Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Judge Who?








Today at Tsuen Wan Magistrates Court, magistrate Debbie Ng Chung-yee acquitted a van driver of dangerous driving, after he ran down and kill a cyclist having crossed a double white line while knowing that he was unable to see clearly.  She found him guilty of the lesser charge of careless driving, for which he was fined $4500.

Shockingly, Magistrate Ng then went on to blame the victim, Colin Robertson, a highly experienced cyclist and road user who competed internationally, saying that “the deceased’s unwise decision of cycling on that road ... led to the misfortune.”  She also misrepresented the advice in the Road Users’ Code to “wear bright or .. fluorescent clothing” as a constraint on the cyclist and apparently deemed the van driver, Lam Wing-sang, less guilty of the charges of dangerous driving and/or careless driving because of the clothes that Mr Robertson was or wasn’t wearing.

Mr Robertson was showing clear and legally compliant lights when he was struck by Lam, and the court heard no evidence that was not driving his bike perfectly safely and normally.

Lam had a lengthy record of poor and illegal driving, including one count of careless driving and 10 instances when he was caught breaking the speed limit.


In view of these entirely unacceptable comments by Magistrate Ng, the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance calls on the Department of Justice to urgently review this manifestly inadequate decision and to consider what action might be necessary to ensure that a) an appropriate punishment is given to defendant, b) the magistrate in question is assessed for her suitability for the post, and c) all participants in judiciary and the police are made aware of their duty to treat all road users equally and fairly, and not allow prejudice and ignorance against people riding bicycles to influence them. 

More on http://hkcyclingalliance.org/ shortly. So, beware- if you get run over crossing the road, it was probably your fault. WTF?!?