
:shock:

3. Why was she only banned from driving for 2 years? What she did was similar to Gary Hart. Except Gary Hart fell asleep. She made a deliberate decision to get around the barriers. Both were despicable acts that could both have similar serious consequences. I say she's lucky to not be in jail.

4. Does her age and her activities help her cause? Does this mean that if Gary Hart was 81 and helped unwanted dogs, would he then have escaped jail?

This is yet another example of the dispicable right-wing element in this country being totally biased against the railways and towards car drivers.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,522
Location
Yorkshire
laverack222 said:
I can't really see how you can have a go at the Conservatives for this :?
Not specifically the party itself, but it's the overall tory view of "Cars = good, Trains = bad" that I object to.

All the right-wing papers run stories that are incredibly biased against the railways.
 

Tom B

Established Member
Joined
27 Jul 2005
Messages
4,554
Excuse me? Is this the same Daily Wail that runs stories on how awful it is that trains run late, and how stupid it is that they don't stop within 20cm if a car ventures onto an LC.

What it had to do with Hatfield I haven't a clue.
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
17,981
Location
0035
I have to disagree with you about The Times, the majority of their writers are very anti-car and pro-other forms of transport. Plus the fact they are a Labour newspaper because Blair & Brown promised Murdoch not to tax to high heavens the big businesses. One journalist I particularly like is David Aaronavich, we had to study a piece he did in GCSE English.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,522
Location
Yorkshire
AlexS said:
I personally think over 70's should be banned from driving. It is these people that cause most accidents on the road.
Agreed. Also the minimum age raised to 21, IMO. The number of lives saved would be huge.
 

bluecont

Member
Joined
24 Jul 2005
Messages
43
Location
Bristol (Area)
As an under 21, who has never had an accident driving a vehicle on a public road and has never made an insurance claim, I disagree with you. I feel that 17 is an appropriate age to begin driving.

It gives those who wish to drive from the begginning of adulthood the oppurtunity to do so. Also it enables adults, such as myself, the freedom to leave the place where they live, should they live in areas without public transport or without feasible public transport (ie one bus a day).

Another important point to bear in mind is the fact that experience plays the greater part in accident risk than age. A new driver is much more at risk simply because they lack the ability to handle situations that they may experience.

From a personal point of view. My being able to drive greatly reduced the strain on my family. From the perspective of having someone for the school run. Having someone who could (at the time) drive family members places they needed to be, having a sober driver at all times, having some one to share the responsibility of long distance driving (something I have accumulated 1000s of miles of experience of in my few years of driving). In all my experiences of driving, I have gradually built up the skills and knowledge of activities. I have experienced most of the phenomenon likely to suprise new drivers whilst under instruction. As I think all new drivers should.

Another problem you may start facing is where do you draw the line at what is appropriate, and what isn't? Why is a 71 year old a worse driver than a 70 year old, or a 69 year old? Shouldn't restrictions be applied on the basis of driving ability, and road awareness rather than an arbritrary period of time?

Ian
 

Craig

Established Member
Joined
15 Jun 2005
Messages
3,958
Location
Newcastle
AlexS said:
I personally think over 70's should be banned from driving. It is these people that cause most accidents on the road.
Perhaps all men should be banned from driving at the same time since they are statistically more likely to cause accidents?
 

The Gricer

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2005
Messages
269
Location
MP 34½ SWML
AlexS said:
I personally think over 70's should be banned from driving. It is these people that cause most accidents on the road.
I think you'll find that statistically this statement is incorrect and that under 21's are the age group most likely to be involved in road accidents. This isn't of course to say that ALL under 21 year olds are worse drivers than any other age, any more than ALL over 70's are. I don't really think you can generalise like that.

Frank
 

Guinness

Established Member
Joined
13 Jun 2005
Messages
3,737
AlexS said:
I personally think over 70's should be banned from driving. It is these people that cause most accidents on the road.
I'd have to disagree with you. True it would cause Less Accidents but think about the Old People who live in small villages with Little or No Bus Service. A Taxi would be costly for those who have little and rely on there cars. (Take my Gran for one!)
 

