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#307241 - 6th Apr 2009 8:28pm Police crash speed 'unjustified'
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Police crash speed 'unjustified'


A policeman's decision to accelerate to 90mph shortly before he hit and killed a schoolgirl was "disproportionate", Newcastle Crown Court has heard.

Pc John Dougal denies causing death by dangerous driving over the crash which fatally injured Hayley Adamson, 16.

Police driving expert Gordon Robertson told the court he could not imagine a situation where Pc Dougal should have driven at the speed in the 30mph zone.

The patrol car's siren and lights had not been activated, the court heard.

The crash happened on Denton Road in the city's west end on 19 May last year.

The jury has been told that Pc Dougal was reacting to the Volvo's automatic number plate recognition system, which alerted him to a passing car - indicating it could potentially be linked to a crime.

Pc Dougal accelerated to catch up with the Renault Megane, and struck Hayley when she stepped into the road.

The number plate data was later found to be out of date, the court heard.

Retired police inspector Mr Robertson told prosecutor Andrew Dallas that driving the marked Northumbria Police car at 90mph posed a significant danger.

He said: "As far as driver skills go, if you propel a vehicle at a speed of that magnitude you reach a point where physics decides if you can stop it and not you.

"Sadly, on this occasion it appears that was so. There are dangers to driving fast and sometimes there can be justification for a good degree of risk.

"There can never be a justification for the ultimate risk - to drive to the point where you effectively become a passenger in a car you are supposed to be driving."

He said that for the Northumbria Police traffic officer to have done so meant his training had failed.

Mr Robertson added: "When an officer decides that they are going to use their lawful legal exemption from the speed limit it must be forefront in their minds what type of road they are on.

"You do not just automatically view every road as if it was a national speed limit road over the fells in the middle of nowhere. It never becomes irrelevant."

The trial continues.

THE BBC

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#307249 - 6th Apr 2009 9:02pm Re: Police crash speed 'unjustified' [Re: ]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5595
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Unfortunately, he won't receive any stiff punishment.
The are too many police cars been driven blatantly breaking the speed limit on 30mph roads.
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#307252 - 6th Apr 2009 9:11pm Re: Police crash speed 'unjustified' [Re: DavidB]
Talla Offline
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Registered: 3rd Mar 2009
Posts: 33
Loc: Birkenhead
I still don't see why they are allowed to do things like this, it should be compulsory to have lights and sirens during day, or just lights at night unless they have permission from a senior officer if they intend to break the speed limit.

Better still they need permision to break the speed limit, full stop.

This would also protect the police drivers in the event of an accident as there would be two proffesional opinions made the choice, not just one.

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#307261 - 6th Apr 2009 9:36pm Re: Police crash speed 'unjustified' [Re: DavidB]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15986
Loc: New Brighton
Originally Posted By: Station
Unfortunately, he won't receive any stiff punishment.
The are too many police cars been driven blatantly breaking the speed limit on 30mph roads.


Telling you now mate, this guys gonna be inside suckin on lollipops for a long time.
You can tell that just by what the judge has said, in fact, i`m surprised he got bail.
Feel sorry for the poor git in a way, he was only doing his job, but hey! Once again a stupid missdated computer error fucks things up no

Have fun in the showers fella wink
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