Posts Tagged ‘proximate cause’
You MUST read the excellent article on this topic by Joseph Rose of the Oregonian at OregonLive.com. STOPtheMUD agrees with those that hold the premise that the BUS DRIVER is responsible for assuring the pedestrian right of way AND that pedestrians must never assume it.
It’s clear to us at least that the bus drivers in some of the aforementioned events were responsible for the deaths and injuries. Spending a big wad of cash on a $10 gadget that gives bus driver’s an excuse may make Portland’s politicians feel better but it does not MITIGATE the proximate cause of pedestrian injury and death. It is nothing more than an expensive obfuscation.
Our congratulations go out of the engineer that pointed out the cost and the absurdities of this expensive solution. What do you think? Vote in our poll. (Left column of the blog.)
Thank you to the Baltimore Spokes blog for alerting us to this issue.
The Diamondback’s editorial cartoon, a blatant shot at Pete DeSouza’s injury. Via Patrick Stevens and Jeff Barker. The team is, uh, mildly upset about it.And I agree; it’s just classless. The guy broke two of his legs and could’ve died. Aside from just being unfunny what’s the point of the joke, is she saying that football players are now naturally inclined to crash on scooters?, it’s extraordinarily insensitive.
(StoptheMUD agrees! The cartoon is tasteless, insensitive, but telling. Marylanders appear to be more ready to joke about the proximate causes of injury and death on our roads rather than do something about it. What the heck is funny about this? How about getting students together to let them know what happened and why so that collisions like it never happen again. There is nothing funny about a collision that breaks someone’s legs. We give the author a grade of F. Fail!
And excuse me school paper, where is the University on scooter policy now? Reading the comments on this article at Testudo I read that some students are fed up with the athletes driving scooters in an unsafe manner. Is that true? What is being done about it? We are back to StoptheMUD’s “example setter” argument. Athletes should be setting an example in school. Perhaps if they do the world will have fewer bad examples in professional sports. The University had better investigate this and share with everyone the final results. As a taxpayer I want to know and we believe the parents of students ought to know. Bottom line if you cannot drive safely on campus then you will not drive on campus.
Our prayers for a recovery go to the victim of this tragedy and to all of his family and friends.)
Vernon Betkey, the Director of the Maryland Highway Safety Office said, “If we eliminated drunk driving on our highways, and also had 100 percent seatbelt usage, we would cut the amount of fatalities we have by one half.”
(Perhaps if our own off-duty police set an example on our roads and if the police did not have to be arrest-and-book tax collectors the situation might also improve. A concerted effort to find and arrest aggressive drivers rather than run radar traps might also be effective. The seat belt argument is always the easiest one to drop in the media. Seat belt compliance might mitigate the carnage to some extent, but until Marylander’s decide to actually drive safely the proximate causes of injury accidents will not change. Oh and, DUI is not the only cause of fatal accidents. There is MORe to safe driving than wearing a seat belt and arresting drunk drivers. Those are just the two easiest things for politicians and bureacrats to talk about.))
We believe we cannot possibly be hurt wearing our seat belts. I wear my seat belt so that removes all the risk. If we want to drive a little faster or run the occasional red light we will be OK! Besides We know what we’re doing. We can also decide when we should not have to wear our seat belts.
We believe that police seat belt and DUI checkpoints catch all the violators that cause accidents. They don’t catch us so we must be doing something right.
We believe only the other guy or gal is the unsafe driver. See how those others crazies drive!
Even as we roll through a stop sign or a red light we believe our behavior couldn’t possibly be the proximate cause of a collision. It makes perfect sense to behave the way we do.
We believe if our baby is in a proper safety seat that nothing bad can happen.
We believe that following too closely at high speed is an accepted behavior and not aggressive driving. Besides we are so good at it. Marylanders would take the gold medals if tailgating were an Olympic sport.
We are not motivated to change our behavior when caught and issued a warning or citation.
We believe that if the drivers of FOP, FP, FF, et al plates can get away with breaking the law we can too.
We believe that if a police officer is speeding down the road without emergency lights we can follow the officer at the same high speed.
Shaming does not change our poor driving behavior. You can’t shame a Marylander.
Reading news about the one or more Marylanders that are killed per day on our highways doesn’t strengthen a resolve to change the way we drive. Nothing has happened to us yet.
If we have ever had a close call on the road it has always been the other guy’s fault.
We believe that “getting there” by any means possible is more important than driving safely.
We believe it is not necessary to set an example for our children, our employees, or our organization because the police do all the enforcing we don’t.
We believe that poor driving behavior while displaying our organizational vanity plates does not reflect poorly on our organization. Driving how we want to drive is our business. Besides by displaying our affiliation we are less likely to get a ticket anyway.
We believe driving is a right that we will always have no matter how we drive. Driving is not a privilege to protect. Driving is my business and no one else’s.
We believe bicycles should stop and get out of the way and if they don’t we should scare the heebie jeebies out of the bicyclist.
We believe motorcyclists can look after themselves. They should see me coming.
Getting there on time is not aggressive driving.
Driving white chatting on my phone is a necessity. No one is going to tell us we can’t do it even with children in the car. We might also be smoking a cigarette in the other hand. Regardless, we can drive just fine. What’s the problem?
(Help us write the Creed of the Maryland Unsafe Driver. using either comments or Mingle give us your suggestions.)
June 27, 2010
A seat belt saved a Myersville, Md., woman’s life Sunday morning after her Mercedes rolled and flipped over
Read the ENTIRE story at the Herald-Mail:
(Wearing seat belts is important but dealing with the proximate causes of crashes is even more important. Maryland ALSO needs to focus seriously on bad driving behaviors.)
The accident that sent five unbuckled people to the hospital after they were tossed out of a truck that went off the road in the Chesapeake Ranch Estates two weeks ago is still under investigation.
Read the ENTIRE story at SOMDNEWS.COM:
(When you read stories about failure to wear seat belts always remember that the proximate cause of the accident that caused the accident may have had nothing to do with seat belts. We do not want to just minimize the carnage on Maryland roads, we want to end the behaviors that caused the crash. Yes, wear your seat belt, but drive safely.)
But don't let the moniker fool you into thinking it's anything less than a national enforcement priority encouraging drivers and their passengers to wear their seat belts, day and night.
(Click it or Ticket is government’s way of minimizing the carnage when dealing with the proximate cause of accidents becomes an overwhelming task. We all SHOULD be wearing our seat belts. If we all DID wear our seat belts the police would either find a new way to minimize the carnage or even better deal aggressively with aggressive driving behaviors and issue more citations instead of warnings.
If you are not wearing your seat belt and you get stopped for it you are also guilty of aiding and abetting government waste as well as placing your own life in danger. You took a police officer off the road that could have been looking for aberrant and reckless driving behaviors.
Wear your seat belt. Arrive alive. By doing so you put the police back on patrol. )
County officials said there’s been an uptick in the number of pedestrians killed recently, so the county executive and police are hoping to change that through education and writing tickets.
(Pedestrians do play a role in their own safety, but Stop the MUD believes that Maryland drivers do not respect pedestrians. Try to cross a street, walk through a store parking lot, or watch children in a school zone and you will see aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving. You take your life into your own hands as a pedestrian or a bicyclist. No one can adequately explain it to me, but when a Marylander gets behind the wheel of a vehicle their personality changes and not for the better.
It is important to remind pedestrians that they must be careful by crossing at controlled intersections but the proximate cause of an auto versus pedestrian may not always be the pedestrian. Baltimore would be better served if drivers at controlled intersections were held to account as well. When drivers are not held accountable for how they treat pedestrians and only the pedestrians are ticketed then all we have is more police theater.)
The road bicyclists use the death of one of their own this week to lobby the state for a mandatory three-foot buffer from cars. These road bicyclists choose some of the worst roads to ride on, rural route roads like Falls Road and the side roads of Upperco in Baltimore County, where if the state of Maryland wanted to do anything rational, it would ban the use of bicycles on all rural route roads without shoulders because it isn’t safe to operate bicycles on them.
Read the ENTIRE opinion at the Baltimore Sun:
(What needs to happen? Maryland drivers must decide to share the road in a safe manner with everyone else. I have years of experience bicycling on California’s back roads from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe to Mendocino County. There are far more bicyclists per mile there than in Maryland and I felt reasonably safe. One major reason for the difference is not the roads but the drivers who use Maryland’s back roads. The driving culture in Maryland blames everyone and everything but the proximate cause – the aggressive reckless driver.
Slowing and passing a bicyclist is a safe, easy, and polite maneuver. You look for on-coming traffic in the opposing lane, judge the traffic behind you, slow down and wait for a safe opportunity to pass with adequate clearance. Total precious driver time wasted insignificant to the number of lives saved.
The law requires an adequate clearance. I agree, that in a perfect world, such a law would not be required because everyone would have a modicum of common sense. That is unfortunately lacking in Maryland today. Most of our roads in Southern Maryland are of the two-lane country variety. Where are bicyclists supposed to enjoy their hobby if not our quiet6 bay-view country roads?
Until you have been on a bicycle and encountered a rude, reckless, thoughtless driver you do not have an adequate appreciation of the problem. The editorial staff of the Sun needs to get a group together and go bicycling.
