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Old 10-25-07, 04:40 PM   #1
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Digg It

Thread going on over at Digg about Cyclists and red light running

http://digg.com/offbeat_news/Should_...Run_Red_Lights

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Originally Posted by Probably the stupidest statement from the article
Making cyclists stop at lights can trap bikes in a dangerous swarm of automobiles, while proceeding through a red light separates bikes from car traffic.
So who shoulders the responsibility when the red light runner is struck by cross traffic?
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Old 10-25-07, 04:43 PM   #2
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That is a dumb statement.

Reminds me of a local article here in Columbia entitled, "he did not look I almost died" where a foreign student complained of a motorists not looking right before turning at an intersection almost hitting the wrong way cyclist. He "threw his bike down and started to weep."
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Old 10-25-07, 05:05 PM   #3
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I regularly run lights, i feel it's better than racing with cars from a stop. It's not hard to cross a street.
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Old 10-25-07, 05:20 PM   #4
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So who shoulders the responsibility when the red light runner is struck by cross traffic?
Obviously the cross traffic.

They are the ones in possession of deadly force. It is their responsibility to control it. Period.
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Old 10-25-07, 05:38 PM   #5
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So who shoulders the responsibility when the red light runner is struck by cross traffic?
The road user who acts in an unexpected and unpredictable manner by violating a traffic control device and violating the law. The vehicle type is irrelevant.

If someone chooses to be a Darmin Award nominee, no one else can be credibly held responsible.
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Old 10-25-07, 05:40 PM   #6
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I regularly run lights, i feel it's better than racing with cars from a stop. It's not hard to cross a street.

WHAT!!!???!?!?!?

Please lock your bike somewhere and lose the key.
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Old 10-25-07, 05:41 PM   #7
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Obviously the cross traffic.

They are the ones in possession of deadly force. It is their responsibility to control it. Period.

Are you serious?
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Old 10-25-07, 05:55 PM   #8
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If someone chooses to be a Darmin Award nominee, no one else can be credibly held responsible.
How obnoxious. Sorry to break it to you, buddy, but no one chooses to be a "Darmin" Award nominee. They call it natural selection because nature is the one doing the nominations. Who knows, maybe nature will nominate you!

Let me ask you this, if you were in a state where concealed firearms were legal and you started acting unpredictably and illegally, then would some lone ranger be justified in putting you down? No, absolutely not solely on the basis of unpredictable and illegal behavior. The person in possession of deadly force is responsible for controlling it. They MUST guarantee that such deadly force does not get used unlawfully, no matter what, or else they are committing a federal crime. Last I checked, traffic violations and misdemeanors do not trump federal crimes.

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Are you serious?
Absolutely. I can't go around shooting my concealed firearm at jaywalkers and say, "oops they shouldn't have been jaywalking." It doesn't work like that.

No one should ever be in control of a deadly force unless they are willing to do whatever it takes to guarantee that that force is only released in a responsible manor. Anything less is morally reprehensible.

Any motorist that isn't willing to take full responsibility for anyone they kill while they're behind the wheel is as selfish and deranged as a serial killer.
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Old 10-25-07, 06:08 PM   #9
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How obnoxious. Sorry to break it to you, buddy, but no one chooses to be a "Darmin" Award nominee. They call it natural selection because nature is the one doing the nominations. Who knows, maybe nature will nominate you!

Let me ask you this, if you were in a state where concealed firearms were legal and you started acting unpredictably and illegally, then would some lone ranger be justified in putting you down? No, absolutely not solely on the basis of unpredictable and illegal behavior. The person in possession of deadly force is responsible for controlling it. They MUST guarantee that such deadly force does not get used unlawfully, no matter what, or else they are committing a federal crime. Last I checked, traffic violations and misdemeanors do not trump federal crimes.



Absolutely. I can't go around shooting my concealed firearm at jaywalkers and say, "oops they shouldn't have been jaywalking." It doesn't work like that.

No one should ever be in control of a deadly force unless they are willing to do whatever it takes to guarantee that that force is only released in a responsible manor. Anything less is morally reprehensible.

Any motorist that isn't willing to take full responsibility for anyone they kill while they're behind the wheel is as selfish and deranged as a serial killer.
You are out there!!

So you would basically lower the speed limit to 10 mph because that is how slow everyone would have to be going to avoid a collision when someone runs a red light.

Do you ever drive a car? If so what is the fastest you go? Even on your bike when your blasing down a hill at 40 and someone in a SUV pulls out in front of you it would be your fault for going too fast to stop right?

What if another cyclists pulls out in front of you and you kill them on the impact....your fault?
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Old 10-25-07, 06:50 PM   #10
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How obnoxious. Sorry to break it to you, buddy, but no one chooses to be a "Darmin" Award nominee.

.......................................

