Bill Would Criminalize Assault by Vehicle

Comments

1
I am -ALL FOR- any measure that increases driver responsibility. It's gotten fucking ridiculous for those of us that pay attention while driving. If I don't slam on my brakes when someone cuts in front of me (and probably causing an accident in back), and happen to hit the inconsiderate bastard, I would still be at fault.

Fucking ridiculous.
2
I am -ALL FOR- any measure that increases driver responsibility. It's gotten fucking ridiculous for those of us that pay attention while driving. If I don't slam on my brakes when someone cuts in front of me (and probably causing an accident in back), and happen to hit the inconsiderate bastard, I would still be at fault.

Fucking ridiculous.
3
Damn it all. I refreshed the page three times before reposting to make sure I didn't double post. Grawr. ;-;
4
why do we need this again? If the cops would just arrest them for manslaughter this would be a non issue.

No charges were ever filed.

I hate laws that have to be created to enforce existing ones.
5
Actually, rear-ending someone who cut into your lane and stopped suddenly is one of the few times it wouldn't be your fault. Says so right in the RCW I believe.
6
This is one of those things where you would have xpected it to already be illegal.
7
Yeah, how is this not already law?
8
some legislators, who feel, as drivers, that "there but for the grace of God go I,"


Of course it doesn't occur to those legislators that they could be the victims of reckless drivers. There but for the grace of God go I, indeed.
9
i've read a story about someone on a bicycle getting hit by a car, inducing a two year coma and then a lifetime of brain damage, requiring intensive care 100% of the time.

in that case, the driver responsible was not even given a ticket, even though she drifted into the shoulder while rummaging through her grocery bag for chips. because her driving was not "reckless", i.e. swerving around erratically, she did not break any laws.

and people STILL complain about bicyclists running stop lights as if it were a deadly scourge. makes my head spin.

obviously, something needs to be done to make drivers take driving seriously, as it is an extremely dangerous and risky activity with frequent tragic consequences.

10
"It's my view that if you speed regularly through school zones and 99 percent of the time nothing happens, but one percent of the time you seriously injure somebody, that should be more serious" than a mere traffic violation, Carr says.
This is one of many examples of why getting more experience driving a car doesn't normally make you a better driver. There is no reliable feedback that drivers receive to encourage good driving and discourage bad driving. Normally bad driving incurs no penalty at all, year after year, then one day somebody dies or you get charged with a felony and you go into denial.

Look at Venus Velasquez. Appallingly horrible driver with a shitty record, but when she finally got popped for it, did she learn? Did she realize that she sucks at operating a car? Nope. Denial, denial, denial. It's human nature.

And Draconian penalties won't change that. The reason "Draconian" is a pejorative is because it doesn't work, not because it's cruel.
11
RCW 46.61.522 requires that the prosecution show that the driver was reckless, impaired, or operating the vehicle with disregard for others safety. Thus the classic 'I just didn't see them' defence essentially gets you out of jail free. The only vehicular assault and homicide cases that I am aware of in King County involved an impaired driver.

So looks like one part legal standard combined with an outright chicken shit approach to charging these cases. I'm no lawyer, but how running over someone while searching for your phone or adjusting the radio demonstrates regard for the safety of others is beyond me.

Grow a pair, Tim Carr. Your interpretation of the existing statute does all of us a disservice.
12
@10,

This law imposes some penalties on reckless driving, where now there are none. And these penalties aren't even remotely Draconian.

If no traffic laws existed and there were no penalties imposed on speeding or reckless driving, do you really believe that drivers' behavior wouldn't change?
13
Still isn't going to make bad drivers into good drivers, keshmeshi. There isn't a correlation between traffic law enforcement/penalties and driver behavior. Other things like wealth and overall corruption in a society correlate more than locking people up.

We should fund cameras in cars, to teach people how badly they suck at this thing they do every day. It would save thousands of lives and millions of dollars.
14
RCW 46.61.522 requires that the prosecution show that the driver was reckless, impaired, or operating the vehicle with disregard for others safety. Thus the classic 'I just didn't see them' defence essentially gets you out of jail free.


It seems to me that if you "just didn't see someone" that your car runs into, you were operating with "disregard for others safety." I mean, if you were having a stroke or something I can see how you might be excused for not seeing someone, but in all but the most extreme cases if your car hits something, you should have seen it.
15
I like it.

"Manslaughter in the second degree" is already supposed to be a Class B felony "when, with criminal negligence, [someone] causes the death of another person".

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?…

This new bill appears to add "serious injury" to "death" as a trigger for the law to apply.

My guess is AAA pulls a full-court press to oppose it.

I hope the bill passes, obviously.
16
I think this is a bad idea. What if it's dark and someone darts out into a crosswalk. That's a reasonable excuse to not see somebody, and the driver would be at fault, which is fine. But a crime? Jail for the driver? I'm not seeing how that would help.

And, you can tell all the sob stories you want (like @9), but throwing someone in jail isn't going to change the fact that the person who got hit is fucked. And, elenchos @13 is correct, this law isn't going to change anyone's driving habits, so what's the point?

How about making it more difficult to get a driver's license? I think the state bears some responsibility if incompetent drivers are licensed to get behind the wheel. My 85 year old grandma had her license renewed, and there's no way that ever should've happened. She was a bad driver when she was 35. It is not reasonable to expect that a bad driver who gets their license will suddenly become a good driver once they're on the open road.


17
It will change people's driving habits. Anyone who thinks that the big decline in drunk driving wasn't connected to the increase in penalties is fooling themselves. When folks hear of some buddy who got slapped with a huge fine or did jail time for fucking up while driving, they'll take it more seriously themselves.

That's how we cut down on drunk driving and it's how other countries have cut down on crappy driving (look at N. Europe's experience over the last two decades if you don't believe me. Been done already. works.)
18
There should be cameras and microphones in every car and every building. Our every move should be monitored for our own safety.
19
@16 Did you read? "would make it a crime to kill or seriously injure a person with a car while violating a traffic law"
Gets rid of any ambiguity. If you are violating a traffic law already, you are disregarding others' safety.
20
@19 Did _you_ read? "...into a crosswalk" not yielding to a ped in an xwalk = "violating a traffic law"