[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: Driver's Responsibility

Rant mode on. Returning fire...

Unka Bart wrote:
> I'm truly surprised at this one, from someone who should know better...

Ahh, the seething, all-knowing condescention begins with such a pleasant
tone. Well, mama always said "when in Rome..."

To begin with, thanks for providing an argument with pre-fab holes. No
MENSA awards for you here, kind uncle.

> > "Personal Responsibility" extends the direct and foreseeable effects of
> > your personal actions in my book. There was a direct media connection
> > here, quite clearly. Had they
> > not been chased, would they have been galavanting about paris at 120+
> > MPH? Nope.
> Exsqueeze me here, Sarge, but this is not about "cause and effect," but
> about a driver's responsibility when he gets behind the wheel.  The fact
> that someone does not want to be bothered by someone else does not give any
> license to operate a motor-vehicle in a reckless manner, no matter how
> badly they wish to remain unbothered. 

No siree Mr. Bart, it is about more than *A* driver getting behind the
wheel. It is about *SEVERAL* drivers getting behind the
wheel/handlebars. There were several drivers out there, correct?
Papparazzi weren't chasing on foot at 120+, were they? Mind you, nowhere
do I state that the MB driver should be exonerated of all blame for this
incident. From where I sit, he shares *contributory* negligence in his
own death and that of the people in his car with the other drivers. But
it's not nearly so simple as you seem to see it.

Others on your side would *seem* to be in unwhitting agreement: eg- 
'sometimes you have to let that a$$hole in the M3 get away." WHY??
Because one of the parties has to make the decision to behave
responsibily, right? Responsibility rests on the shoulders of all
involved. Such statements infer this, yet the concept continues to evade
y'all. (attention ADD impaired, no inference that the driver is

> I'm truly surprised, *amazed* that a
> usually reasonable person such as you would put their name on such
> juvenile, irresponsible nonsense.

Likewise, I am suprised and dismayed that you would turn from a
relatively academic discussion into a practice range for condescending,
backhanded pot shots, not just at myself, but at everyone who sees
things less *simply* than you. This isn't about predicting the future,
Nostradomus-style, it's about shared responsibility, foresight, and
taking appropriate responsibility for the consequences of your actions
on the road. Your philosophy seems to be 'look out for your own actions,
but those who can't take your 'every man for himself' attitude be
damned'. I'll take your tone toward myself as a reactionary
misunderstanding on your part of the following: 

"Foreseeable consequences are no different. Defenses like "I didn't
think they'd crash if I chased them" only reflect a miserably low IQ."

My apologies if you were incensed, but that line was not directed at you
(more to the press folks who hound these folks around - get a life
already, same to their patrons IMO), though I can see where you may have
read it that way. Rather it's my feeling that the papparazzi knew darn
well that they were about to *incite* a high speed chase. (for the ADD
impaired, I'm only blaming them *in part*)

> Kindly examine what I said with great care.  Now please point out where you
> see the (any) suggestion to the contrary in my message.  

I understand you believe that the driver and owner are completely to
blame. I assert they have no such monopoly. You agree that a driver is
responsible for his actions. The papparazzi were drivers, no? Their
actions had consequences, for which your reasoning suggests they are
responsible as well. Only one driver crashed, but they were all playing
in the same game. Due to extenuating circumstances a *drunk* man was
called in to drive, perhaps unbeknownst to the papparazzi. In the heat
of the moment the driver drove too fast for conditions, perhaps a
psychosomatic reaction to the situation, but a deadly error
none-the-less. Perhaps there was more to his decision to drive than
anyone will know (a la Phil P's suggestion). Undeniably, though, the
papparazzi played a powerful role as the catalysts for that "heat of the
moment" situation. They helped drive him to it, quite literally. As
primary catalysts, they share responsibility, to the extent that the
situation - a high speed chase - was forseeable. It was their decision
to chase that car as much as it was the MB drivers decision to outrun
them. There are very bad and very foreseeable consequences to such
behavior. Moreover, the papparazzi were sober, thus seemingly *better*
able to make the responsible decision - abandon the chase. (another ADD
message - EITHER SIDE could have ended the chase!)

