Opinions please.. Distracted Drivers and their punishments.

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posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:03 AM
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I am looking for opinions about drivers who blatantly break the law by using their mobile phones, drink driving or even by simply not listening to the government concerning fatigue.

Firstly, in Australia, Using a Mobile phone while driving is illegal. You will be fined.. But lets add some more stakes to the so-called crime. What if you were on your Mobile phone, steered off the road and accidently killed someone?

- Should the court put you in jail because of your own stupidity? Is it a manslaughter charge? Maybe the court should be leniant because you didn't mean to do it. I'm looking for some opinions because I have read a local story over the last couple of days which does involve some of what is written above.

I want to see what others think about the punishment which should be implemented, remembering you have taken another persons life and also brought sadness to another family. I would really like to know what a fair sentence would be in your opinion for taking someones life while you were distracted driving.

My opinion is you should be put in jail at minimum for taking someones life, but thats just me.

Suspended Sentence for Distracted Driver


She said she had just been distracted when someone allegedly asked if she had been on her mobile phone.

However, the court heard she told police after she briefly looked away from the road while moving her mobile phone into a console.

There was no evidence any calls or text messages had been made at the time of the incident.


So what has happened is a 48 year old lady was moving her Mobile phone into the console of her car. While she was doing that, she somehow veered off the road, hit someone who was standing on the side of the road and crashed into a paddock herself. In my opinion, you would have to have your eyes of the road for a little while. Not to simply move your phone.

I understand this woman may be genuinly remorseful for what she done, but to me, this isn't a case of simply moving your phone from one part of your car to the other. The only way I can see her veering off the road is if she was texting.. A 60 year old lady who was cycling with her friends was killed. The other 3 were lucky to get out of the way. How can a 12 Month suspended sentence be a fair punishment? Or am I being harsh myself? I know if I had done the same thing, I would be in custody.
edit on 22-12-2012 by DarknStormy because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by DarknStormy
 
It is my belief that if you kill someone because of distracted driving you should be charged with homicide by neglect. If that charge doesn't exist then it should. If distracted drivers got more than a slap on the wrist when their distraction causes death maybe more people would pay attention to the fact that an automobile is in essence a loaded weapon. You wouldn't text while you were shooting a deer, would you?



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:15 AM
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I fully believe that smoking while driving is just as bad, you may not be distracted by talking to some one and using one hand on the wheel, but a smoking a cigarette ITS ON FIRE PEOPLE. What happens if the end falls off in their lap or a flaming zippo lighter is dropped, or even just smoke in the eye (stings like hell for those uninitiated out there) - easily as bad.

This been tolerated while driving long before mobile phones showed up!!! So if mobiles are banned how come lighting things on fire and using one hand still is!!!!

Two hands on wheel at all times, change gear when safely able to, change radio station when safe to do so, no excuses.

As for the punishments its hard to come down fairly as its hard to prove what caused the accident unless they admit it or are found to have been drinking alcohol (through a blood test)

S+F
edit on 22-12-2012 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by DarknStormy
 


In the UK if you caused the death of another person in the circumstance you outlined, and it was provable you would be charged with Causing Death By Dangerous Driving which if memory serves carries a maximum ten year tarrif.
In the case of causing a death while under the influence of drink/drugs, or fatigue I think it is about thirteen years. The last one I can recall in the case of fatigue was a guy who crashed on to the rail network whle fatigued, and caused of major train crash, I think he was given a five year sentence.



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by DarknStormy
 

You dont need a million different laws. Stop with the bureaucracy and over-regulation.

One law: careless/reckless driving (whichever term you like). Doesnt matter if it was due to talking on a cell phone, looking out the window or staring at your wife's hooters.

If someone is killed due to a driver's negligence (or any other unintentional reason), theres already a charge for that: manslaughter.

Keep it simple. The more rules and regulations, the bigger the State. Soon it will be a crime to cross the street.

Officer Apprehends a Perpetrator. The Charge Is Jaywalking.

edit on 22-12-2012 by gladtobehere because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by gladtobehere
 


I'm not saying change the laws and I agree with you.. I thought the term for accidently killing someone was manslaughter.. But in this case of killing someone while you are distracted whilst driving, what is a fair punishment?
edit on 22-12-2012 by DarknStormy because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by littled16
reply to post by DarknStormy
 
It is my belief that if you kill someone because of distracted driving you should be charged with homicide by neglect. If that charge doesn't exist then it should. If distracted drivers got more than a slap on the wrist when their distraction causes death maybe more people would pay attention to the fact that an automobile is in essence a loaded weapon. You wouldn't text while you were shooting a deer, would you?


