Saturday, February 15, 2014

Always Use Your Siren

When you are proceeding through an intersection on a green light, always be using your car’s siren. What? Your car doesn’t have a siren? Well, then you might be in trouble if some drunk runs the red light and you hit him, according to the family of a young woman who was killed in that manner, because they would say it was your fault for not using your siren.

Their daughter was a passenger in a car that ran a red light and was hit by a fire engine which was using its lights on the way to an emergency, but was not sounding its siren at the time because it was proceeding through an intersection with the green light in its favor. The driver of the car, who was not killed, has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, which makes him the proximate cause of their daughter’s death, but since he doesn’t have any money they are suing the City of Poway, which does have money. How the money they might receive will replace their daughter is unclear, and how it will compensate them for her loss is equally unclear since they would not have been expecting to depend on her income in future years.

It’s also a bit questionable that Poway has any money, since they are one of the cities that sold those “buy now pay later” bonds that carries something like 4000% interest, but that’s a different topic.

There is also some nonsense in the parents’ claim about the fire engine driver not being properly trained. It originated with the driver not yet having the actual license, but that is not the same as not being trained. The license itself does not convey any training, and part of the training that must be performed is to drive the engine under actual emergency conditions.

The parents’ lawyer says that the fire department must assure that its fire engines are “controlled in a way that it won't hit cars in an intersection regardless of the driver of the passenger car,” which is an utterly ridiculous statement. It’s saying that you must avoid an accident even if I’m trying to create it, and if you fail to do so you are at fault.

I would love to be on that jury. Poway would love me on that jury.

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