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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 14:07 
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JT wrote:
Presumably you favour a further move towards American culture then - as perhaps evidenced by your preference of "gotten" in place of "become"?


I'm a citizen of Canada - I can use "gotten" in place of "become" any time I like!

JT wrote:
Yes, society would really be a better place if road accidents led to shooting incidents instead of slanging matches (or in extremis fisticuffs) as at present. :roll:


Americans have more self restraint when accidents happen because they have to - or risk things getting way out of hand. We don't have that constraint here because things are limited to fisticuffs, so the coppers should be harder on people to discourage yobbo behaviour.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 14:14 
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basingwerk wrote:
NEIL JEFFREYS wrote:
Are you saying that anyone who spits chewing gum on the pavement should go straight to court. This reeks of zero tollerance policing, which is probably the most damaging and stupid policy any force can employ.


You are right,– a police officer must be able to use judgement. But don’t go easy on mouthy yobbos just because they are driving a nice car. Treat them like you would anyone who is shouting the odds in the street.

Take Ray Mallon (Robocop). He reckons we've cut the yobs way to much slack in the past and we are paying for it now. I'm saying we should have started to fine them on the spot a while back - no need to involve court in that. If we hit them where it hurts (in the pocket), we won’t have all these anti-social berks (drunks, speeders, abusive yobbos etc) causing all this expense to the taxpayer, i.e. to me!

NEIL JEFFREYS wrote:
A certain amount of tolerance is needed in society. There are better ways of dealing with people for minor offences, than sending them to court.


As long as these better ways don’t cost me anything and work, I’m OK with that. But we’re already paying the wages of an army of coppers and the yobbos at it more than ever. What’s the answer, Neil? Softly softly, or to go after them with a big stick? I think the latter at least gives you the satisfaction of lashing out at the drunks, speeders, and abusive yobbos, which keeps them on the hop.


There is a clear difference between my point and yours. I am reffering to everyday folk who for once in their life have found themselves on the wrong side of the law for what may be a very trivial matter.

You are reffering to Yobs. I take a very dim view of people like this. As part of a pro active community policing team in a deprived area, I deal with yobs on a regular basis, and give them no tollerance at all, untill they show a marked improvemnt in thier behaviour.

The point I am making is that anyone can make a mistake, and in certain circumstances, they should not allways have to go to court.

I certainly enjoy arresting my favourite yobs :D and love the feedback I get from the community when they are locked up, or given an ASBO.

Finally softly softly does work, it also gives me more time to deal with the real trouble makers, who get no softly softly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 14:23 
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Twister wrote:
Americans are allowed to shoot people just because they don't like the way they were talking to them?


It depends. If you say 'I am going to knock your block off' and advance menacingly, shooting might be appropriate. If you say 'that was a little careless, old chap' with a shrug, shooting would most certainly not be appropriate.

Twister wrote:
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It seems that British males have become prone to these outbursts
Umm, don't be sexist, British women are just as capable of producing such outbursts.
Indeed they are, although road rage is mostly attributed to young men.

Twister wrote:
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Now guys have to know that a piece of tin is not worth getting into trouble over, and abusive outbursts of panic don't send the right signals when an accident happens.


That sounds like the start of a slippery slope down to a place where we let people get away with causing all manner of damage to our personal possessions.


We are talking about accidents here, which are, by definition, not deliberate. Any bloke who thinks he has been intentionally t-boned by a complete stranger should be banned on grounds on mental delusions.

Twister wrote:
Indeed, isn't the real reason the yob culture is now so prevalent not because we tolerate it - because if you ask the average person in the street, chances are they'll say they find such behaviour revolting - but because through years of leftie lentilist do-gooder thinking, we've stripped the police and other authority figures of practically all their real power to do anything about it? We now have at least two generations who've grown up knowing they can, more or less, get away with anything they like, so not only do we have youngsters running riot in the streets, we also have parents of these youngsters who see nothing wrong in the behaviour of their beloved offspring.