Your words speak of nothing but your complete disagreement with this
notion. Since you agree a driver is responsible for his actions and the
resultant situation he creates, the only conclusion I can draw is you
either  (A) Don't think a high-speed chase was anticipated or
foreseeable to the papparazzi; or (B) An accident is not a foreseeable
outcome of a high-speed chase, regardless of driver intoxication. Which
is it?

> But your analysis
> of the "Defenses " bit is cogent.  Rather like the one that goes "Gee, I
> didn't think I'd crash if I drove like an irresponsible idiot just to get
> away from a bunch of photographers who were annoying to my passengers,"
> wouldn't you say...?
If you think that's a cogent defense you should make better use of your
dictionary. In any event, in your mocking, you've drawn the parallel,
but still not made the connection. Your hypothetical defense (above) is
sarcastic, but look closely and you'll see it belies your argument -
BOTH the driver and papparazzi made bad tacit decisions to continue with
this endeavor, and to tragic ends. EITHER could have ended the chase. 
In any event, you evidently got a bit carried away by something in my
message, because nowhere did I assert that any one of the parties
involved either owned all the blame or shared none of the blame. I will
thus carefully outline my assertion: 

1. The papparazzi should have foreseen a high speed chase.

2. The papparazzi should have recognized the inherent dangers to both
the pursuants and the public at large once engaged in a high-speed chase
on public roads. Their own high speed driving constitutes reckless
endangerment on its face (to the public and the pursuants) and in this
case it lead to death the objects of their desire: 

The papparazzi each gets a moderate piece of the Blame pie. 

3. The driver should have realized he was too drunk to drive, regarldess
of whether he may have lost his career as a result (tough choice, eh).
Given his mental state he may not have been aware (or even informed)
upon agreeing to drive that he would wind up being compelled to drive in
such a reckless manner. Don't know what decisions and ramifications he
otherwise faced. Regardless, he was drunk and certainly knew he would be
driving: BAD choice.

The driver gets a sizeable slice of Blame pie, a la mode at that.

4. Di and Boyfriend should have been smart enough to wear a seatbelt at
such speeds, regardless of their knowledge or lack thereof regarding the
driver's level of intoxication. 

They each get a little piece of the pie for being stoopid; otherwise
they might both be alive.

5. The hotel/owner of the car may be responsible for not attending to
the inspection of the driver. Dunno what the employment connection was
there (Boyfriend owned that particular Ritz?). Dunno how many
Rits-Carlton's you've stayed with but from my US experiences, I can say
the help/staff is *very* indulgent. Above and beyond any other high-end
hotel. The word "no" is not in their vocabulary. Try "yes sir, right
away sir". It's part of the foundation of their employment.

The hotel/owner thus gets a share as well.

> > Like many of us, I also like to drive very fast, and I consider myself
> > responsible for all the consequences of my vehicles presence and its
> > impact on those in my presence. Certain responsibilities come with
> > potentially lethal public activities, all the more if your behavior is
> > anomolous to the environment.
> It is astonishing how someone able to write the bit above, can somehow blow
> it with the following:
> > In this case, derisive indifference on the part of those poparazi (sp?) to
> > the plight of that MB led directly and predictably to a high-speed chase
> > and a foreseeable appointment with that chunk o' concrete. Not their fault
> > the driver was drunk and the passengers unbuckled. A foreseeable collision
> > none-the-less.

Sorry if you swallowed any flies there, but the only surprising thing to
me is your inability to follow the reasoning. The inference, which you
either missed or disagree with, is that ALL the parties here share a
little of the credit. The papparazzi were motivated by single-minded,
selfish indifference, salted with blatant disregard for public safety.
While being selfish is not a legal crime it is a behavioral problem IMO.
It ain't just the driver's fault. Stupid he was, alone he was not.
> Who, dear lad, do you believe was driving this vehicle, anyway?  