AlexS

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2005
Messages
2,887
Location
Just outside the Black Country
If it came to preventing road deaths, then the government or local government should give more thought to subsidising travel for the elderly further. It's far better to have an OAP spending more time indoors as opposed to careering down the road with failing vision and hearing and mowing down a child as a result. Many a time have I been stuck in a car behind some old biddy who insists on roaring down the road... in first gear.

And apparently, the risk of having an accidents gets great with age after the little bump around the 20ish mark. It's because older drivers get more complacent with their faith in their driving skills, and that's when accidents happen. Contrary to popular belief, you are far more likely to get a businessmen in his 40#s in a high powered bmw blowing the speed limit out of the window, than a 17 year old who recently got their licence rattling around in a Mk1 Fiesta that will only do 50 down hills!
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,522
Location
Yorkshire
The problem is that on the roads, people's "right" to drive a car outweighs any safety concerns. Even people who commit horrendous acts while driving are back on the roads within a relatively short time.

While I don't doubt that bluecont was sensible enough to drive at the age of 17, the fact is that many people at that age are not.

I get fed up of the chases I get by chavs when I'm on my way back from the last train home on a Saturday night. The chaces when they're on foot are relatively easy to get away from but when they're in cars it's a bit more worrying. Fortunately I've only had a handful of chases and I've escaped from them every time thanks to alley ways ("snickets" as they're called in Yorkshire).

Boy racers can be a problem and there's very little that can be done about them, sadly.

As for measuring people on ability not age, I would agree except currently there are no effective measures in place to do this. Loads of people who are unsuitable to drive, are currently driving.
 

AlexS

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2005
Messages
2,887
Location
Just outside the Black Country
Driving tests are more difficult than ever to pass. To ensure that you aren't just textbooking it on the rules, you also have to learn about the way that their car works, and it's specification. In that instance, the elderly are far more dangerous, as some have never taken a test, yet are entitled to drive under grandfather rights!
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
17,981
Location
0035
Cockfosters said:
Excuse me? Is this the same Daily Wail that runs stories on how awful it is that trains run late, and how stupid it is that they don't stop within 20cm if a car ventures onto an LC.

What it had to do with Hatfield I haven't a clue.
No it's not. They might both moan about late trains, and the Sunday Mail's sister paper might moan, but The Daily Mail and the Sunday Mail aren't even published by the same group.
 

Z12XE

Member
Joined
30 Sep 2005
Messages
876
All this Daily Mail bashing is quite amusing, but you've got completly the wrong rag. (apart from Mojo of course, who's posted whilst i was typing my reply)

This was reported in the Sunday Mail, a Scottish rag.
The one associated with the Dail Mail is the Mail on Sunday.

I agree about the driving ages though, 21-70. I'd limit the power of the car until 25 as well.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,522
Location
Yorkshire
AlexS said:
Driving tests are more difficult than ever to pass. To ensure that you aren't just textbooking it on the rules, you also have to learn about the way that their car works, and it's specification. In that instance, the elderly are far more dangerous, as some have never taken a test, yet are entitled to drive under grandfather rights!
That may be true, BUT there are many people who just think "to hell with the rules" as soon as they pass their test.
 

Guinness

Established Member
Joined
13 Jun 2005
Messages
3,737
yorkie said:
AlexS said:
Driving tests are more difficult than ever to pass. To ensure that you aren't just textbooking it on the rules, you also have to learn about the way that their car works, and it's specification. In that instance, the elderly are far more dangerous, as some have never taken a test, yet are entitled to drive under grandfather rights!
That may be true, BUT there are many people who just think "to hell with the rules" as soon as they pass their test.
But when they are caught they do get points and/or fined.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,522
Location
Yorkshire
They rarely ever get caught, and they have to do something really bad to have anything done about it.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top