Absolutely - we have mixed up professionalism with liberalism, and there is no connection. Proper policing must be impartial and unbiased, and mechanisms should exist to monitor the coppers to ensure they do the job properly. But policing but need not be liberal. We need to break that connection. We need no-nonsense but professional and unbiased policing. The trick is finding the balance, e.g. Ray Mallon, mayor (and former RoboCop) in Middlesbrough.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 14:49 
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NEIL JEFFREYS wrote:
I am referring to everyday folk who for once in their life have found themselves on the wrong side of the law for what may be a very trivial matter.


The victims of the abuse aren't helped by that. Fair play to you, though - if it is a unique situation, you should have the option to tick the perpetrator off and tell him to apologise nicely and let the matter rest.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 15:04 
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basingwerk wrote:
Twister wrote:
Americans are allowed to shoot people just because they don't like the way they were talking to them?


It depends. If you say 'I am going to knock your block off' and advance menacingly, shooting might be appropriate. If you say 'that was a little careless, old chap' with a shrug, shooting would most certainly not be appropriate.


So in Neils original post, where the accident victim simply gets out of their car and shouts at the other driver - regardless of the tone of language being used - whilst maintaining the physical distance between them, you'd agree that being shot at in return would be unacceptable? If so, why bring up the gun issue in the first place, and if not, then why not given what you've just written?


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We are talking about accidents here, which are, by definition, not deliberate. Any bloke who thinks he has been intentionally t-boned by a complete stranger should be banned on grounds on mental delusions.


Whilst accidents aren't premeditated, I think there's grounds for treating a clearly avoidable accident (e.g. someone pulls out of a minor road without looking and collides with someone on the major road) as if there was a certain level of deliberate action involved. From the point of view of the innocent victim, does it really matter whether or not the person who collided with them deliberately set out to hit them, or did so as a result of sheer incompetence?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 15:09 
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basingwerk wrote:
NEIL JEFFREYS wrote:
I am referring to everyday folk who for once in their life have found themselves on the wrong side of the law for what may be a very trivial matter.


The victims of the abuse aren't helped by that.


But don't forget that in the example given by Neil, the "victim" of this "abuse" is the driver who's just t-boned another vehicle... Let's not forget the true victim of the example, the innocent driver who's just been on the receiving end of a collision, with all the resultant mental and physical shock that entails.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 15:39 
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Twister wrote:
So in Neils original post, where the accident victim simply gets out of their car and shouts at the other driver - regardless of the tone of language being used - whilst maintaining the physical distance between them, you'd agree that being shot at in return would be unacceptable? If so, why bring up the gun issue in the first place, and if not, then why not given what you've just written?


If you have a gun, you have power to protect yourself. If you have no gun, the coppers use power to protect you. That is the deal in the UK, Twister. If they let the yobs curse and swear at you because their toy is damaged, they are not doing their job properly.

Quote:
there's grounds for treating a clearly avoidable accident as if there was a certain level of deliberate action involved.


Like the Russian bloke who shot the air traffic controller in Zurich? No way - there is nothing personal in it.

Twister wrote:
Let's not forget the true victim of the example, the innocent driver who's just been on the receiving end of a collision, with all the resultant mental and physical shock that entails.


But most of all, let's not forget the damage to the shiny toy. Listen - anybody involved in an accident must pay due regard to the other people's heath and safety before whining about the damage to their car's bodywork! Simple as that.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 15:44 
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NEIL JEFFREYS wrote:
My final word at non injury accidents are, everyone is ok, and a car is only plastic and metal for the insurance company to sort out.


Your attitude is not encouraging nor, in my opinion, correct. Accidents/collisions are rarely just 'bad luck'. The difference between an injury acident and a non-injury accident is often no more than mere fortuity.

I find it incredible that the driver (causing a collision) whose carelessness/incompetence is self-evident (by reason of the collision) may escape legal sanction entirely whilst another driver, by exceeding an arbitrary speed limit in total (relative) safety, may lose his licence and livelihood.

Any crash is, except in very rare cases, the result of (at least) lack of due care on the part of at least one driver. If that self-evident breach invariably resulted in a prosecution, perhaps the drivers who cause crashes would become more responsible.


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Observer wrote:
Accidents/collisions are rarely just 'bad luck'. The difference between an injury accident and a non-injury accident is often no more than mere fortuity.


But accidents are almost never intentional.