I’d guess that one reason we have so many school buses in the country is because drivers have made use of our roads impossible for children. At first it befuddled me why Maryland kids didn’t get themselves to school and then I drove here. It is not safe on the road in front of my own home in a neighborhood with one road in and one road out. The straight away begins at my front door and the race out of the area begins. Drivers are OBLIVIOUS. Our culture of reckless abandon guarantees unsafe roads.
This is a problem solved at the grass roots level. Citizens of Maryland must DECIDE to drive safely. There are too many bad drivers to ticket. This does not however limit the need for enforcement and awareness building that expensive citations provide.
The answer is that all of the Maryland road killers need to slow down and enjoy the ride. Be safe, be happy, arrive alive.)
(STOP the MUD comment reproduced in full at baltimorespokes.org)
Is Maryland only taking steps to mitigate the carnage and not doing what really needs to be done to stop the Maryland unsafe driver?
It is great that we have a seat belt law. It’s terrific that police arrest drunk drivers. Why though is the law enforcement emphasis placed on what appears the politically correct thing to do rather than focus on the proximate cause for injury and death on our highways – aggressive driving? In the long term, what good comes from the grandiose public displays associated with sobriety checkpoints, seat belt safety checks, and red light cams?
The drivers that cause accidents are with us everyday on the highway. What good does it do to allow them to continue their bad behavior and only encourage the rest of us to wear seat belts, take evasive action by driving defensively, or by delaying our personal business at a checkpoint? The aggressive drivers might be interviewed at these events but they are not being stopped for their bad behavior.
The politically correct thing to do is to make the public think their safety is number one by reminding them through these public safety marketing events. Checkpoints and seat belt citations might mitigate the carnage but have no effect on the long-term behavior of those that take chances with public safety every single day. The aggressive drivers remain aggressive. The jerks on our highways still take risks that endanger us all. The problems we see get worse and not better.
So what should be done? Here are two suggestions:
1. Red light and stop sign enforcement by real traffic cops – NOT traffic cameras.
2. Real aggressive driving enforcement and not speed traps at the end of each month.
This is what what enforcement the average Marylander actually sees:
1. Multiple officer radar speed traps in the same predictable locations often at the end of the month. (Is this right before an officer’s stats are due?)
2. Sobriety checkpoints paid for by special grants. (We already pay very high taxes in Maryland. Given the carnage, why are the police not able to focus on the proximate causes of death and injury under their regular budget? Why use grant money in this fashion? Why are the Maryland State Police not a traffic agency, like say, the California Highway Patrol? Are law enforcement’s priorities correctly allocated? Is aggressive driving enforcement necessary or are we only interested in ways to make a public affairs splash on the front page of a community newspaper?
3. The occasional traffic stop on the highway.
4. Single police units running radar while aggressive drivers tailgating others pass on by.
5. No enforcement where enforcement is possible with an officer in the immediate area.
Each day Marylanders see unsafe drivers tailgating, weaving and making unsafe lane changes, failing to signal, running stop signs and red lights with officers in the immediate vicinity taking no action. You have read here about the Mud Slide with a Cherry on Top – a line of speeding tailgaters preceded by a police officer or other public safety vehicle.
Catching and citing the aggressive speeder is very important, but so is issuing a following-too-closely citation, or issuing the aggressive driving citation.
We might be wasting precious liquidity on theatrical education efforts rather than actually finding and citing those that place us at great risk. The reckless behavior we all talk about in Maryland should be encouraging every Marylander to ask why traffic safety never seems to get better but only worse. Traffic safety is not always measured by statistics, it is measured by what we see each day on our highways. We see see lots of unsafe habits that will lead to eventual carnage. Not every unsafe driver causes an accident. It is only a matter of time for some however. Those are the drivers that need the wake up call. The driver that needs that citation might not be the easiest one to catch.
The best way for all of us to start seeing change is to start obeying the traffic laws. When the safe drivers outnumber the unsafe drivers the unsafe drivers stick out like the road killers they are. They are easy to see. Those of us that want to live long, healthy, and productive lives should not give the police an excuse to delay us longer than necessary at checkpoints, give us a seat belt citation, or pull us over at a speed trap. By obeying the law we make these big-splash public safety marketing events less important. Perhaps when that day comes, enforcement priorities might actually be directed at the proximate causes of death and injury and less focused on mitigating the carnage.
Reminder – Charles County may have DUI checkpoints set up today. We suggest you be polite but remind the officers what they have missed during their Easter Sunday public safety event. Tell them about the unsafe drivers you have seen and wonder out loud with them who is ever going to deal with the aggressive driver while these checkpoints are in progress.