It doesn't work like that.
Wow. Just wow.
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Old 10-25-07, 06:53 PM   #11
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So you would basically lower the speed limit to 10 mph because that is how slow everyone would have to be going to avoid a collision when someone runs a red light.
Well, I don't like to tell people what to do, but I'd certainly say that anyone propelling a ton of mass in speeds excess of 10 mph should go to jail should they hurt someone.

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Do you ever drive a car? If so what is the fastest you go? Even on your bike when your blasing down a hill at 40 and someone in a SUV pulls out in front of you it would be your fault for going too fast to stop right?
It might be my fault that a collision occurred, but it would be the driver's fault if the collision resulted in death or serious injury.

If I put cyanide in someone's tooth paste whose fault is it? Certainly the victim would be the only one responsible for using the toothpaste. However, I would be the one responsible for the fact that when they used the toothpaste they died. Which is the more egregious error?

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What if another cyclists pulls out in front of you and you kill them on the impact....your fault?
If I'm shooting at the gun range and someone jumps in front whose fault is it? What if the gun range were next to a park? What if I was pointing my gun at the park because it is in the same direction as the targets?

Every motorist is aware that there could be pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists around, and yet the blast down the road with 2000 pounds of steal at speeds in excess of 30 mph. How much closer do they have to point their weapons at innocent bystanders in order for you to consider them responsible? Isn't it enough that I'm shooting in the same direction of the park? Does it have to be point blank in order for you to consider the weapon holder responsible?

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Old 10-25-07, 06:57 PM   #12
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Obviously the cross traffic.

They are the ones in possession of deadly force. It is their responsibility to control it. Period.
They're not the only ones. You think that hitting someone with your bicycle travelling at 20 mph isn't going to cause someone serious injury? If you jumped a red light and I crashed into you on my bike, I can guarantee you'd be on the receiving end of more than a few stern words.

Traffic controls such as red lights are there for a reason, and even if you don't care about other people's safety, you should at least be smart enough to realise that they're there for your safety as well. Not to mention the fact that you have no right of recourse if you run a red light and get taken out by a car, regardless of who you think is doing the right thing.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:03 PM   #13
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Well, I don't like to tell people what to do, but I'd certainly say that anyone propelling a ton of mass in speeds excess of 10 mph should go to jail should they hurt someone.



It might be my fault that a collision occurred, but it would be the driver's fault if the collision resulted in death or serious injury.

If I put cyanide in someone's tooth paste whose fault is it? Certainly the victim would be the only one responsible for using the toothpaste. However, I would be the one responsible for the fact that when they used the toothpaste they died. Which is the more egregious error?



If I'm shooting at the gun range and someone jumps in front whose fault is it? What if the gun range were next to a park? What if I was pointing my gun at the park because it is in the same direction as the targets?

Every motorist is aware that there could be pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists around, and yet the blast down the road with 2000 pounds of steal at speeds in excess of 30 mph. How much closer do they have to point their weapons at innocent bystanders in order for you to consider them responsible? Isn't it enough that I'm shooting in the same direction of the park? Does it have to be point blank in order for you to consider the weapon holder responsible?
After reading your posts I see no reason to argue with you.

You have some very odd ideas that put you at odds with 99.999999999999% of the population so you should find no shortage of people willing to argue with you.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:04 PM   #14
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How obnoxious. Sorry to break it to you, buddy, but no one chooses to be a "Darmin" Award nominee. They call it natural selection because nature is the one doing the nominations. Who knows, maybe nature will nominate you!
That's where you're wrong. People make these choices all the time. Choosing to run a redlight is just one example. Choosing to ride at night without active lights, choosing to ride or drive drunk, choosing to drive without a seatbelt, all examples of the same thing.

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Let me ask you this, if you were in a state where concealed firearms were legal and you started acting unpredictably and illegally, then would some lone ranger be justified in putting you down? No, absolutely not solely on the basis of unpredictable and illegal behavior. The person in possession of deadly force is responsible for controlling it. They MUST guarantee that such deadly force does not get used unlawfully, no matter what, or else they are committing a federal crime. Last I checked, traffic violations and misdemeanors do not trump federal crimes.
A bad anology that is off topic, and wrong again, but to answer the question: Yes. If I am behaving in an illegal and dangerous manner with a weapon, then anyone observing this behavior not only has the right to self-defense, but the responsibility of mitigating the threat before I hurt someone else.

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Absolutely. I can't go around shooting my concealed firearm at jaywalkers and say, "oops they shouldn't have been jaywalking." It doesn't work like that.
Again, bad anology, but no, you can't do that. Maybe I can come up with a hypothetical situation to clear this up. You're driving at slightly lower than the speed limit, the jaywalker unexpectedly steps out in front of your car, you brake, but cannot stop before hitting them. How can it be your fault? The jaywalker made the choice that put them in the wrong place.

