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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where is the Responsibility

This morning when I turned on the news, I heard about an SUV that went out of control and ran into a house. About a week ago, the following headline appeared in THE TIMES OF TRENTON, "3 People injured in SUV Accident". Last year a headline from Texas stated, "Teen Dies in Skateboarding, SUV Accident".

Another headline, this one from SUV ACCIDENT NEWS states, "Seven Die in SUV Accident". In this story, they state that a rented SUV went out of control, causing the death of seven people. It further explains that the SUV went out of control after clipping a car it was trying to pass, sending the SUV sideways, then airborne before slamming into some trees in the median. Of course, I feel for the families of the dead, but we need more information. I don't think the SUV decided to pass a car. Was the driver used to driving an SUV, was the driver speeding?

In the accident mentioned in THE TIMES OF TRENTON, it states that the SUV, driven by a 17 year old, allegedly went through a red light and struck a car. In the Texas case, the teenager was run over by the SUV that was pulling him while he rode on a skateboard around a parking lot. The SUV wasn't along, a 16 year old was driving.

It seems that these accidents were caused by inexperienced drivers, carelessness, disregard of traffic laws. The SUV is not intrinsically evil, the SUV does not have a mind of its own, it does not decide to go out of control, pass red lights or pull skateboarders.

It has long been my contention that we would not need all the elaborate safety measures such as airbags, signals that let us know that we are about to run into something, child booster seats, childsafe locks on rear doors if people would take responsibility for their own actions, or if the police would more strictly enforce current traffic regulations. Stop using handheld cell phones, use your seatbelt, ensure that your children sit still in their seats and watch the road.

Children were once taught that when crossing the street, they should look left and right. Maybe this approach should be used when driving - look left and right, forward and back, up and down. That way we will see who is behind us, who is trying to pass either from behind, or up ahead of us, the color of the traffic light, the speed limit, etc.

It's time we stopped blaming the car and starting putting the blame where it belongs - on the driver.

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