An account worth reading

Bonefishblues
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An account worth reading

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Apr 2018, 9:34am

I've just read this and found it very affecting - it's the account of a driver who killed a pedestrian.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... P=ema_wkd2

Mike Sales
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Apr 2018, 10:05am

Yes, it was very affecting.
I did notice that there was no mention of H.C. para. 126.

brynpoeth
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Apr 2018, 10:12am

Maybe it would be worth trying to get such reports in the mass media, tivi etc to 'educate' drivers who exceed maximum speed limits, hc, etc

The subject matter is very interesting, there was a report on a similar case down under on r4 many years ago but little else

Do most 'drivers who kill'* suffer permanent psychological problems?

* suggestions for alternative terms welcome
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Mike Sales
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Apr 2018, 10:21am

brynpoeth wrote:Do most 'drivers who kill'* suffer permanent psychological problems?

* suggestions for alternative terms welcome
2

I think that "drivers who kill" is usually about right.
It is interesting that psychological problems are seldom if ever mentioned, in contrast to train drivers, though it would seem that it is much harder for a train driver to avoid someone on the line or stop.
Killing on the road is perhaps more routine or normal? Have road accidents become so normalised and accepted as one of those things?

pwa
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby pwa » 7 Apr 2018, 10:28am

Mike Sales wrote:Yes, it was very affecting.
I did notice that there was no mention of H.C. para. 126.

That's not the point of it though, is it. It's about the mind of the driver, and its journey through the experience. And in the end you have the driver almost hypersensitive about road safety. I have always known that seriously harming another road user would badly affect me, but this brings it home.

Mike Sales
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Apr 2018, 10:34am

pwa wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Yes, it was very affecting.
I did notice that there was no mention of H.C. para. 126.

That's not the point of it though, is it. It's about the mind of the driver, and its journey through the experience. And in the end you have the driver almost hypersensitive about road safety. I have always known that seriously harming another road user would badly affect me, but this brings it home.


Yes, I take your point.
Maybe I would have preferred the hypersensitivity to extend to an analysis of what he did wrong, and how he intended to avoid similar, future incidents like this.
Mentioning 126 would also have had the very useful function of influencing the drivers reading the piece at a time when they were in a receptive mood. In fact, would it not be a very productive tactic, one likely to save lives in future?
What really grates with me is that the need to observe 126 is so neglected.

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Cugel
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Cugel » 7 Apr 2018, 10:37am

brynpoeth wrote: .......
Do most 'drivers who kill'* suffer permanent psychological problems?

* suggestions for alternative terms welcome


Heavy-duty shame.
Indelible guilt.
Persistent regret.
Self-loathing.

Despite the rabid individualism and solipsism recommended by the current producer-consumer zeitgeist, many of us dread these potential feelings far more than we do a fine or other formal punishment. I never speed in a car and try very, very hard to drive with full attention and consideration. I don't do so to avoid the fines or penalty points; nor because I am Mr Nice (I am Mr Annoying Git, especially to those behind me not agreeing with the speed limit).

I'd like to once more be car-less (I was until aged 38) but only manage to leave it on the drive for a few weeks at a time. They are inherently lethal, in so many ways.

But perhaps I am merely a pink-livered lilyman too fond of Atlee attitude and so unfit for the vicious jousts of post-modern life?

I'm not alone albeit, these days, sadly, in a minority - or so it seems when out on the bike (or in a car, for that matter). Mr Toad is alive & well; and has been breeding prolifically.

Cugel

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The utility cyclist
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Apr 2018, 10:42am

The number of 'same/similar happened to me' isn't surprising, it's also a good indicator as to why killer drivers get off scot-free or slap on the wrist.
Even the author/killer doesn't acknowledge fault, nor do those around him including the police :evil:

Bonefishblues
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Apr 2018, 10:48am

I read that as an awful conjunction of two seemingly unconnected events. An oncoming motorist flashing, the driver in question flashing back, and the gentleman who was killed seeing this as a signal to step out into the road.

A better and more attentive driver might have realised the potential implications of their flashing, but I think they would be in a small minority.

pwa
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby pwa » 7 Apr 2018, 10:49am

Mike Sales wrote:
pwa wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Yes, it was very affecting.
I did notice that there was no mention of H.C. para. 126.

That's not the point of it though, is it. It's about the mind of the driver, and its journey through the experience. And in the end you have the driver almost hypersensitive about road safety. I have always known that seriously harming another road user would badly affect me, but this brings it home.