Now if you swerve to avoid the jaywalker, run up on the sidewalk and hit another pedestrian, then yeah, it would be your fault. Should have chosen running over the Darwin Award candidate, rather than risk an innocent bystander.

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No one should ever be in control of a deadly force unless they are willing to do whatever it takes to guarantee that that force is only released in a responsible manor. Anything less is morally reprehensible.
Do you include bicycles in this? Bicycles have been known to kill pedestrians. Using your logic it is "morally reprehensible" for a cyclist to run a redlight because of the possibility of hitting a pedestrian.

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Any motorist that isn't willing to take full responsibility for anyone they kill while they're behind the wheel is as selfish and deranged as a serial killer.
This has to be applied to anyone engaging in any activity to have merit.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:04 PM   #15
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They're not the only ones. You think that hitting someone with your bicycle travelling at 20 mph isn't going to cause someone serious injury? If you jumped a red light and I crashed into you on my bike, I can guarantee you'd be on the receiving end of more than a few stern words.

Traffic controls such as red lights are there for a reason, and even if you don't care about other people's safety, you should at least be smart enough to realise that they're there for your safety as well. Not to mention the fact that you have no right of recourse if you run a red light and get taken out by a car, regardless of who you think is doing the right thing.
Point taken. Call me a selfish menace if you like, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Still, I think it's a much smaller risk than getting behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle and obeying traffic laws while driving even half the speed limit.

As far as me getting taken out by a car...well I'd rather be a victim than a murderer.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:12 PM   #16
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t by a car...well I'd rather be a victim than a murderer.
Then why do you carry a concealed gun? I have exactly the opposite belief which is why I own a gun.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:14 PM   #17
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I think another way to put it would be straight from the LAB's video.

"You cant slow or stop for everyone who might make a mistake or you would never get home."

That is true whether you are driving or cycling. I guarantee you that you can drive as slow as you want and still kill someone if they are dumb enough.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:16 PM   #18
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I guarantee you that you can drive as slow as you want and still kill someone if they are dumb enough.
+1000

Thank you, Gos. Very succinct way of putting it.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:19 PM   #19
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That's where you're wrong. People make these choices all the time. Choosing to run a redlight is just one example. Choosing to ride at night without active lights, choosing to ride or drive drunk, choosing to drive without a seatbelt, all examples of the same thing.
Just forget it. I know you were trying to be a smart ass, but none of this has anything to do with the darwin's theory of evolution.

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A bad anology that is off topic, and wrong again, but to answer the question: Yes. If I am behaving in an illegal and dangerous manner with a weapon, then anyone observing this behavior not only has the right to self-defense, but the responsibility of mitigating the threat before I hurt someone else.
That's not the scenario I was referring to. I was referring to an armed individual killing an unarmed individual, simply because the unarmed individual was acting unpredictably and unlawfully (but not necessarily in a threatening manor).

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Again, bad anology, but no, you can't do that. Maybe I can come up with a hypothetical situation to clear this up. You're driving at slightly lower than the speed limit, the jaywalker unexpectedly steps out in front of your car, you brake, but cannot stop before hitting them. How can it be your fault? The jaywalker made the choice that put them in the wrong place.
Yes, the jaywalking made the choice that put them in the wrong place and the driver made the choice to (likely) kill anyone in the wrong place. The jaywalker is only guilty of disrupting traffic. The driver is responsible for taking someone's life.

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Do you include bicycles in this? Bicycles have been known to kill pedestrians. Using your logic it is "morally reprehensible" for a cyclist to run a redlight because of the possibility of hitting a pedestrian.
I personally do not consider it morally reprehensible because the chances of a cyclist killing a pedestrian in the event of a pedestrian collision is orders of magnitude lower than a motorist. Perhaps I would change my mind if cyclist on pedestrian collisions killed more people than the black plague like motorized collisions do.

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This has to be applied to anyone engaging in any activity to have merit.
Absolutely. That's why people with any sense of moral decency avoid activities which are likely to cause death to others.

Last edited by makeinu; 10-25-07 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:25 PM   #20
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Then why do you carry a concealed gun? I have exactly the opposite belief which is why I own a gun.
I don't. That was just a hypothetical argument. I don't carry a gun for the exact same reason I don't drive a car. I respect human life, which, unfortunately, seems to be a minority stance.

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I think another way to put it would be straight from the LAB's video.

"You cant slow or stop for everyone who might make a mistake or you would never get home."

That is true whether you are driving or cycling. I guarantee you that you can drive as slow as you want and still kill someone if they are dumb enough.
That's not the point. From a statistical perspective, there is always a chance that any given action will result in any given result. That doesn't mean we can't make responsible decisions based on statistical reasoning. On the contrary, statistical reasoning allows us to weigh the uncertain consequences of our actions more carefully in order to make the most responsible decisions we can possibly make.

Last edited by makeinu; 10-25-07 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 10-25-07, 07:33 PM   #21
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Just forget it. I know you were trying to be a smart ass, but none of this has anything to do with the darwin's theory of evolution.
No, it doesn't, but it is a popular definition, however incorrect to the actual theories of Charles Darwin.

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Yes, the jaywalking made the choice that put them in the wrong place and the driver made the choice to (likely) kill anyone in the wrong place. The jaywalker is only guilty of disrupting traffic. The driver is responsible for taking someone's life.
The jaywalker would also, intentional or not, be guilty of suicide by proxy.

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I personally do not consider it morally reprehensible because the chances of a cyclist killing a pedestrian are orders of magnitude lower than a motorist. Perhaps I would change my mind if cyclist on pedestrian collisions killed more people than the black plague like motorized collisions do.
Oh I see, so killing a lot of people is wrong, but killing only a few is okay? Just exactly how does the logic work on that?

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Absolutely. That's why people with any sense of moral decency avoid activities which are likely to cause death to others.
So pretty much nobody does anything, especially not team sports. This doesn't jibe at all with your last paragraph.
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Old 10-25-07, 08:03 PM   #22
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The jaywalker would also, intentional or not, be guilty of suicide by proxy.
I disagree. Suicide is, by definition, an intentional act. However, semantics never wins arguments. So even if you wanted to call it suicide, I would still say that the driver is guilty of a much more egregious moral crime.

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Oh I see, so killing a lot of people is wrong, but killing only a few is okay? Just exactly how does the logic work on that?
The logic works like this:
Statistically speaking, if you do anything enough times you will end up killing a few people. Therefore, defining "wrong" as anything that might kill anyone is a useless definition with no decision making value because it would place all decisions in the same category ("wrong").

A more useful definition would be to define "wrong" as making a decision which incurs a significantly higher probability of killing someone than any alternative decision available to you. I use this definition because it has a number of appealing properties. For example, by this definition, minimizing the number of wrong decisions you make (or the overall wrongness of your decisions if you don't necessarily want to use black and white categories) also minimizes the number of deaths you expect to cause. It can also easily be generalized to include other kinds of wrong and right, such as hurting people, loving people, helping people, etc.

If you have a definition which you think might work better with the kinds of statistical observations that we call "the real world", then I'd love to hear it. But it seems to me that you're trying to apply deductive reasoning to a statistical situation, which can only lead to contradictions.

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So pretty much nobody does anything, especially not team sports. This doesn't jibe at all with your last paragraph.
No, because an activity which could cause death to others may not necessarily be likely to cause death to others. See above about statistical reasoning.

Last edited by makeinu; 10-25-07 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 10-25-07, 08:50 PM   #23
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Soooooooooooooooooooooooo, earlier this week when the guy drove through/around the train crossing arm that was down over the road, and the red lights flashing, and got struck and killed by the train, that means the train operator murdered him? The train operator should go to prison?
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Old 10-25-07, 08:56 PM   #24
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Soooooooooooooooooooooooo, earlier this week when the guy drove through/around the train crossing arm that was down over the road, and the red lights flashing, and got struck and killed by the train, that means the train operator murdered him? The train operator should go to prison?
Yes, Both the train and the conductor should rot in hell.
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Old 10-25-07, 09:59 PM   #25
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Soooooooooooooooooooooooo, earlier this week when the guy drove through/around the train crossing arm that was down over the road, and the red lights flashing, and got struck and killed by the train, that means the train operator murdered him? The train operator should go to prison?
I don't know. You tell me. What's reasonable?

A train is obviously a dangerous vehicle. It's momentum (and thus it's potential to destroy/kill) is much greater than a car. Moreover, it can't swerve to avoid potential victims and has poor stopping ability considering it's momentum. On the other hand, it runs on a separated grade in an attempt to reduce the likelihood that this power is unleashed.

Does the separated grade sufficiently reduce the danger posed by the machine when it has crossings? Perhaps it's not enough? Perhaps there should be no crossings? Perhaps it should have more stopping power? Perhaps the train operator should have thought about these things before accelerating all that steel?

I know the poor sap is probably just trying to earn a buck, but perhaps he should also be thinking about the moral implications of his actions? Would he have acted the same way if every motorist at every crossing was his wife, or daughter, or son? Is human life not precious enough that he couldn't refuse the job and tell his boss that the train needs bridge crossings or to take it a little slower at crossings? Would he have considered the danger posed by his actions small enough if the death of another human being equaled prison for him?

Is it moral to conclude that the risk of an event is acceptable if it kills someone else, but unacceptable if it sends you to jail? If you were framed for a crime and could stop yourself from going to jail by killing someone else, would you do it? Is your own personal freedom worth more than someone else's life?
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