Skip to comments.Couple who both lost a leg in crash sue student for sending messages to boyfriend (shortened title)
Posted on 05/24/2012 7:47:11 AM PDT by servo1969
click here to read article
Sheesh. What State did that happen in? Some blue state, I’m guessing.
No, sadly enough, Utah. As much as Utah is touted as a conservative state, once you start delving into anything in the “family values” area, we have a ton of nanny staters.
Precisely. Where does the liability chain stop, once extended beyond the person who performed or neglected to perform as they should have?
Does the distiller or brewer get sued? The distributor? The farmer who grew the grain? The person who sold the seed, the tractor, the fertilizer?
The extended blame game is a creation of tort lawyers in search of a deeper pocket and a higher fee. (Just like the tobacco lawsuits, where the selfsame governments which refused to cut their income stream by banning tobacco, profited from suing the companies they taxed who manufactured and marketed a legal product they forced no one to use.)
The tobacco lawsuit especially disgusted me. A huge share of the money went to lawyers just like John Edwards, and the rest goes to government spending - an indirect regressive tax on the most vulnerable advertised as a victory for the people, but politicians don't have to take the blame for raising taxes.
> careless driving is already illegal > It does not need to be outlawed, instead we just need to enforce the current laws....the only time we use these laws is when DUI is also a factor...
Alcohol, per se, does not cause accidents. Intoxication, per se, does not cause accidents. Texting, per se, does not cause accidents. For that matter, engaging in an argument or phoning or having sex while driving do not cause accidents either, in and of themselves.
What causes accidents is lack of attention to driving, distraction away from what is ahead of or around your vehicle, resulting in lack of control of your vehicle.
My point is that _IF_ we prosecute DWI and DUI for alcohol or other drugs, we should also do so for other activities that cause similar dangerous levels of distraction.
It is well known and acknowledged that texting typically slows reaction and response times by MANY SECONDS where being drunk does so for mere TENTHS of a second -- yet that smaller level is considered enough to lock someone up for years and take away their license and livelihood.
I'm arguing for CONSISTENCY in the law.
I know.... losing proposition....
I like the way you think. I like it a lot.
I disagree. Texting is an asynchronous form of communication, like email. The recipient can read and answer at his convenience and when he is safely able to focus on the message. The sender is not responsible for the timing of the recipient's response.
“I’m arguing for CONSISTENCY in the law.”
On that we agree. I advocate that consistency be through the utilization of current laws to bring the hammer down on any driver that causes physical harm to persons or property damage. The existing laws already provide that avenue, for example we have vehicular manslaughter. It is not used consistently and it should be.
That said, I believe where we differ is that you are advocating adding to the current laws, where I would subtract from them to get that consistency. I would not have “special” laws for prosecuting those that cause harm or damage, instead I would eliminate those laws and better utilize the law to cover all situations where the driver causes that harm or damage.
To be more succinct, as an example, I would eliminate DUI laws, while at the same time I would bring the hammer down on anyone that causes the death of another person. Any driver that is at fault, whether by being drunk or by being distracted should spend many years in prison.
I say that as a person that did have a friend killed by a texter: http://www.mbkmemorial.org/
If I am misunderstanding your position, then I offer my apologies....
Actually, we agree, and you have done me a good service by pointing out that I was not following my own principles. If you look at my FR Profile page you'll find the great quote from Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative", which I take as a guiding light towards better, smaller government:
"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."
Unfortunately, in the case of DWI/DUI, there is this huge public sentiment in favor of punishing careless drunk drivers not just for their carelessness, but for their inebriation as well. It goes so far that a CAREFUL drunk driver who causes no harm is still just as liable to lose their license. I have no hope that those laws will ever be eliminated, so I was taking the fallback position that "if we're going to do A we should also do B".
You are quite right to correct me, and I thank you.
Also, I'm very sorry about your friend. That's a great memorial site.
Best FRegards, Dayglored
“A New Jersey college student who was exchanging text messages with her boyfriend right before he crashed into a motorcycling couple wont be held responsible for the accident, a judge ruled yesterday.”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.