Observer wrote:
I find it incredible that the driver (causing a collision) whose carelessness/incompetence is self-evident (by reason of the collision) may escape legal sanction entirely whilst another driver, by exceeding an arbitrary speed limit in total (relative) safety, may lose his licence and livelihood.


Yet is right that a wrong-doing that is intentional (such as speeding) should be treated more harshly that a wrong-doing that is not.

Observer wrote:
Any crash is, except in very rare cases, the result of (at least) lack of due care on the part of at least one driver. If that self-evident breach invariably resulted in a prosecution, perhaps the drivers who cause crashes would become more responsible.


Any crash is the result of lack of due care on the part of at least one driver combined with a random element of bad luck. Many crashes don't happen because the bad luck element is missing. Any breach should result in a prosecution, because an accident could have happened if it had been coincident with a random element of bad luck. The gravity of any offence is the same whether an accident happens or not, because (as far as the system is concerned) the chance of causing an accident was the same in both cases when the driver committed the offence, but in one case, the driver was lucky and in the other, not lucky.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 16:50 
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basingwerk wrote:
Yet is right that a wrong-doing that is intentional (such as speeding) should be treated more harshly that a wrong-doing that is not.

Why the assumption that speeding is intentional?

But even if we allow you this blatantly untrue assumption, do you really believe that road safety is improved by punishing errors that don't cause accidents more than those that do?

My flabber is well and truly gasted!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 16:51 
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basingwerk wrote:
Twister wrote:
So in Neils original post, where the accident victim simply gets out of their car and shouts at the other driver - regardless of the tone of language being used - whilst maintaining the physical distance between them, you'd agree that being shot at in return would be unacceptable? If so, why bring up the gun issue in the first place, and if not, then why not given what you've just written?


If you have a gun, you have power to protect yourself. If you have no gun, the coppers use power to protect you.


But what, exactly, are you being protected from, hmm? A bit of verbal abuse. If someone is so thin skinned or easily offended that they need to carry a gun or have the support of the local police force to protect themselves against a raised voice and a few choice swear words, then perhaps they're the ones who need to seek professional help.

Remember, we're not talking about being protecting the accident-causing driver from a genuine threat of physical attack, we're talking about an innocent driver, shocked and stunned on the receiving end of someone elses driving mistake, verbally lashing out at the idiot who's just placed their life at risk. Can't you see the difference between this sort of confrontation and one where an ability to perform self-defence (directly through use of personal weaponry, or indirectly through use of a third-party interceding on your behalf) IS genuinely necessary?


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Quote:
there's grounds for treating a clearly avoidable accident as if there was a certain level of deliberate action involved.


Like the Russian bloke who shot the air traffic controller in Zurich? No way - there is nothing personal in it.


I wasn't suggesting we should start shooting at numpty drivers who collide with us because of their incompetence, nor was I suggesting that there might be something personal in an accident. Indeed, even if someones actions are deliberate, that doesn't mean there must be a personal aspect involved as well. But if someone, as a result of their incompetence, causes an accident to occur, it should be treated in a different way to an accident that occurs more, how shall I put it, accidentally. Someone collides with the rear of your car because they weren't paying attention. Someone collides with the rear of your car because their brakes suddenly failed. Are they both the same kind of accident? Not in my book, and if I were the victim in both of these scenarios my feelings towards the driver hitting me in the former would be very different towards the driver hitting me in the latter. Is that wrong?



Quote:
Twister wrote:
Let's not forget the true victim of the example, the innocent driver who's just been on the receiving end of a collision, with all the resultant mental and physical shock that entails.


But most of all, let's not forget the damage to the shiny toy. Listen - anybody involved in an accident must pay due regard to the other people's heath and safety before whining about the damage to their car's bodywork! Simple as that.


True, but that doesn't mean the material damage isn't also important. Damaged vehicles can be repaired or replaced, but someone has to pay for that, someone will be inconvenienced by that. If the poor behaviour of another road user cause me financial penalty and/or to expend my time and energy getting my car repaired or replaced, then don't I have a justifiable reason to be angry with them even if no-one was injured?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 16:58 
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Twister wrote:
Someone collides with the rear of your car because they weren't paying attention. Someone collides with the rear of your car because their brakes suddenly failed. Are they both the same kind of accident?


