Court ruling on 'not in cab' fatal accident
By: Dave Robbins
13 March 2013
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Court rules that you can be guilt of dangerous driving – even if weren't behind the wheel when the accident happened.
Think before you park. That's the stark message to all drivers, following a court case ruling which convicted truck driver, Raymond Jenkins, of causing death by dangerous driving – even though he wasn't in his vehicle at the time of the accident. The tragedy, which occurred on the A168 in County Durham, resulted in the death of van driver, Peter Kemp.
Jenkins had parked his truck on a section of the A168 because he couldn't drive into his delivery destination. He'd switched on his hazard lights and left his vehicle to seek advice on how to complete his drop. Kemp, blinded by a low sun, smashed into the rear of the vehicle at around 50-60 miles an hour. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The case went to the court of appeal where Jenkin's lawyers argued that he wasn't actually driving at the time and had taken reasonable precautions. However, the court viewed it as “an accident waiting to happen” and defined the offence as “causing death . . . by driving” rather than “death whilst driving”.
The clear warning to come from this is: if you're unsure whether it's safe to park, always err on the side of caution. There are legal consequences of parking in a manner which causes unnecessary obstruction to other road users or pedestrians.