I need to vent.....I'm still battle fatigued because of this.....
Whilst returning home from my date last night, I was stuck in what had to be the worst traffic jam I've sat in for a very long time.
I was driving westbound on Interstate 10, and right after Cedar Ave, the freeway just stopped. Turned into a total parking lot. And the next exit is Sierra Avenue, which is 2 miles down the road, so I am pretty much screwed. So I turn on my local radio news station, KFWB AM 980. They have traffic reports "On the ones"....
Anyway, sure enough, they announced that the 10 west was closed at Sierra due to a hit-and-run accident.
I sat there, marrooned in my car...wanting to gouge my own eyeballs or burn my hands with my cigarette lighter just for want of something to do. The freeway was going NOWHERE. That particular stretch of freeway normally takes about 2 or 3 minutes to traverse took me over 2 HOURS last night.
Anyway, whilst stranded on the 10, and watching traffic on the eastbound side roll freely....I also watched several trains go by on the tracks that run parallel to the freeway...and I did some thinking.
We need to punish drivers that do not know how to drive.
As we all know, any time there's a traffic collision, the traffic comes to a screeching halt. Of course this is in part due to the local law enforcement and the wreck itself blocking lanes. Then you have your lookie-loos...I'll address those later.
I have come to the conclusion that anyone that causes a wreck needs to pay heavy consequences. Not only for the damage they did to the other person(s) vehicle(s) but also the damage inflicted on the passing public. Think about the stress incurred...the lost time...the aggravation. Why not send a message saying that if you cause an accident, you're gonna pay heavily for it?
It could go something like this:
If you are determined to be at fault for an accident, irregardless of the circumstances, it's an automatic $10,000 fine, 6 month suspension of drivers license, and 30 days in the county jail. If you are caught driving after the 30 days in jail, but before the 6 months are up, it becomes an automatic impound and sale of the vehicle, lifetime loss of drivers license, and 1 year in jail. And if you are caught again, it's lifetime imprisonment without possibility of parole. Sound ludicrously harsh? Yes, even I realize it does....but getting caught like that means you are incapable of abiding by the law, and that instantly labels you as a danger to society. Punishment like that will make all but the dumbest of people think twice before cutting off that big rig, or attempting to do 90 while talking on the cell phone, checking your e-mail, sending a fax and stirring your coffee.
Sound harsh? You bet. That's the idea. Maybe it will get the message across that you better pay attention when driving.
I realize that many, if not, most accidents are the result of shared blame on the part of the drivers involved. The penalties will apply if you are determined to be >51% responsible. Lesser penalties can be imposed on the other party.
Is this something that would work if implemented or did I sniff too many diesel fumes while stuck last night?
Maybe Copper1 can reply...
As for those damn bottlenecks and everyone slowing things down to see the wreckage....well as much as I hate that, there really isn't anything that you can do about that. It's just human nature.
Maybe if we can prevent these wrecks by imposing very steep penalties for those responsible, there won't be anything to stop and look at.
Please remember, I am venting as I write this, so it may seem a little disjointed........
Hopefully after I calm down, and someone replies, I can discuss it a little more rationally.