Monday, February 06, 2006

Reckless Endangerment

Fiona at Mental Meanderings raises the issue of who is really to blame for the carnage on our roads.

We are a strange nation indeed. As a society we will do anything but face up to our own personal responsibility. We blame the Gardai for not enforcing the law but as Fiona rightly says its all about personal responsibility.

Some idiot tailgated me on the M50 last night flashing furiously his headlights. I was overtaking slower moving traffic at just under the speed limit. I don't know what he expected me to do, but as a result of his aggressive actions, I think he should be charged with dangerous driving. The mobile clamped to his ear during the incident was enough to have a charge of attempted murder preferred.

In the grant scheme of things, responsiblity for the carnage lies
  • Not with the Gardai
  • Not for a non-existant traffic core
  • Not even with the Minister for Justice or Transport
  • Not with our local authority for having different road surfaces or inappropriate speed limits
  • Not with NTR for having infuriating tolls or no crash barriers
  • Not with Mercedes, BMW or Lexus
  • Not with RTE for showing glossy ads of the best built cars in the world

No, the responsibility is first and foremost all our own. Having spent several years living in England, I noticed how a driver who drank was something of a social parriah. In Ireland, such an individual is a regular guy.

4 Comments:

Blogger fdelondras said...

True - and people think very little of having three or four pints and driving - they often don't even see that as 'drink driving'. We have to reassess what we think of as drinking. To say "I only had four pints" is actually rather silly - four pints is a lot, and far too much to follow with a drive home. But even apart from the drink it's speed - speed is what's killing us and I don't understand why people insist on driving so fast. I actually used to love driving fast and purposefully gave up driving largely because I drove too fast and couldn't stand driving slow. Others should do the same.

3:03 p.m., February 06, 2006  
Blogger JL Pagano said...

Absolutely.

We hear about the carnage, we hear about the crashes, yet we NEVER hear about why, how or by whom.

I believe a register should be set up assigning each accident a number, and then the media should be encouraged to follow up stories into the courts and make public the names of those responsible.

Such is the stuff of pariah-making.

3:07 p.m., February 06, 2006  
Blogger Fence said...

Have to say that everyone I know who drinks never ever drives. I don't, personally, know anyone who would really consider it.

And yes, the driver is responsible, no one else.

7:02 p.m., February 06, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

About five years ago, I started to spend more and more time in Ireland. I was struck by how careful the people I met were about drinking and driving: they would leave the car in town and take a taxi home. I thought that maybe this was a generational thing: younger people being more responsible.

I'm inclined to think that every fatality is the result of drink driving.

But last week i was in a hurry driving to Cork airport. I decided to go by back roads to avoid traffic congestion at Kinsale roundabout. I got lost, got worried about missing my plane and I speeded up. I drove too fast on roads that were made for cows. It was dark. How I missed driving into a ditch I'll never know. But I was shaken. There were no other cars around.

When I got to Edinburgh and drove to Perth, the roads were wide, straight and well lit, and I wasn't in a hurry. It was chalk and cheese: a completely different driving experience.

I've noticed that there are a lot of Irish fatalities between midnight and 0300. It requires considerable skill to drive on twisty roads when you are tired and keen to get home to bed.

JL P's idea of a register sounds good to me. But we'll be retired by the time that was fully considered by civil servants.

I'm really glad you highlighted this Paige. Thanks.

9:16 a.m., February 07, 2006  

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