As far I anyone can tell, these are exactly the same cases - you could not tell the difference if you were hit in this way, so it is best to keep calm until you know.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 17:44 
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basingwerk wrote:
Observer wrote:
Accidents/collisions are rarely just 'bad luck'. The difference between an injury accident and a non-injury accident is often no more than mere fortuity.


But accidents are almost never intentional.


I'd have said that an accident is never "intentional". If intentional, it's not "accidental"

basingwerk wrote:
Observer wrote:
I find it incredible that the driver (causing a collision) whose carelessness/incompetence is self-evident (by reason of the collision) may escape legal sanction entirely whilst another driver, by exceeding an arbitrary speed limit in total (relative) safety, may lose his licence and livelihood.


Yet is right that a wrong-doing that is intentional (such as speeding) should be treated more harshly that a wrong-doing that is not.


Simplistic and flawed logic. Your point has merit subject to the crucial qualification ".... all else being equal". An unintentional collision is not equal to intentional speeding (if the latter results in no harm). I accept there are questions of degree but that underlines the absurdity of your simplistic contention.

Observer wrote:
Any crash is, except in very rare cases, the result of (at least) lack of due care on the part of at least one driver. If that self-evident breach invariably resulted in a prosecution, perhaps the drivers who cause crashes would become more responsible.


basingwerk wrote:
Any crash is the result of lack of due care on the part of at least one driver combined with a random element of bad luck. Many crashes don't happen because the bad luck element is missing. Any breach should result in a prosecution, because an accident could have happened if it had been coincident with a random element of bad luck.


Absolute claptrap. You need to get your thinking sorted out and turned right way up. Bad luck is not a necessary component in any crash. Lack of due care almost invariably is. It is true that lack of due care will not always result in a crash but that's a quite different conclusion. Ypu said: "Many crashes don't happen because the bad luck element is missing"? Do you really attribute safe driving and accident avoidance to luck?

basingwerk wrote:
The gravity of any offence is the same whether an accident happens or not, because (as far as the system is concerned) the chance of causing an accident was the same in both cases when the driver committed the offence, but in one case, the driver was lucky and in the other, not lucky.


More claptrap. So you assert that "the chance of causing an accident" is the same (say): (i) regardless of circumstances?; or (ii) regardless of the nature of the 'offence'?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 18:29 
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I'm actually quite intrigued by the emergence of the concept of 'luck' in this thread. I believe that this is the way many people who are involved in incidents look at it, a matter of bad luck.
Even the use of the word 'accident' attracts the insinuation of an element of misfortune in the event; "That's why they are called accidents" I once saw written in a newspaper letter.
IMHO, categorising motor vehicle incidents in this way represents a 'societal acceptance' of the inevitability that circumstances will periodically conspire to create a crash and that drivers themselves are just unlucky if they happen to be involved. I recall very well the time I was rear-ended by a van driver on the A1 and the driver's point blank refusal to accept that, had he left a larger gap betwen us, it could have been avoided. Even the witnesses who stopped to check all was OK, shrugged and put it down to 'one of those things that happens'.
Countering this blithe acceptance of 'bad luck' as a factor in motor vehicle incidents msut sit somewhere high on the list of 'things to be corrected' in the minds of the motoring public.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 02:22 
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Rigpig wrote:
Countering this blithe acceptance of 'bad luck' as a factor in motor vehicle incidents msut sit somewhere high on the list of 'things to be corrected' in the minds of the motoring public.


The flip side of this "bad luck" thing is individual responsibility.

My first responsibility is to not cause a crash.
My second responsibility is to avoid the mistakes of others.

So rather than trying to say: "it's not luck", I think we should be saying: "it's your responsibility". It's more positive, and it goes further.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 06:49 
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Observer wrote:
I find it incredible that the driver (causing a collision) whose carelessness/incompetence is self-evident (by reason of the collision) may escape legal sanction entirely whilst another driver, by exceeding an arbitrary speed limit in total (relative) safety, may lose his licence and livelihood.


There seems to be an assumption in there that a "legal sanction" may make careless driving accidents less likely.

I can't really see it myself, unless the legal sanction is enforced training.

