The way the judge words it is that the punishment was harsh as well - 'I have no choice but to give you lengthy community service because of the serious consequences of your actions' - yes, the consequences were very serious, yet the punishment seems like a joke! How can you cause a death and not get any jail time? Utter madness!
Just like the man who was sentenced yesterday for raping and then murdering his daughter-in-law - he only got 26 years. If she had still been alive then she would only be in her late twenties when he could walk free again. Very sad
I think it is very difficult to judge what is a genuine mistake and what is calculted risk taking. Ive certainly missed a red traffic light when driving although I had no intention of doing so. If an accident had occured should I have been pilloried?
Its not just car drivers either. The driver of the Purley rail accident drove pass double yellow and yellow signals cancelling the Aws at 90 mph. When he saw the Red it was too late to stop the 12 car cig in 400 yards. He was sentanced to prison although this was crushed on appeal. He still works at Littlehampton Station.
I dont think the treatment of rail staff is actually that different.
I seem to remember that alledgedly there was considerable circumstancial evidence that the driver of one of the hst accidents on the gwml was packing his bag for arrival at Paddington on a Hst that had no aws when he passed a red signal at danger at 125 mph and hit a freight train crossing his path.
However there was insufficent evidence to prosecute either him or his employers in court.
Personally I believe that unless the evidence is absolute that is correct whether hes driving a hst or a fiesta.
My sympathies for the family, friends and collegues of the train drivers involved.
Though I understand that people may not like this appraoch, I am glad the the British legal system gives the same punnishment for the same offence (level crossing abuse and lack of attention rather than murder or dangerous driving) regardless of the consequences (minor crash vs fatality).
Unfortunately level crossing abuse is treated like red light abuse (probably lack of knowledge from whoever introduced ths acts), thus considered even less of an offence than speeding. In my opinion any level crossing abuse should be life ban for driving.
Perhaps it is worth the unions getting together to inform the government that level crossing abuse is far more serious than some of the worse driving on the road since trains carry more people than any road vehicle.
Once again, I deeply sympathise with all those affected and give support to anyone who fights hard to get the law changed.
When a person dies as a result of an incident, eg. what happened in this case, it is manslaughter - a very serious offence indeed. Personally, I think that the worthless fool should be behind bars for the rest of his life. Preferably in a similar prison to the Supermaxis in the States, but there aren't any of those over here, so that won't be an option, unfortunately. If the death penalty was still legal, I'd reccommend that, but unfortunately, that's illegal these days - pity.