Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Alun Fosta: Roads Don’t Kill, People Kill People

Roads (And Guns) Don’t Kill People, People Kill People


The Other Side From Alun Fosta

"They are very good at telling you their rights, but not their responsibilities" is a phrase which appeared in a recent New Zealand Herald article entitled "Teachers face increase in class violence." The same phrase could be used in respect of those who, in New Zealand, blame roads for traffic accidents and in America, blame guns for murders.

Roads and guns are inanimate objects, both are incapable of doing anything without human assistance, unless, of course, a tyre blows unexpectedly or a gun falls and discharges accidentally. Since guns are a virtual non entity in New Zealand, road accidents will naturally receive more attention.

Road “accidents” occur, more often than not, as a result of bad choices by drivers, e.g. drunk driving, speeding, overtaking on double yellow lines, to name but a few. An annoying aspect of road accidents, especially when drunks are involved, is that the drunken driver will kill or injure innocent parties while they themselves, escape unscathed, or at least, relatively so.

It is generally accepted that the USA has a marvellous road system in general and a wonderful Interstate Highway (Motorway) system in particular. If better roads make better drivers, the USA should have good driving statistics.

The approximate population of the USA is 292 Million and, in 2002, 42815 people were killed in road accidents, which works out at 1 person in 6790 being a traffic fatality.

In New Zealand, from Jan.-June 2003, 231 people were killed, which means that, if the average is maintained, 462 people will die by the end of the year. The population of New Zealand is considered to be 4 Million, and so 462 out of 4 Million means that 1 person in 8658 will be a traffic fatality.

The UK, with a population of some 60 Million, and with some roads every bit as bad as New Zealand roads, had 3443 road deaths in 2001, which meant that 1 person in 17,426 was a fatality. Better roads make better drivers-yeah, right!!!!!!!!!!

Today’s society is becoming, rapidly and increasingly, one where people are very quick to demand their rights and very slow to accept/face up to, their responsibilities, and there is no better example of this than the USA. The accepted “norm” there is to blame somebody, anybody for your own stupidity and bad choices. A classic example is the woman who went to the McDonalds drive through, got a “coffee to go,” spilled it, scalded herself, sued Mc Donalds for not warning her that it was hot, and won her case!!! There was recently a “class action” lawsuit instituted by a “wanna-be-rich lawyer” on behalf of fat people, against fast food outlets such as McDonalds, Burger King etc. The suit blamed the restaurants for selling hamburgers, fries etc., that made people fat, fortunately a sensible judge tried the case and it was thrown out.

New Zealand, sadly, seems to be heading in the same direction. Violent students not accepting responsibility for their actions, a drunk arrested for his 3rd. or 4th. drunk driving offence, blaming the fact that there was no taxi available to take him home and totally ignoring the fact that he could have gone home earlier and probably had no problem getting a cab. Another drunk, irate at being caught driving drunk by the police, said it was all their (the police’s) fault for arresting him and making him lose his licence, no responsibility (according to him) attached to him for driving in the state that he was and being a danger to innocent people as well as himself.

It is always very sad when anyone dies prematurely, and especially when it is in a traffic accident, which could so often have been avoided, as opposed to an illness. It is, however, no good blaming roads for traffic accidents, only a more responsible attitude by drivers will do anything to reduce the number of deaths on the roads.

Better roads most certainly do not make better drivers, only better driving will do that!

ENDS

- Alun Fosta is a New Zealand writer

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news