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Old 17th October 2014, 04:11   #16
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

Legalities of this particular case aside, it can be a reasonable inference that speed limits being an outer indicator of what can possibly ever be safe speeds, anyone in his senses (i.e. not inebriated) driving in excess of that is deemed to be driving rashly or negligently. There's nothing inconsistent about this, nor does it preclude charging a driver driving below the speed limit of rash / negligent driving also - except, obviously, in such cases the prosecution will have to provide more evidence of rashness / negligence. Many jurisdictions provide for presumption of negligence in certain circumstances -- say for e.g. faulty construction of a building. It is not therefore unusual for a presumption of negligence to be made out against a person overspeeding.

That having been said, I noticed on Delhi Police's website that 'overspeeding' and 'driving dangerously' are classified as distinct offences. It does not suggest that no case of overspeeding can also be dangerous driving but equally not all cases of overspeeding amount to dangerous driving. As such it seems the court was right in interpreting the law though given the extreme danger of poor drivers, bad roads and crowded footpaths in India personally I believe it would not be out of place to automatically qualify all cases of overspeeding as dangerous driving.
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Old 17th October 2014, 08:06   #17
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I agree with the Court's verdict.


You don't necessarily have to be speeding to be driving rashly.

You can weave in and out of traffic, jump red lights, scare pedestrians silly, and generally drive like a complete hooligan at speeds that are well within the limit.
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Old 17th October 2014, 09:08   #18
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

The moot point of the article was
Quote:
"The investigating agencies were not probing such accidents in a proper and scientific manner. The site plan which was produced was of a very unsatisfactory nature. The result of which was that even those persons, who might have been guilty for having committed offences under Section 279, 304A of the IPC, were being acquitted on the basis of benefit of doubt or lack of evidence in the case," the court said.
That a journalist sensationalized the incident and the court verdict by generalizing it and saying that speeding is not rash or negligent driving, does not mean it is not, under certain circumstances.

Accident reconstruction is a science that has not really been taken seriously by our administrators, and if a bus driver walks free because of it, the court verdict does not automatically apply to every case.
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Old 17th October 2014, 10:11   #19
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

While in USA I was once booked for overspeeding. I was the only one on the road during late night. Road speed limit was 55 but I didn't realise when I had crossed 65 zone and landed in 55. I was still doing 70 mph. A cop chased me and told that I am "overspeeding". I apologised and told how come 5 mph extra would be termed as overspeeding. He politely pointed out that the road is 55 mph band not 65mph! And after giving me the ticket, he also added that if I was doing 72+, I could be booked under reckless driving The law there has clear demarcation about what is over speeding and what is reckless driving. And above that, there is error correction that generally police would consider too. Just by exceeding 1-2 mph/ kmph (boundary line cases) would not cause too much of an issue. The law enforcement officer generally would consider your case with softer views. But if you lock your horns with him/ her and argue, only judge may save you

Now take another case I was found overspeeding few years ago in India. After leaving NH4 stretch from Kolhapur towards Belgaum - I took the turn inside Belgaum city to head to Goa via Chorla. And near KLE there was a interceptor vehicle. The switch from 120 kmph to 30 kmph wasn't easy to cope up with as driver especially in the morning hours on weekend when there was no rush on the road. I was booked for speeding. I was going at least double the speed limit. I realised my mistake after getting caught. Nothing to defend, simply accepted the mistake. The law enforcement officer (our regular traffic cop Saar) was kind enough to just take Rs.300 from me and issue a receipt. Thank almighty, my stars were aligned too well. This was three years ago. Since then, I have been extremely cautious with rules and regulations, follow them without fail.