Duhhh, I dunno. Princess somebodyerother? No, that's not it, ummmm, just
a minute, I think I know this one... 

> You obviously believe that it must have been the papparazzi.  

Yeah, that's it. yoorajeenyus. So insightful of you! 

> The *driver* and the *owner* are responsible, 100%, for the choice *they* made 
> which in thiscase was to break the law and drive with reckless disregard to 
> anything other than their own *DESIRE* to avoid inconvenience.

Two concepts you should first familiarize yourself with before
attemnpting to make fair judgements of others actions - extenuating
circumstances and 'heat of the moment'. Then figure in the level of
foreseeability of those two elements immediately preceding the
commencement of that event. EG did the circumstances avail themselves
and was it foreseeable that decisions would be made under emotional and
dangerous circumstances? A high speed chase? Yeah, I think that
qualifies. Treating any of those subjects as superfluous lends you to an
ill-concieved and unjust judgement on any such matter; precisely what
you've done in your blanket denial that the  papparazzi played a
substantial or responsible role in this debacle.
> > Bottom line:  No one was *absolutely* responsible for this mess, or most
> > such messes.
> Bottom line:  Get a grip. 

??? I have a 'grip', sir. YOU were telling ME about juvenile nonsense? 

> The person who decides to break the law is 100%
> responsible for the consequences of his actions.  Always.  Ditto for the
> owner who *allowed* the driver to behave in a criminally irresponsible
> fashion.

Yup, and ditto for those papparazzi *drivers* who knowingly and
willfully instigated the chase. They were also breaking the law. There
were concrete consequences to the situation they helped create (pardon
the pun). I'm not decrying your belief that the MB driver made a tragic
error in judgement getting into that car; he simply is not the only one
at fault. I sense you're letting your drunk driving crash/experience
sideline your reasoning because of the fear and newfound perception it
may have instilled in you. A while ago, yes, but it obviously made quite
an impression on you, as it would anyone. I've had no such experiences,
and have no plans for it. BUT CONSIDER IT: There is a shared
responsibility amongst all involved in this tragic chase. How can you
possibly deny this?

Do you understand concepts like 'heat of the moment', 'extenuating
circumstances', and responsibility for consequences resultant of
*reasonalby foreseeable events*, events you played a deciding role in
creating? I sense your focus here is single-minded and non-peripheral.
There are many variables at work besides drunk driving, all of which
need careful consideration for a fair judgment on the matter. Simple
minds seek simple truths. They'll always follow. You've got a few such
followers. Perhaps I've misjudged you, but I give you credit for being a
bit more open-minded than your opinion thus far demonstrates.

Furthermore, I am totally unimpressed with your unwarranted lambasting
of others who do not share your narrow perspective. Hacking away at the
keyboard, sometimes the logic behind our thoughts isn't accurately
conveyed the way we'd intended, but this does not merit the sort of
derisive belittlement you seem to revel in.  Not living up to your
'kindly' name or your 'wise' reputation. Kinda wise-a$$, but that's
about it.

Heed your own words, and get a grip yourself, Bart. I've certainly been
no angel in my reply to you here, but I can't stand your attitude right
now. Are you the kind of guy who takes a shotgun to the zoo? Postal work
on your CV somewhere? We're on the same team here, and while posts
should be well thought-out, people shouldn't be made to fear that
someone will misinterpret their position and blast them out of the
water.  You want I should call a cherry-picker to help you off that
horse of yours? If you want to discuss the logic of my position, please
do so, but keep the sword at your side. Live by the sword, die by the
sword, my friend. At the end of the day I'd still pull over and help you
fix your car or give you a ride, and I expect we should all do that,
differences aside. Life's much too short for such harsh treatment of our

Sorry to all for the waste of bandwidth. If nothing else I hope this
sparring is entertaining to some. 

In the mean time I await the return of the KINDLY ol' Unka Bart.


91 200q
86 5ktq

Nothin' left to do but smile smile smile. CAN"T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG