Sleep Driving Kills People

Drivers with sleep apnoea using loophole to escape conviction, families of victims say

DRIVERS who fall asleep at the wheel — even those who cause death — are getting off without penalty because of a bureaucratic loophole, families of victims say.

Accident on the M7 motorway - Sleep Apnea blamed

Accident on the M7 motorway – Sleep Apnea blamed

Lawyers used the so-called “Jimenez defence”, a ruling in the Australian High Court, which holds that people can not be charged for involuntary acts such as sleep.

Families who have lost loved ones in sleep crashes want sleep apnoea — which can lead to extreme drowsiness while driving — to be listed alongside epilepsy and diabetes as conditions that ­require a medical report ­before a licence is issued.

They say drivers are not ­required to inform Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) they suffer from the disorder but can bring it up in court to fight driving charges.

 

In an another serious sleep drive accident, a man driving a tip truck and trailer hauling 28 tonnes of soil crashed into the rear of a school minibus carrying four children on the M7 at Kings Langley in 2012.The truck also ploughed into three other vehicles, injuring the three drivers.

 

Truck driver Steven Keith Perks pleaded not guilty in the Penrith District Court to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and a specialist testified Mr Perks suffered from sleep apnoea and this could have led him to fall asleep.The hearing was before Judge Stephen Hanley, without a jury.

Mr Perks was found not guilty of all four charges.

This accident on the M7 motorway, attributed to on sleep apnoea, involved a truck and several cars.

This accident on the M7 motorway, attributed to on sleep apnoea, involved a truck and several cars.

Article courtesy of the Daily Telegraph. Read the full article here.

Sleep Disorders

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