The point I want to make is - not everything is a reckless/ rash driving. There would be some considerations as in - Over Speeding -> Rash Driving -> Reckless Driving. The later would attract harshest penalties and actions. Not sure if Indian Motor vehicle acts do have these clearly defined but I hope this is something that gets in new amendment some time soon. With absence of it probably, its with law enforcement agencies and judiciary system to ensure the actions as appropriate. As a victim/ offender, you would of course have rights to defend. In cases where you have a medical emergency and need to do something that breaks rules, judge may be considerate - provided that is genuinely proved. I am not considering the deliberate genuineness.
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Old 17th October 2014, 10:55   #20
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I wonder when there will be a law for reckless walking, talking on the fone while walking on a paved road and not pavement, texting while walking, causing harm and damage while texting and walking, walking on a paved road meant for vehicles, reckless cycling/riding, cycling/riding on the wrong side or middle of the road in any lane, talking on the fone while cycling/riding, causing risk to other road users due to reckless walking and reckless cycling/riding.

The soon to be introduced new motor vehicles law stipulates steep fines and punishment for motor vehicle offences, what about other reckless road users like ive mentioned above. And ive not including walking your cattle on the highway, setting up vegetable and fruit stalls on paved roads(read encroachment resulting in hazardous conditions)

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 17th October 2014 at 11:01.
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Old 17th October 2014, 15:40   #21
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed.Demon View Post
I agree with the Court's verdict.


You don't necessarily have to be speeding to be driving rashly.
That's not what the court said. "You are not necessarily driving rashly when you are speeding" is a closer interpretation.

Speeding is simply going over the designated speed limit. There are stretches on my daily commute where one can easily and safely do 100 kmph. I have my limiter set on 80 (call me overcautious) but as per the laws of our land even that is speeding. I'll be damned if anyone accuses me of rash/negligent driving.

All this is blackmail that the cops use to extort more money out of you. In South Bombay there is a signal near Air India building which is notorious since it's easy to miss the correct lane due to bad signage. If a cop catches you there, just be quiet and pay up whatever he books you for. The rule of thumb is...if you argue they tack on "rash and negligent driving" to your charge and that not only increases the penalty exponentially, it also increases the probability that you will cave in to the blackmail and ask, "OK so how much to forget about this?"
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Old 17th October 2014, 17:43   #22
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
That's not what the court said. "You are not necessarily driving rashly when you are speeding" is a closer interpretation.
Is that really true, see my earlier post?

This how the media headlines read. But when I read the article all I read that the prosecutor could not prove speeding took plane. So he couldn't make the negligent or rash driving accusation stick.

The essence whether speeding took place wasn't proven. So I'm not sure why that would be interpreted in the media as something different.

Can you download the actual verdict somewhere?

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Old 17th October 2014, 19:21   #23
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Is that really true, see my earlier post?

This how the media headlines read. But when I read the article all I read that the prosecutor could not prove speeding took plane. So he couldn't make the negligent or rash driving accusation stick.

The essence whether speeding took place wasn't proven. So I'm not sure why that would be interpreted in the media as something different.
I agree with this point of view. The facts and circumstances of the case might be quite different from what the journalist has inferred. Each case differs from another, and based on technicalities of evidence produced, the case may be proven or dismissed. It is incorrect of us to jump to conclusions without knowing the complete picture.

By the way, the term 'over speeding' seems to be used only in South Asia. The western world uses only 'speeding' to mean driving over the speed limit.
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Old 17th October 2014, 20:08   #24
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
There are stretches on my daily commute where one can easily and safely do 100 kmph. I have my limiter set on 80 (call me overcautious) but as per the laws of our land even that is speeding. I'll be damned if anyone accuses me of rash/negligent driving.
Noopster,are you not introducing a lot of subjectivity with that remark? If each driver starts to think what is easy and safe there can be lot of disagreement over what constitutes rash driving. That determination (whether just or unjust) is already done by the government the moment they notify speed limits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
All this is blackmail that the cops use to extort more money out of you. In South Bombay there is a signal near Air India building which is notorious since it's easy to miss the correct lane due to bad signage. If a cop catches you there, just be quiet and pay up whatever he books you for. The rule of thumb is...if you argue they tack on "rash and negligent driving" to your charge
Haha, I know that signal quite well - my earlier office was in the Express Towers building (right next to AI), and in the evenings I would sometimes take a break by walking to the signal for the sea breeze and get entertained by the cops as they would relentlessly keep catching motorists for lane changing. It gave me a good insight into their mannerisms, body-language and attitude.

