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Why aren't road penalties higher?

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Why aren't road penalties higher?

Old 06-04-21, 08:10 AM
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burnthesheep
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Why aren't road penalties higher?

Local story from yesterday: 4 teens killed. Driver of deliver box truck crosses median and hit them head on in their vehicle (not bikes). Charges? Misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and speeding.

Like, what? Life is that cheap? 4 of them?

I don't like the suspected answer. Any old person might think selfish road behavior is fine and eventually get caught up in a bad incident but doesn't want the consequences.........but not many people take part in traditional "violent crime" so don't mine tossing the book at those crimes.

What's some practical reasons that car, bicycle, pedestrian death law brings such light penalties?
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Old 06-04-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Local story from yesterday: 4 teens killed. Driver of deliver box truck crosses median and hit them head on in their vehicle (not bikes). Charges? Misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and speeding.

Like, what? Life is that cheap? 4 of them?

I don't like the suspected answer. Any old person might think selfish road behavior is fine and eventually get caught up in a bad incident but doesn't want the consequences.........but not many people take part in traditional "violent crime" so don't mine tossing the book at those crimes.

What's some practical reasons that car, bicycle, pedestrian death law brings such light penalties?

Loaded question, not going to play.
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Old 06-04-21, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Local story from yesterday: 4 teens killed. Driver of deliver box truck crosses median and hit them head on in their vehicle (not bikes). Charges? Misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and speeding.

Like, what? Life is that cheap? 4 of them?

I don't like the suspected answer. Any old person might think selfish road behavior is fine and eventually get caught up in a bad incident but doesn't want the consequences.........but not many people take part in traditional "violent crime" so don't mine tossing the book at those crimes.

What's some practical reasons that car, bicycle, pedestrian death law brings such light penalties?
I think we need more of the details - for example, why did the driver of the truck cross the median? Before we can judge the severity of the sentence, we need to know the whole story. Was it just a tragic accident, or was it intentional?
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Old 06-04-21, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
I think we need more of the details - for example, why did the driver of the truck cross the median? Before we can judge the severity of the sentence, we need to know the whole story. Was it just a tragic accident, or was it intentional?
There are very few "accidents"!!!!! 99% of the time someone did something wrong, and probably against the law.
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Old 06-04-21, 11:51 AM
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The short version is "because there are too many people driving who should not be driving but they need to to function in modern society in many places."
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Old 06-04-21, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
There are very few "accidents"!!!!! 99% of the time someone did something wrong, and probably against the law.
This is how I view it also. My years in manufacturing molded me that way I guess. Everything in the plant that's safety wise is an incident. It was predictable, or at least could have mitigated the consequences to the least possible.

Like, if you swerved over the median due to a vehicle stopping in front of you...........following too closely. Against the law.
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Old 06-04-21, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
There are very few "accidents"!!!!! 99% of the time someone did something wrong, and probably against the law.
Unless it's deliberate, it's still an accident. You don't get to make up your own definition of words.
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Old 06-04-21, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Unless it's deliberate, it's still an accident. You don't get to make up your own definition of words.
From this NY Times page:

It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead

Just don’t call them accidents anymore.

That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.

“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”
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Old 06-04-21, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
From this NY Times page:

It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead

Just don’t call them accidents anymore.

That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.

“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”

This is the kind of argument people make when they don't have any real ideas of how to reduce the problem. I don't see how "crash" really differs from "accident" in this regard , it's just slightly more vague as to causation. Don't see how that's any less "God made it happen."
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Old 06-04-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
This is the kind of argument people make when they don't have any real ideas of how to reduce the problem. I don't see how "crash" really differs from "accident" in this regard , it's just slightly more vague as to causation. Don't see how that's any less "God made it happen."
Let's just say the two incidences involving the Boeing 737 maxes were only accidents - like car accidents occur everyday.
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Old 06-04-21, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
...
I don't like the suspected answer. Any old person might think selfish road behavior is fine and eventually get caught up in a bad incident but doesn't want the consequences.........but not many people take part in traditional "violent crime" so don't mine tossing the book at those crimes.

What's some practical reasons that car, bicycle, pedestrian death law brings such light penalties?
1) Majority of drivers are bad drivers (according to Expedia's Road Rage report of 2015);
2) Majority of influential voters are drivers;
3) non-drivers are categorized as special interest groups.