Yes, I take your point.
Maybe I would have preferred the hypersensitivity to extend to an analysis of what he did wrong, and how he intended to avoid similar, future incidents like this.
Mentioning 126 would also have had the very useful function of influencing the drivers reading the piece at a time when they were in a receptive mood. In fact, would it not be a very productive tactic, one likely to save lives in future?
What really grates with me is that the need to observe 126 is so neglected.


Understood. But I think in this case, and probably in lots of cases, the driver is experiencing confusion over what happened. He can't just rewind and examine the technicalities of what occurred. It is a blur and a nightmare, not a clear picture. You can take some consolation from the constantly implied message: take care because if you hit someone it will be a disaster for them and for you and you don't get to rewind and put it right. The author feels guilt all the time, which is a self-imposed punishment invisible to anyone else but very real to him. If it were me I expect I would be thinking "what could I have done different?" He talks of people forgiving him. He's not absolving himself of blame.

brynpoeth
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Apr 2018, 10:52am

There was an article in the Spiegel recently about train drivers who run people over
It is a v e r y different situation from the one described here. When driving a train it is almost impossible to break the rules. It would very seldom be possible to stop in time, sometimes blowing the horn causes the person to flee just in time

Hundreds of people choose 'Freitod' (freewill death, suicide) on rail tracks each year in Germany. The DB offers drivers counselling and some can transfer to other jobs
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pwa
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby pwa » 7 Apr 2018, 10:57am

Bonefishblues wrote:I read that as an awful conjunction of two seemingly unconnected events. An oncoming motorist flashing, the driver in question flashing back, and the gentleman who was killed seeing this as a signal to step out into the road.

A better and more attentive driver might have realised the potential implications of their flashing, but I think they would be in a small minority.


The driver criticises himself for his misinterpretation of the other driver's flashing. But when you talk about "a better or more attentive driver" I'd change that to "a driver being more attentive" because no driver is "better" all the time. All drivers have variable attentiveness. This driver may have been good earlier in the day but inattentive for a few crucial moments. That is not letting him off. It is recognising the fact that all of us are capable of inattentiveness, none of us are so good that we cannot put someone else in danger. To think otherwise is complacent. This could be me, or you. A reason to listen and make a bit more effort to watch those vulnerable road users who might do something we haven't predicted.

pwa
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby pwa » 7 Apr 2018, 10:59am

brynpoeth wrote:There was an article in the Spiegel recently about train drivers who run people over
It is a v e r y different situation from the one described here. When driving a train it is almost impossible to break the rules. It would very seldom be possible to stop in time, sometimes blowing the horn causes the person to flee just in time

Hundreds of people choose 'Freitod' (freewill death, suicide) on rail tracks each year in Germany. The DB offers drivers counselling and some can transfer to other jobs


Many years ago my Mum had to identify the body of a neighbour who had walked in front of a train on a level crossing. A suicide. It left her traumatised for a while.

brynpoeth
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Apr 2018, 11:01am

Bonefishblues wrote:I read that as an awful conjunction of two seemingly unconnected events. An oncoming motorist flashing, the driver in question flashing back, and the gentleman who was killed seeing this as a signal to step out into the road.

A better and more attentive driver might have realised the potential implications of their flashing, but I think they would be in a small minority.

When driving on single-carriageway roads I flash my lights to 'warn' oncoming drivers of cyclists ('hazards'?), I think this is allowed by the hc
One wonders whether they think I am warning them of safety cameras (I would never do that)*
If I saw someone going the other way flash I would pay special attention and slow down

* no thread drift please %)
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
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Bonefishblues
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Apr 2018, 11:05am

pwa wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:I read that as an awful conjunction of two seemingly unconnected events. An oncoming motorist flashing, the driver in question flashing back, and the gentleman who was killed seeing this as a signal to step out into the road.

A better and more attentive driver might have realised the potential implications of their flashing, but I think they would be in a small minority.


The driver criticises himself for his misinterpretation of the other driver's flashing. But when you talk about "a better or more attentive driver" I'd change that to "a driver being more attentive" because no driver is "better" all the time. All drivers have variable attentiveness. This driver may have been good earlier in the day but inattentive for a few crucial moments. That is not letting him off. It is recognising the fact that all of us are capable of inattentiveness, none of us are so good that we cannot put someone else in danger. To think otherwise is complacent. This could be me, or you. A reason to listen and make a bit more effort to watch those vulnerable road users who might do something we haven't predicted.

No, I think that a better driver would have realised that around a bus is nowhere to be flashing. It makes me cringe when I see drivers flashing pedestrians, especially children, to cross a road, for instance.