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Old 16th October 2014, 11:26   #1
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Default Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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NEW DELHI: In an order that may be debated, a trial court has said that driving at a high speed does not amount to rash or negligent driving.

The court made the observation while acquitting a bus driver of the charges of rash and negligent driving which led to the death of an auto driver. Terming 'high speed' as a relative term, the court said the word does not indicate negligence or rashness.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/44831824.cms
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Old 16th October 2014, 11:40   #2
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I Hope Delhi Police takes this observation by Court. Delhi Traffic Police has been penalizing drivers of Speeding vehicles beyond a certain speed(70kph at many places) for rash and negligient driving plus for speeding.

Anyone driving at 70kph on an absolutely empty stretch of road is not necessarily driving rash. In one instance i had to argue with a policeman because he wanted to book me for rash driving just because i was driving at 68kph on all empty Airport road.
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Old 16th October 2014, 11:48   #3
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I Hope Delhi Police takes this observation by Court. Delhi Traffic Police has been penalizing drivers of Speeding vehicles beyond a certain speed(70kph at many places) for rash and negligient driving plus for speeding.

Anyone driving at 70kph on an absolutely empty stretch of road is not necessarily driving rash. In one instance i had to argue with a policeman because he wanted to book me for rash driving just because i was driving at 68kph on all empty Airport road.
Not only delhi police, but Bangalore traffic police also does the same. I hope this gets upheld pan India.

I got caught by the interceptor between Jail road junction and Kudlu gate junction while doing the TD of Linea TJet - was doing 74kmph (I was under the false impression that the speed limit is 80) but the speed limit was 70. I asked about the offence and the officer said he is booking me under rash and negligent driving. I insisted on getting a court challan instead of paying the fine on the spot and this made the officer very angry - he threatened that if I opt for a court challan, he will impound the car till I pay the fine. By this time, the guy who accompanied me intervened and he 'fixed' the matter with the senior guy sitting inside the Jeep. Had to let it go because we was already late for another TD appointment.


--Anoop

Last edited by theexperthand : 16th October 2014 at 11:54.
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Old 16th October 2014, 11:51   #4
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

The one time I was booked for speeding (in Chennai, on Anna Salai, a very long time ago), I was doing in excess of 90kmph on an empty stretch between two signals.

The cops told me that my prompt admission of guilt, and sincere apology, helped me avoid the rash and negligent driving charge. They had apparently been instructed to book anyone exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 kmph with rash & negligent driving in addition to speeding.

Excessive speeding could constitute rashness and negligence - but that depends on many things - the type of road, traffic conditions, weather, time of day, etc. Rash & negligent driving is, in itself, fairly subjective.
Hence (with my limited knowledge of law), I suppose it is up to the prosecution to prove the case. Which, if you read the judgement linked in the OP, they did not.
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Old 16th October 2014, 11:59   #5
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

The court has rightly differentiated between speeding and negligent/rash driving. IMHO, driving over the permissible limit is speeding irrespective of whether the road was empty or less traffic. Negligent/rash driving is wilful disobedience to the rules in such a way as to endanger the lives of others.
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Old 16th October 2014, 12:01   #6
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I really welcome the court decision, since the cops use this clause for anything they like, including speeding. I once got the charge for having picked up a call while waiting in a traffic jam.

But would like to understand what is the definition of negligent and rash driving, and how would an ordinary cop on the roadside measure the level of rashness or negligence !! Especially cops like the Bangolre Cop who advised the pillion rider not to wear the helmet. And also how do the motorists justify their ground on these charges.

Last edited by raghu.t.k : 16th October 2014 at 12:05.
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Old 16th October 2014, 12:02   #7
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I do not agree with the court's assessment here. Any law is subjective specially the ones regarding to the Motor vehicles act. For me over speeding constitutes rash and negligent driving. You can't say the road was empty etc etc. Accidents happen even on empty roads.
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Old 16th October 2014, 12:16   #8
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

High speed necessarily does not mean over speeding. On a road that has a speed limit of 80 Kmph and if I am driving at 70 Kmph which is essentially high speed on a clear road and if some rider joins the road from a side lane without slowing down and gets hit and mowed down under my car, then was I driving in rash and negligent manner??? I guess not.. the point is whether he was over speeding above the speed limit on that road. This considering that the govt has set the appropriate speed limit for that road considering the traffic / road conditions etc and set a specific speed limit and if one is driving over that limit then it is over speeding. Over speeding may lead to loosing control (if one is new to driving or due to some mechanical defect / failure in the car) which eventually may result in some mishap but it has to be viewed in isolation with respect to other road users.

Rash driving implies driving in such a manner as to cause harm / danger to other road users such as some bikers zip through heavy traffic in zig zag manner, suddenly changing lanes etc. that constitutes negligent and rash driving. the words rash and negligent can be used in context or reference with other drivers / vehicles / pedestrians and not a clear road. I agree that alertness and anticipation are essential while driving fast and some mishaps do happen when the driver lets the guard down, but that does not imply rashness or negligence.
If a driver is over speeding he should be booked for over speeding and rash & negligent driving clause cannot be applied to him. they are totally two different aspects of driving.

