Tag Archives: accountability

What IS the government’s Vision Zero policy? Zero Deaths or Zero Jail Time?

“29 Lives Lost = 1 Year in Jail for Coal Executive – Hundreds of Auto Deaths = Zero Jail Time”

This is the title of the latest email from Care for Crash Victims and the letter is below:

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

ABC News reports:

“Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, was convicted in December of one of three counts against him for conspiring to “willfully violate mandatory mine health and safety standards” at the Upper Big Branch mine that claimed the lives of 29 men in an explosion on April 5, 2010. A federal safety inspection later found that “if basic safety measures had been in place… there would have been no loss of life at UBB [Upper Big Branch].”

Blankenship was sentenced today to one year in prison, plus one year’s supervised release and a $250,000 fine -– the maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge, according to ABC News’ local affiliate WCHS. Prosecutors had bemoaned such a short maximum sentence for what they called “monstrous” wrongdoing.”  See

http://abcnews.go.com/US/coal-king-don-blankenship-year-prison-deadly-mine/story?id=38191606

In the auto safety field:

GM defect resulted in 174 deaths.  See Criminal settlement at http://www.autosafety.org/cas-statement-gm-criminal-settlement-justice-department/

Jeep defect resulted in more than 100 deaths.  See http://www.autosafety.org/jeep-grand-cherokee-fires-homepage/

Corporate and Government Executive Jail time = 0 days

This is one result of the U.S. government’s Vision Zero policy for crash deaths and serious injuries.

Lou

What is the government’s Vision Zero policy? Zero Deaths or Zero Jail Time? Who will pay the penalty for preventable crash deaths? When will the government step up to bring about tangible change through stringent measures?

Does a vehicle manufacturer bear responsibility for death and injury caused by a safety defect in their product?

Rear Seat Deaths; one more case of a deadly defect being ignored?  The Hidden Danger of Riding in the Back Seat

Tell Obama you are standing with us in this: “Family Continues Fight for Trucking Safety”

Do it, President Obama, for We the People of this United States of America! #VisionZero

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Careless Attitudes Can Contribute to Unnecessary Deaths

Over and over, I hear the litany: “Yes, that is important (fixing a design flaw), but what we really want to do is stop crashes.”

Yes, I want to stop/prevent crashes as well. That is very important to me. But, it seems to me, such an attitude displays a lack of commitment to fixing design flaws and indicates a disregard for lives lost due to delays and inadequate improvements.

In other words, Safety Is Not REALLY a Priority and so–in my mind–there are too many people whose actions contribute to unlawful deaths. I am not trying to imply that they act knowingly & intentionally. But the end result is the same: preventable & tragic deaths.

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Unfortunately, “they” apparently don’t see it that way. However, I’m quite sure that they would get it if one of their loved ones was killed by a “defective product”; money would not be an object and they would be searching day and night–just like me–to find a solution to the problem. And, just like me, designing the best possible protection as quickly as possible would become their goal.

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This has been my opinion for awhile now (months which are turning into years following that tragic day: May 4, 2013)–ever since I was in a truck crash which I survived and my daughters did not (the underride guard did not prevent them from going under the truck). And I have written about it before:

But every time I run across this attitude again, it creates fresh pain and frustration. It leads to hopelessness about things ever truly changing to prevent further heartbreak, like in a phone call which I had recently where I heard it again: “We want to do something about [this defect] but we really want to prevent crashes.” I do, too. But that does not negate the importance of making vital improvements in order to make crashes–when they inevitably do occur–less likely to end in death.

Let’s not allow product liability to be treated lightly. [http://tinyurl.com/o69fgua] Somebody needs to be held responsible for NEGLIGENCE which leads to horrific injury and/or death. Before it is too late. . .

For example, read this account of the recent $150 million settlement in the death of a child, Remington Cole Walden, in a Chrysler Jeep Cherokee:

When manufacturers are not held responsible legally or ethically for identifying and providing the best possible protection but are allowed to look the other way–sweeping the problems under a rug–then no one is truly held accountable for deaths. The result–too often–is that there is no change or the change is too little or comes too late for too many loved ones.

