Friday, September 26, 2008

This Sounds Familiar

In an article published by the The Herald Sun questions regarding the death of Scott David Peoples have been brought to unfortunate clarity. Scott was an exceptionally talented cyclist who was only 20 years old, merely on the verge of a surely exciting and brilliant career. The driver who killed Scott was Kenneth Blay an elderly gentleman who, by all reasonable limitations, should never have been on the road that day...

It turns out that Mr. Blay was partially blind and suffered from a litany of other health problems. He was permitted to miss his court appearance as he suffers from dementia. Additionally Mr. Blay injured ANOTHER cyclist in 2003 on the same stretch of a road. Now I know this is in Australia, which is a world away, but it underscores an endemic problem world wide. If Mr. Blay, who was partially blind wasn't permitted to drive, this tragedy would not have occurred. I find this especially problematic is that the exact same thing happened to me when I was 18, minus the death.

I too was hit by a driver who was "Legally blind" yet who was permitted to keep his drivers license and permitted to drive every day unrestricted on roads that are shared by all groups of vehicles. Had this driver not been allowed on the road I wouldn't have been hit. There are countless stories like Scott's and mine, all of which are bad, some of which are tragic. My point is this: Driving restrictions are simply too loose. California has begun to restrict some of the problems such as Texting and Phone usage while driving, but not enough is being done to ensure safe passage for all on the roads through out America, and the world for that matter. There needs to be tighter restrictions, greater and more frequent testing and education as well as higher penalties when rules are broken or people are hurt. Driving is a privilege, not a right, it needs to be treated that way.

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