Last edited by ashkamath : 16th October 2014 at 12:35.
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Old 16th October 2014, 12:29   #9
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Any law is subjective specially the ones regarding to the Motor vehicles act. For me over speeding constitutes rash and negligent driving.
Speeding simply means you exceeded the speed limit. You can't attribute rash and negligent behavior to that, without further evidence. My two speeding tickets till today are for doing 74 at 70 zone and 54 at 50 zone. Do that sound rash and negligent to you?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
You can't say the road was empty etc etc.
Of course you can. There are often conditional speed limits. Haven't you seen signs like this?

Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving-school_speed_limit_25mph_when_children_are_present.png

Last edited by Samurai : 16th October 2014 at 12:31.
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:23   #10
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Speeding simply means you exceeded the speed limit. You can't attribute rash and negligent behavior to that, without further evidence. My two speeding tickets till today are for doing 74 at 70 zone and 54 at 50 zone. Do that sound rash and negligent to you?

Of course you can. There are often conditional speed limits. Haven't you seen signs like this?
Adding to the rash and negligent driving theory. Based on the speeding ticket example, its a negligent behaviour since the concerned person did not observe the speed limits mentioned on the sign board but one cannot say that its rash driving .
I havent seen such conditional speed limits so far.
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Old 16th October 2014, 14:42   #11
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

Most speed guns have 5% error, and when not calibrated over 10% error. Still police books people for doing 81 in 80 zone( I had to pay fine for that once in Delhi).

I guess, the moral of the story is to not look at the road but at the speedo meter. That is going to be very very safe.
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Old 16th October 2014, 15:04   #12
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

I read this article this morning in the newspaper. And it is being publicized as per the heading of this particular topic across the internet as if this is now absolute and final.

I'm not familiar at all with India laws or the legal system, but here is what I read, based on the following quote from the article:

Quote:
It was for the prosecution to bring on record material to establish as to what is meant by 'high speed' in the facts and circumstances of the present case. None of the witnesses examined by the prosecution have been able to give any indication, even approximately, as to what they meant by 'high speed'," the court said.

The court held that no criminality can be presumed in the absence of any material on record. It added that no presumption of rashness or negligence could be drawn in the case.
The case lacked material evidence on what high speed means. As the prosecution failed to produce such evidenence no presumption of rashness or neglicence could be establisehd. (Essentially, not guilty until proven otherwise)

Converselly, could this mean for the next case, if such evidence (evidence of highspeed) was presented, it could be seen as a case of negligent or rash driving?

Irrespective of the formal legal context, I do believe that high speed could be typified as negligent and or rash driving on moral grounds or even just normal decency. Of course, all in the eye of the beholder so to speak.

It certainly is in most countries I'm familiar with. In most cases its not just a simple mathematical equation, e.g. x% above speed limit. These cases tend to be taking the total context in view, say road condition, weather, actual speed versus legal speed, how busy was the road, state of mind of the driver etc.

Jeroen

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Last edited by Jeroen : 16th October 2014 at 15:07.
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Old 16th October 2014, 16:06   #13
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by alexpaul View Post
Based on the speeding ticket example, its a negligent behaviour since the concerned person did not observe the speed limits mentioned on the sign board but one cannot say that its rash driving.
Yes, that is how police would argue. They keep the speed limit intentionally low to trap the drivers, happens in most countries. But we all know that one can do rash and negligent driving well below speed limit. This is because most drivers in our country don't know driving etiquette. Can't really blame the public because we don't have a system in place to teach driving etiquette before handing out a driving licence. However, most developed countries with stricter licensing process ensure their drivers know driving etiquette.

I am glad that this judge noticed the difference and ruled accordingly.

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Originally Posted by alexpaul View Post
I havent seen such conditional speed limits so far.
It is very common in US, where I learned to drive.
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Old 16th October 2014, 22:17   #14
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Speeding simply means you exceeded the speed limit. You can't attribute rash and negligent behavior to that, without further evidence. My two speeding tickets till today are for doing 74 at 70 zone and 54 at 50 zone. Do that sound rash and negligent to you?
My personal take gives importance to two words, "limit" and "exceeded".

Sorry, it is definitely a negligent behavior when one knows about a limit and yet exceed it. It is equally negligent, when one does not care to know about the limits.
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Old 17th October 2014, 00:13   #15
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Default Re: Court: Speeding is not negligent or rash driving

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Sorry, it is definitely a negligent behavior when one knows about a limit and yet exceed it. It is equally negligent, when one does not care to know about the limits.
That is your personal opinion, it can't be taken as binding legal interpretation or opinion. The opinion of court of law is what matters. The opinion of this judge agrees with what I have noticed in United States.

The definition of speeding and reckless driving are not the same. Here is a table explaining the difference in various US states.
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