This careless attitude is seen in those whose reckless actions–with a disregard for the lives of others–end in crash fatalities for other reasons as well. What will it take to shake us out of our complacency? Government regulations, law enforcement, stiffer consequences for those held responsible? Death of a loved one?

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AnnaLeah and Mary had their lives abruptly ended–like so many others. That is not natural. Were it not for the reckless actions of others, they, too, like Abraham and Job could have died “a ripe old age. . . and satisfied with life.” (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+15%3A15&version=NKJV  and  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+25%3A8&version=NASB )

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Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition:   http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Road Safety Wake-Up Call: Let’s Not Settle For The Status Quo

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Britain experienced an increase in road casualties in the 12-month period ending September 2014. Some see it as a wake-up call:

“Pete Williams, RAC head of external affairs, said: ‘It is alarming to see that years of progress on road safety appears to have come to an abrupt halt, and in fact we have witnessed the first year-on-year rise in road fatalities and casualties in over 30 years.

‘We need a commitment to a long-term vision of nobody being killed or seriously injured on our roads, rather than settling for the status quo.’ . . .

‘This is surely the wake-up call that is needed to give the topic the attention and resources it deserves.’ . . .

The IAM expressed its ‘disappointment’ at the rise in KSIs, blaming the increase on ‘many years of Government cutbacks and the resulting drop in visible policing’. ”

– See more at: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/4171.html#sthash.F1gVBpP8.dpuf

Of course, the responsibility for the occurrence of road crashes, fatalities, and injuries is rightfully a shared matter. Likewise doing something to bring about change should also be shared.

Ignoring the problem is not the answer. Pointing the finger at someone else (while denying your own culpability) is also not the answer. Working together sounds like a good idea to me.

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Truck Crashes: Who Pays The Price?

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Just saw an article about a state trooper who was injured in a truck crash. He is pushing for a stiffer charge against the trucker. Finding resistance to his attempt. . .

Imagine that.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora/ct-trooper-news-conference-met-0128-20150127-story.html

In a related link, it is clear that attempts to hold trucking companies responsible for the actions of their drivers also too often fall short. Who pays the price?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-lisle/chi-naperville-trucking-company-wins-ruling-to-return-to-road-20140416-story.html

Unless things change in a major way, there will continue to be countless, similar cases where enforcement is compromised and accountability is absent. I have addressed the issue of justice previously: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/justice/

Pay Attention, America! Help bring totally avoidable crashes to a stop!

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Please read this article written about the unfolding tragedy–which never seems to end–due to a truck/car crash in August 2010.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-30/death-on-highway-leaves-trucker-angry-at-widower-and-god.html

I did a chart showing the estimated number of deaths due to truck crashes, just since 1984, and the lives impacted–almost 500,000 people who had a curve ball thrown at them when they were not looking and many of them likely still not over it to this day.  Truck Crash Fatality Chart

I recently wrote about some of my own struggles in coping with a senseless tragedy:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=707717949310722&id=464993830249803 

In fact, I have taken advantage of facebook and our own memorial website to express what we have been going through. It has helped me immensely. I hope that it will help others.

Justice: Up close and personal

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Have you ever had to struggle with the meaning of justice in your life? Up close and personal?

Who, if anyone, should be held accountable for the loss of innocent life? (I am thinking of not only this one case, but also of the 4,000 truck crash fatalities each year—on average—although not all the fault of the truck driver.) And what should be the consequences of their actions?

(I have addressed this issue to some extent in a previous post, “Our Crash Was Not An Accident”: http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/ .)

Pray for us to have wisdom and peace as we face this question and the opportunity to communicate to a judge by way of a Victim Impact Statement. May we plant seeds which will have far-reaching impact.

(Note: A plea offer has been made with a possible hearing in Georgia on September 22—which we plan to attend.)

“Give the king Thy judgments, O God,
And Thy righteousness to the king’s son.
May he judge Thy people with righteousness,
And Thine afflicted with justice.

He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.
He will rescue their life from oppression and violence;
And their blood will be precious in his sight;…

And let them pray for him continually…”
Psalm 72:1-2, 13-15

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