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Death by careless driving loophole to be closed

Death by careless driving loophole to be closed

Friday 05 December 2014

Death by careless driving loophole to be closed


Ministers are pressing ahead with a law to prosecute people for causing death by careless driving in the wake of the death of a young woman in a tragic crash in 2011.

The new ministers for Home Affairs and Transport and Technical Services departments have spoken about updating Jersey’s legislation to include the offence as part of an update of road traffic laws. At the moment, the law only covers death by dangerous driving, which is a harder charge for prosecutors to prove, and ministers and States lawyers have agreed to the principle of creating a slightly lesser offence.

Last March the former Transport Minister told the States that he had asked staff to progress the matter “as soon as possible” and that the Attorney General had agreed that a new law would be appropriate.

The call for new legislation follows the tragic death of Dita Paverniece (27) in a late night crash on St Clement’s coast road in 2011. She was a passenger in a Lotus driven by Niall Linden, which crashed and spun out of control. Miss Paverniece was thrown out of the car and suffered massive head injuries, and died the following day at the General Hospital.

Mr Linden was eventually prosecuted on one count of careless driving, to which he pleaded guilty and was fined £750 and banned from driving for a year. His lawyer had successfully challenged the admissibility of a statement he made to police after the accident that he had been driving fast, and a charge of causing death by dangerous driving was dropped by prosecutors, and the careless driving charge was substituted.

Home Affairs Minister Kristina Moore has confirmed that she has raised creation of a “causing death by careless driving” offence with Transport Minister Eddie Noel – she also says that she is working with him, Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham and St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft on a wider review of road safety legislation.

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