Saturday 27 March 2010

Parking offenders treated better than fatality victims’ families

The British establishment, in all its many aspects, bends over backwards to accommodate the sense of injustice felt by drivers who have received a parking ticket:

The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, PATAS, provides a free independent adjudication service for deciding disputed parking and bus lane penalties issued by local authorities for parking or bus lane offences. PATAS aim to provide a fast, efficient service that gives fair and impartial decisions, is easy to understand and is as informal as possible. They have a team of Adjudicators who decide the appeals and can direct the local authority involved to cancel the penalty.

Consultants to the former Lord Chancellor's Department have described PATAS as 'the most user focused aspect of justice in the country'

There is much less ‘user focus’ when it comes to how families bereaved by killer drivers are treated:

A GRIEVING family were not told that a man was 12 months ago fined for his role in the fatal accident that took their son's life.

An inquest today heard that Amjid Malik, 23, of Netley Road, Walthamstow, suffered serious injuries after the Nissan car he was travelling in ploughed into a lamppost in Orient Way, Leyton, on June 17, 2007.

The driver and one other passenger escaped serious harm but Mr Malik was left in a permanently paralysed and vegetative state fed through a tube.

Steven Gilbert, a now retired police officer who investigated the fatal crash, told the family that the driver of the car, Mansoor Hussain, of Manor Road, Leyton, was last March found guilty of careless driving at Barking Magistrates Court. He was fined £300, ordered to pay £300 costs and given nine points on his license.

Friends and family of Mr Malik were shocked that nobody had told them of the conviction. The family are angry that Hussain was not jailed or disqualified from driving and are considering taking legal advice about the possibility of getting the police file re-opened.

Sabrina Durrani, a close friend of the family, said: "It is disgusting that he has got off so lightly, you can get £80 for a parking ticket, so £300 for a life is a joke, its a slap on the wrist."

Mr Gilbert said an analysis of the car damage suggests the vehicle was travelling at between 38 and 54 mph

Orient Way, where this fatal collision took place, is the hideous, supposedly 30 mph new road that for cosmetic reasons had a grisly cycle path tacked on, which was so badly designed it won a prize from the London Cycling Campaign! More on that another day.