Then your going to love the article I put up then



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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I thj k we should lock the bastards pup!


Sort for the typos distracted drives make it impossible go post on ATS while merging
edit on 22-12-2012 by Hawking because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by Hawking
I thj k we should lock the bastards pup!


Sort for the typos distracted drives make it impossible go post on ATS while merging
edit on 22-12-2012 by Hawking because: (no reason given)





posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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Joking aside, I absolutely agree with you. Distracted driving resulting in death should be negligent homicide.


Trying not to drag another debate in to this, a car can be a deadly weapon. Ultimately it's the user's responsibility.



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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You're making the assumption that the justice system is fair and treats all people charged with similar offenses the same. But actually that is not the case.

Punishments given by the courts often depend on how much money you can afford to pay to a lawyer and how much influence that lawyer has. Get a good lawyer who is friends with the judge and you're back at the country club in no time. Can't afford a lawyer? You can expect to be locked up.

There are always a few exceptions. Like a judge wanting to make an example of someone famous or something like that. But for the most part that is the way the justice system works. There is no such thing as blind justice anymore. Accidents are not considered violent crimes and are not intentional. But if you get the wrong judge then your punishment can still be severe. It's all up to the judge.

However, the courts do consider past offenses and other factors like your current status in the community, when making their decisions. If you have a job and have never committed a crime before. You are more likely to get probation for your first offense. It also depends on the area your crime is committed in. If the area has high crime, then their jails will be overcrowded. But get caught in an area with low crime and there will be plenty of rooms without a view for you.



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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Being certified via licensing necessary to legally operate a vehcile would imply that you know what is necessary to responsibly and safely operate a motor vehicle. In other words, if you're operating a vehicle on the road in terms that make doing so legal with your government, you're also operating that vehicle under terms of contract with that government.

So I would consider harm caused by a motorist not performing their duty as their certification instructs to be negligent manslaughter. Or treat it as you would treat any homicide that occurs through willful neglect.

However despite my way of seeing it, I'm still not a lawyer and how various local laws are enforced or interpreted is up for grabs. It seems law in practice has a lot of wiggle room and is softer and more vague than I'd be in this regard.

But my personal opinion is that it's a breach of contract with the state to operate a vehicle safely, and if it's proven that you are willfully distracted then you should be charged with willful negligent homicide (manslaughter) in that regard. Driving a vehicle really should carry that burden of responsibility, particularly when considering what it's capable of. (This is also why most places also require insurance for a vehicle to be licensed for operation on public roadways.)

Also it's my opinion that penalties in general when it comes to traffic laws should scale their fines in accordance with income. The well-off aren't paying their share or anywhere near an amount that discourages reckless driving. Even better yet, the well off really should hire somebody else better skilled to do their driving. (Which is why I don't shed any tears for any atheletes or celebs that die from a self-inflicted DUI. It's a shame and a disappointment to their fans, but they really should know better. Hiring a chauffeur at $200 for the entire night so you can get buzzed while out clubbing is pretty damn cheap when you're making $7,000,000 a year.)



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 04:18 PM
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About 20 years ago a friend of mine was involved in an accident that killed someone.

He was driving on a large main street that always has lots of traffic.

He was driving the speed limit, on an uphill grade, facing west and the sun was impairing his view.

A very old man carelessly stepped out into the street off of the sidewalk (he was not in a cross walk).

My friend accidentally struck this man and he died from his injuries.

Even though it was determined that the pedestrian was negligent, he was still charged with vehicular homicide.

My friend admitted that the sun was blinding his vision and the court found that he should have reduced his speed according to the conditions at the time of the accident.

He received probation and his license was temporarily suspended.



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by MagicWand67
 


Do you think that was a fair punishment?

I think in those exact circumstances, thats a justified punishment, however you don't need a license to cross a road, theres no training for pedestrians.

Its not like the old man should be punished should he have lived, for crossing carelessly.



posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by Biigs
 


Yes it was fair. I know my friend felt awful about the whole thing.

My point was that it was a total accident and he didn't deserve to go to jail.

I forget if he pleaded guilty or not. But either way he was found to be partially at fault.

His actions were partially responsible for the death of someone.

But there is a reason that each case has to be judged on it's own.

Not all people found guilty deserve to go to jail for what happened.





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