So opportunistic politicians will criticize every increase fine as a cash-grab in order to get elected.
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Old 06-04-21, 10:01 PM
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It is true that in most states criminal intent has to be proven to charge someone with manslaughter or murder when motor vehicles are involved. Language is very important an can mean the difference between someone going to jail or not having any responsibility. Doctor Thomas Thompson's layer attempted to convince the judge that what he did was an accident. At the seen of the collision he told the first responder. A law officer all about his wows of having to put up with people on bicycles and confessed to passing then brake checking the two injured bicyclists. He got 5 years. The woman in Ventura county who killed two men one on a bicycle and the other driving a motorcycle admitted to texting. She got 7 years. As much as everybody including myself, wants to attack the person who may or may not be responsible for the injuries or deaths of others. It does not stop or reduce these terrible things from happening. We are fixated on the wrong thing here. We need to attack the problem not the person. Our laws are too car centric. Our public transportation system is less than adequate. Are speed limits in congested areas are too high. These are a few reasons that it is unsafe to be in or near the road. How do we change this? Change comes by force. Meaning enough people have to protest against what is happening to sway public opinion. Once this is done the real fight begins. People have to see that there is a real problem here to change.
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Old 06-04-21, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Let's just say the two incidences involving the Boeing 737 maxes were only accidents - like car accidents occur everyday.

Guess what? The NTSB calls those events "accidents". https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/.../aviation.aspx

https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/...ts/ASR1901.pdf

The whole " crash vs. accidents " thing isn't even a semantic difference.

Last edited by livedarklions; 06-05-21 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 06-04-21, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
1) Majority of drivers are bad drivers (according to Expedia's Road Rage report of 2015);
2) Majority of influential voters are drivers;
3) non-drivers are categorized as special interest groups.

So opportunistic politicians will criticize every increase fine as a cash-grab in order to get elected.
#1 is one of the worst misstatements of a survey result I've ever seen.

How about maybe 90% of voters are drivers?
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Old 06-05-21, 12:49 AM
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I think this is the OP's cash report

The driver of the box truck was identified as Alberto Pedraza III. Troopers said he lost control of the truck because he was going too fast in the rain.

He has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
It doesn't say whether the driver was going above the speed limit, or below the speed limit.

Technically, drivers are supposed to slow down when driving in inclement weather. Yet, for all practical purposes, killing 4 teens was an "accident".
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Old 06-05-21, 01:53 AM
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The absolutely most important enabler in any crime or questionable activity is the belief that ”I can get away with this”. And as long as the perpetrator is of that opinion, then the severity of the punishment doesn’t matter. Increasing the perceived probability of getting caught is far more effective than insisting on harsher punishment.
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Old 06-05-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
#1 is one of the worst misstatements of a survey result I've ever seen.

How about maybe 90% of voters are drivers?
Expedia Road Rage Report 2015



"Fifty-one percent of Americans report that they loathe sharing the road with bad drivers, more than cyclists, buses, taxis, joggers and walkers combined. Nearly all Americans (97%) rate themselves as “careful” drivers, but feel that only 29% of fellow drivers merit the description."

viewfinder.expedia.com/news/expedia-2015-road-rage-report-texters-enrage-fellow-drivers-most-edging-tailgaters-and-left-lane-hogs-on-list-of-most-deplorable-driver-behaviors/amp/
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Old 06-05-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Expedia Road Rage Report 2015



"Fifty-one percent of Americans report that they loathe sharing the road with bad drivers, more than cyclists, buses, taxis, joggers and walkers combined. Nearly all Americans (97%) rate themselves as “careful” drivers, but feel that only 29% of fellow drivers merit the description."

viewfinder.expedia.com/news/expedia-2015-road-rage-report-texters-enrage-fellow-drivers-most-edging-tailgaters-and-left-lane-hogs-on-list-of-most-deplorable-driver-behaviors/amp/
Aha. That explains the problem with the statement "1) Majority of drivers are bad drivers (according to Expedia's Road Rage report of 2015)." "Are" is very different from "are thought to be [as revealed by survey results]."
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Old 06-05-21, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Expedia Road Rage Report 2015



"Fifty-one percent of Americans report that they loathe sharing the road with bad drivers, more than cyclists, buses, taxis, joggers and walkers combined. Nearly all Americans (97%) rate themselves as “careful” drivers, but feel that onuly 29% of fellow drivers merit the description."

viewfinder.expedia.com/news/expedia-2015-road-rage-report-texters-enrage-fellow-drivers-most-edging-tailgaters-and-left-lane-hogs-on-list-of-most-deplorable-driver-behaviors/amp/
You mistranslated that as the majority of drivers are bad. I said you had grossly distorted a survey result. QED.

If you think it's meaningful that almost all drivers think they're good and that most other drivers suck, knock yourself out, but all that reflects is a known psychological effect called "the fundamental attribution error.".

The US is the outlier in motor vehicle casualties and fatalities. That's a real problem that needs to be addressed seriously and systematically. But using stupid data, claiming that throwing more people in jail and quibbling about crash vs. accidents is just plain crummy advocacy.

BTW I don't think drivers in most other countries are generally better than American drivers. The real differences are in the quantity of driving, the size of the vehicles, and basic city design. We've got too many big vehicles being crammed into crowded city streets, and pedestrians and bicyclists bear a lot of the costs of that.
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Old 06-05-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Unless it's deliberate, it's still an accident. You don't get to make up your own definition of words.
When someone makes a deliberate choice to drive in a manner that is not recommended, not advised and may be against the law... then it isn't an "accident."

Failing to remain fully engaged, while driving a car, is a deliberate choice. Few auto "accidents" are "acts of god;" more often then not, they are failures in judgement.

Since we can identify the causes of crashes, we can take action to alter the effect and avoid collisions. These are not Acts of God but predictable results of the laws of physics.
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/crash-not-accident

Here is the big difference... could the crash have been avoided by the driver? Not an Act of God then.

Sure, accidents do occur... such as sliding on black ice that wasn't recognizable, or hitting a deer that jumped out of the woods at the last second... these can be considered accidents, and Acts of God. Speeding, distraction, changing the radio, driving tired, failing to signal... any of those are deliberate acts by drivers.

This is not about "making up definitions of words." It IS about accepting responsibility for one's actions behind the wheel and not passing poor driving judgement off as something "unavoidable." The term "accident" as it is typically used today with regard to automobile collisions, IS actually a variation on the original definition of "accident." (IE, it was indeed a "made up" meaning.)
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Old 06-05-21, 03:31 PM
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If someone posts they're "not going to play", and then follows it up with several posts over the next couple of hours, is that an accident?
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Old 06-05-21, 04:56 PM
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1: the Advocacy & Safety forum is a breathtaking environment.
2: cars dominate society to the detriment of everything else.
3: people in cars consistently make choices that kill others.
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Old 06-05-21, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Let's just say the two incidences involving the Boeing 737 maxes were only accidents - like car accidents occur everyday.
Poor design of flight controls. Poor FAA oversight. Poor pilot training. Poor pricing structure for "options" on the jets. All combined to make deadly crashes (which I believe the pilots paid for with their lives).
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Old 06-05-21, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Poor design of flight controls. Poor FAA oversight. Poor pilot training. Poor pricing structure for "options" on the jets. All combined to make deadly crashes (which I believe the pilots paid for with their lives).
​​​​​​And the NTSB specifically refers to both of the 737 Max events as "accidents" . What the NTSB does is referred to as "accident investigation" , and the process itself is obviously based on the idea that accidents don't just happen, they usually have multiple causes. This notion that "accident" implies lack of agency or lack of responsibility is absurd.
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Old 06-05-21, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
When someone makes a deliberate choice to drive in a manner that is not recommended, not advised and may be against the law... then it isn't an "accident."

Failing to remain fully engaged, while driving a car, is a deliberate choice. Few auto "accidents" are "acts of god;" more often then not, they are failures in judgement.


https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/crash-not-accident

Here is the big difference... could the crash have been avoided by the driver? Not an Act of God then.

Sure, accidents do occur... such as sliding on black ice that wasn't recognizable, or hitting a deer that jumped out of the woods at the last second... these can be considered accidents, and Acts of God. Speeding, distraction, changing the radio, driving tired, failing to signal... any of those are deliberate acts by drivers.

This is not about "making up definitions of words." It IS about accepting responsibility for one's actions behind the wheel and not passing poor driving judgement off as something "unavoidable." The term "accident" as it is typically used today with regard to automobile collisions, IS actually a variation on the original definition of "accident." (IE, it was inLdeed a "made up" meaning.)


So, it is OK to slip on black ice, but it is not OK to lose traction on wet pavement?

We don't know a lot about this accident other than the driver was deemed to be driving too fast for road conditions, but it wasn't stated whether that was greater or less than the speed limit.

Likewise, slipping on black ice may mean driving too fast for road conditions, as well as poor experience steering out of a slide (which is tricky).

Here in the West, we have dry summers, then it can be downright treacherous with the first rain.

Hydroplaning can be a problem when some vehicles hit certain types of standing water.

Bald Tires?


Was the truck loaded or empty? A load can push a truck around some and increase stopping distance, whereas the rearend of an empty truck can be downright squirrely.
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