All For The … Snapchat?

, All For The … Snapchat?

All For The … Snapchat?

Shocking footage has been released, of two young men baiting another driver to engage in road rage, resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle and crashing into a concrete barrier. The men laughed hysterically and filmed the whole ordeal on social media application, Snapchat.

THE STORY

The incident occurred on the Peninsula Link Highway near the Balnarring exit in Melbourne just before 10am on Monday. Two male drivers in a red ute pulled up next to a silver hatchback driven by a woman. One of the males started yelling at the 23-year-old woman to wind down her window and then shouted, “I will fight you I will fight you”. This can be heard in the footage along with a roar of laughter from the vehicle. The two cars then appear to veer towards each other before the woman’s car loses control and smashes, at high speed, into the cement partition.

The driver of the ute was a P-plater wearing a red baseball cap and a black puffer jacket. He appears to be laughing whilst continuing to drive down the freeway after the crash happens. Both the men are mocking the woman yelling into the camera “what the f—k? what the f—-k?” whilst continuing to laugh and stream the footage online.

Luckily, the female driver went uninjured. Police are looking to speak to the men involved in this childish and reckless occurrence.

PREDATORY DRIVING

This was most clearly a case of predatory driving. The offence is outlined in the law as follows:

Section 51A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) – Predatory Driving

(1) The driver of a vehicle who, while in pursuit of or travelling near another vehicle:

(a) engages in a course of conduct that causes or threatens an impact involving the other vehicle, and

(b) intends by that course of conduct to cause a person in the other vehicle actual bodily harm,

is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

Predatory driving occurs even if there is only the threat of a collision between the two vehicles, but they do not actually collide.

To establish predatory driving, the Prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt;

  • Threat of impact;
  • Intent to cause harm; and
  • that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

For more on predatory driving, read our dedicated page.

DANGEROUS DRIVING

If in the scenario described above, the woman was less fortunate and suffered serious injury, then one of the following offences could apply. The various kinds of dangerous driving offences are set out in section 52A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) are as follows;

  • Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm; and
  • Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
  • Dangerous driving occasioning death; and
  • Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death.
Case law/Jurisdiction

An offence of dangerous driving is what is known as a Table 1 offence under the relevant legislation, which means it is to be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election made to be dealt with on indictment by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The nature and elements of the offence of dangerous driving  were considered in R v Atkinson (1970) 55 Cr App R 1 where it was held a mechanical defect in a motorcar will be a defence to a charge of dangerous driving if it causes sudden loss of control and is no way due to any fault on the part of the driver.

Section 52A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) – Dangerous driving

(3) A person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle:

(a) under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or

(b) at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or

(c) in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.

A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 7 years. In circumstances of aggravation, the penalty is raised to 11 years imprisonment.

Circumstances of Aggravation

Subsection (1) covers dangerous driving occasioning death which raises the maximum term of imprisonment to 10 years. In circumstances of aggravation, the penalty is raised to 14 years imprisonment.

The Court will take into consideration any aggravating factors involved in your case some examples include: –

  • The injuries inflicted;
  • Degree of speed;
  • Showing off or competitive driving;
  • Degree of intoxication or of substance abuse;
  • Erratic or aggressive driving;
  • Number of people put at risk;
  • Length of the journey during which others were exposed to risk;
  • Failure to heed warnings;
  • Being involved in a police pursuit;
  • Degree of sleep deprivation; and
  • Failing to stop

For more on dangerous driving, have a read of our dedicated page.

NEGLIGENT DRIVING

Section 117 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) provides that;

“a ‘person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road negligently’.”

Negligent driving is defined as,

“driving without the standard of due care and attention reasonably expected of the ordinary prudent driver”.

Section 117 (3) of the Road Transport Act 2013 provides that the Court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case in considering whether or not your driving was negligent, including the following: –

  • Circumstances about the road – e.g. it’s condition;
  • The amount of traffic on or expected to have been on the road; and

Any obstructions or hazards on the road (such as broken down or crashed vehicles, fallen loads and accident and emergency vehicles).

For more on this, read our page.

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