Jokes aside, using rash and dangerous driving as a means of coercion is quite obviously unlawful. Makes you want to install a dashboard video camera. However this has nothing to do with determining that speeding is also rash and negligent driving.

Last edited by Kumar R : 17th October 2014 at 20:10.
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Old 17th October 2014, 20:32   #25
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Default Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
That determination (whether just or unjust) is already done by the government the moment they notify speed limits

Unfortunately, stupid and unjust laws tend to be ignored - laws are followed only if a critical mass of citizens think they are just.

I would differentiate between driving fast, speeding and driving rashly. For example, driving at 55 kph on the Worli Bandra sea link is NOT driving fast or rashly, but it is speeding. On that road, 80 kph is fast and 120+ is rash. This road should logically have a 100 or 110 kph limit, so you can drive fast without speeding.

Similarly, try and find even one person who follows the 30 kph limit on the JJ Flyover. That limit is below the limit on school zones in most of the world. Let's face it - stupid laws will be ignored, and make enforcing even sensible laws tougher.
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Old 17th October 2014, 21:06   #26
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I agree with the court's decision. Speeding and reckless driving are two different things.
In US, some states have very clear thresholds about when speeding can be booked as reckless driving. Take a look at this:
http://www.roadandtrack.com/features...mobilefriendly

For an example, in Virginia (where a Jalopnik scribe actually had to spend 3 nights in jail for speeding):
Quote:
VIRGINIA

Max Highway Speed: 70 mph

Reckless Driving Threshold: 80 mph, 20 mph over a 30-mph-or-higher limit, 60 mph in a 35-mph zone

Reckless Driving Mandatory Penalty: none; class 1 misdemeanor

Reckless Driving Maximum Penalty: 12 months imprisonment, $2500 fine, 6-month license suspension

Note: Failure to give proper signals—for intent to turn, change lanes, slow down, or stop—is considered reckless driving in Virginia.
Above lists only the case where speeding must become reckless driving. Does not mean that if you are not speeding, then you can not be driving recklessly.

Whereas in New Hampshire:
Quote:
NEW HAMPSHIRE

Max Highway Speed: 70 mph

Reckless Driving Threshold: none

Reckless Driving Mandatory Penalty: $250 fine, 60-day license revocation; violation

Reckless Driving Maximum Penalty: $500 fine, 60-day license revocation
The cop uses his judgement to decide whether reckless driving charge is applicable or not.

Whereas in India, a speeding ticket invariably comes accompanied with rash and negligent driving, without any accompanying evidence.
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Old 6th November 2014, 17:35   #27
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

The decision of the court is certainly a debatable topic. Over speeding in a narrow main road with too many medians & by lanes joining into the main road can be qualified as negligent driving I suppose, on the other hand, over speeding on the similar narrow main road with little to no medians or by lanes joining in cannot be qualified as negligent driving.

As from what I read from the article, The court did not have enough evidence to prove that the over speeding alone was the cause of the accident and hence the court ruled out on the favour of bus driver.

To say, if it is negligent & rash driving or normal to over speed depends on a lot on factors like time of day, quality of the road, medians, by lanes etc.

Quote:
According to the prosecution, on January 4, 2002, Rajpal was allegedly driving the bus at a high speed and hit an autorickshaw in the Badarpur area.
On a side note, The court took 12+ years to give a judgement?.
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Old 10th November 2014, 11:31   #28
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I remember reading newspaper reports on how Delhi Traffic Police was classifying the driving.

If a zone limit is 50kmph

1. Driving upto 60 kmph was allowed with warning
2. Above 60 kmph was rash and negligent driving
3. Above 70 kmph was classfied as dangerous driving and actions were taken accordingly.

Actions would mean, ticket/prison term/car impound etc.
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