Common Traffic Offences
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1. Cyclist A rode a bicycle frantically and knocked into cyclist B.  Cyclist B suffered serious injury and eventually died.  Can cyclist A be prosecuted under the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong)?

Cyclist A can obviously be prosecuted under section 45 (for reckless cycling) or section 46 (for careless cycling) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong).  Depending on the evidence available, the prosecution may also consider prosecuting cyclist A on the more serious offence of “injuring a person by furious driving” under section 33 of the Offences Against the Person Ordinance (Cap.212 of the Laws of Hong Kong): “Any person who, having the charge of any carriage or vehicle, by wanton or furious driving or racing or other wilful misconduct, or by wilful neglect, does or causes to be done any bodily harm to any person shall be guilty of an offence triable either summarily or upon indictment, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 2 years”.  Since the victim in this occasion died eventually, the graver offence of manslaughter may also be available to the prosecution.  Detailed analysis of the offence of manslaughter is not within the scope of this discussion.  It suffices to say here that manslaughter occurs when death is accidentally caused by an unlawful act or by culpable negligence.  Manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment for life.  In the present case, the prosecution will look into the available evidence to ascertain how Cyclist A was riding the bicycle at the material time before it decides what charge(s) would be laid against Cyclist A.

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