“The teen driver who struck him was reportedly texting at the time of the collision”.
I will be curious to see what kind of penalty this kid gets. It’s a tough problem to think through, but damn, texting and driving is basically the new drunk driving, and our criminal justice system needs to start reflecting this.
Not really. People should be held responsible for their actions, plain and simple. One persons willful negligence lead to the death of another person.
Indeed. Texting while driving is nothing new. We know the risks and related impacts, and laws exist prohibiting it because of those issues. Severity of penalties should reflect the consequences of the related actions.
Yeah, that’s why I added the article above. There is clear misreporting taking place in many outlets. It also goes to show that this too often falls into the realm of “victim blaming” and otherwise downplaying the actual incident and responsibility (driver behind the wheel of a lethal weapon).
What I am getting at is how to think of justice/punishment in terms of (1) protecting society from the specific individual (2) society-wide deterrence and (3) punishment. I usually believe in focusing almost exclusively on number one - protecting society from the individual. However, when you have instances where society is not taking a problem seriously enough then harsh penalties for society-wide deterrence need to be considered. This results in an overly harsh penalty for the offender (harsher than they probably deserve for the specific individual action), but one that is needed for the benefit and health of the overall society.
The basic question is: is it fair to send this kid to prison for ten years for doing the same exact thing thousands of others do every day but are lucky enough to get away with it, whereas this kid just had the bad moral luck of killing someone (when the others got away with the same action). It can easily have been someone else who had to pay this price, but the random number generator that is the universe just selected this kid instead. In some ways, this is highly unjust, but it also may be needed to correct society.
Penalties for killing a cyclist should be severe. If I, as a 41 year old with a 10 y/o, was killed while cycling, my child would be without a parent forever. Any penalty they can throw at a driver pales in comparison to the loss to a family
Yes, it is nearly the same exact scenario. Basically texting and driving is where drunk driving was in the late 1970’s. It took harsh penalties combined with a decades-long awareness campaign by MADD to start changing behavior.
Agree a tech solution is probably the best way forward.
Phone screen should just be black if you are driving. They would have to figure out how to tell who is the driver and who is the passenger but I think this is doable.
Ultimately this gets solved by self driving cars but that is a ways off, unfortunately.
As much as I like road riding I have stopped riding on the roads. Only bike paths, trails, trainer. I can’t get past having my life in the hands of drivers, many who are looking at phones or under the influence of something.
This shidt is still crazy to me. In 1987 you could legally drink and drive in Texas (as well as many other states).
“Despite a tightening of laws in recent years, 15 states, including Texas, had no laws as of January 1987 against consuming alcoholic beverages at the wheel, although there are local ordinances against it in many cities in those states, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Until the Texas law goes into effect, it will still be possible to drive the 3,000 or so miles from Key West, Fla., to northern New Mexico without putting down your drink.”
While I completely understand this point of view, I think ultimately by retreating and becoming ‘invisible’ to motorists, then we let the folks who wish to not have bikes on the road win. So I definitely understand self-preservation and all, but I think we need to be active and visible
I posted this yesterday on another forum, before this incident was reported:
“Personally, I would just be happy if this country just took driving as a privilege, not a right. If you do something that should cause you to lose your license, they should actually take your license. I worked with a guy who had a DUI, but was able to drive for work still. A coworker got a DUI, he didn’t lose his license (he also loves to tell all of his drunk driving stories too). Start taking away peoples “right” to drive, and people might take it seriously. Start forcing people to use alternative modes of transportation because they lost their license, and maybe the infrastructure will improve.”
Edit: Also like to add that I think going with super harsh punishments might be counter productive. You have EVERY incentive to run if you hit someone. If you hit and kill someone, you get charged with murder. If you hit someone and run and get caught, you are getting charged with murder. You hit someone and run and DON’T get caught, you get away with murder.
Doesn’t do me much good as I ride a bike to get to work, currently living without a car (as I don’t consider my 10,000 pound ambulance conversion to be a viable commuter vehicle).