I'm not at all sure we have the right assumptions of carelessness in place either. We might well be able to use the law to prevent folk eating their Mars bars, but then I'd be absolutely amazed if eating a Mars bars had ever actually caused a crash. The sorts of carelessness that do lead to crashes are failing to observe adequately and failing to pay attention in general.

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Observer wrote:
Absolute claptrap. You need to get your thinking sorted out and turned right way up. Bad luck is not a necessary component in any crash. Lack of due care almost invariably is.


What a load of tosh! A driver who is driving perfectly can still have an accident because he has the bad bad luck to be on the road at the same time and place place as a tosser. A driver who is driving attrociously often narrowly avoids crashing (for a long time at least) because of the compensation of others. Until we realise that there are random issues that we have variable degrees of control over (luck, or lack thereof), we will take risks we don't understand by e.g. speeding etc.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:01 
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JT wrote:
Why the assumption that speeding is intentional?


Because there are millions of signs to show the limit, every single car on the road has a speedo and knowledge is tested when you get your licence. I can't believe there are people out there who can't tell the difference between being within the limit and over it. Most are just chancing it, hoping for the best.

JT wrote:
do you really believe that road safety is improved by punishing errors that don't cause accidents more than those that do?


No, equally, not more. This is coherent - it is only possible to tell the type of the error (crash error or non-crash error) after a crash has happened, not before, even if the apriori risk assessment of the likelyhood of that specific error causing a crash is identical. It stands to reason, therefore, that the gravity of the offence at the time it is committed (i.e. before a crash or non-crash)is identical whether a crash happens or not, because the perpetrator has no knowledge of whether a crash will happen (drivers are very poor judges of their own abilities). If the gravity of the offence is the same, then the punishment should be the same in my view.

As an analogy, consider this. If I stand in a room with a blind fold and shoot, and someone is hit, I should be punished. If I stand in a room with a blind fold and shoot, and nobody is hit, I should be punished just as much.

JT wrote:
My flabber is well and truly gasted!


If it wasn't gasted before, I bet it is now!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:35 
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basingwerk wrote:
Observer wrote:
Absolute claptrap. You need to get your thinking sorted out and turned right way up. Bad luck is not a necessary component in any crash. Lack of due care almost invariably is.


What a load of tosh! A driver who is driving perfectly can still have an accident because he has the bad bad luck to be on the road at the same time and place place as a tosser. A driver who is driving attrociously often narrowly avoids crashing (for a long time at least) because of the compensation of others. Until we realise that there are random issues that we have variable degrees of control over (luck, or lack thereof), we will take risks we don't understand by e.g. speeding etc.


You're reverting to your trademark qualities of argumentativeness and sophistry, basingwerk. Bad luck is (almost) never a necessary component in accident causation. Obviously a careful driver may become involved in an accident, through no fault of his own, because of bad luck (although better drivers will tend to avoid 'bad luck' through good hazard perception and anticipation).

A classic example of a basingwerk fairy tale analogy:

basingwerk wrote:
As an analogy, consider this. If I stand in a room with a blind fold and shoot, and someone is hit, I should be punished.

If I stand in a room with a blind fold and shoot, and nobody is hit, I should be punished just as much.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:01 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Observer wrote:
I find it incredible that the driver (causing a collision) whose carelessness/incompetence is self-evident (by reason of the collision) may escape legal sanction entirely whilst another driver, by exceeding an arbitrary speed limit in total (relative) safety, may lose his licence and livelihood.


There seems to be an assumption in there that a "legal sanction" may make careless driving accidents less likely.

I can't really see it myself, unless the legal sanction is enforced training.


I'd support enforced training as an alternative legal sanction and agree it could be more effective in reducing such accidents. However, I was aiming at the contrast between the existence of a sanction for speeding (often no safety violation) and (often) none for causing a crash (self-evident safety violation).

SafeSpeed wrote:
'm not at all sure we have the right assumptions of carelessness in place either. We might well be able to use the law to prevent folk eating their Mars bars, but then I'd be absolutely amazed if eating a Mars bars had ever actually caused a crash. The sorts of carelessness that do lead to crashes are failing to observe adequately and failing to pay attention in general.


Agreed. That's why the mobile phone use law is unnecessary (although I'd concede it may be justified if there was evidence of a statistically significant correlation between mobile use and accidents).


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