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Driving Ethics

From The Journal News in the Hudson Valley (via Streetsblog), a bill to require that drivers stop and see what they have hit:

In response to a hit-and-run accident on Interstate 390 in Livingston County that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old woman in 2007, the Assembly Transportation Committee will consider a bill this week to require drivers who hit something to stop to check what they collided with.

Kaitlyn Charity, a student at the State University of New York at Geneseo, was walking on the side of a highway in the town of Groveland on Oct. 21, 2007, when she was struck first by a tractor-trailer, and then by two smaller vehicles.
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None of the drivers who hit Charity stopped to see if they hit a person, but all three checked to see what damage was done to their vehicles, Livingston County Sheriff Jack York said.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 9:07 am and is filed under Traffic Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Driving Ethics”

  1. MikeOnBike Says:

    Hit-and-run isn’t already illegal?

  2. Iago Says:

    I don’t think any law is going to have any effect on something like that. The kind of attitude we see too often in drivers that take them to do something like that can only be modified through education. The recent local example I know of involves a mother hitting a teenager on the road to the nursery where her child was waiting for her. The boy was left with a broken leg and she did not stop, because she was already late for picking up her child. No fine is going to change her ‘five minutes of my toddler are far more valuable than your broken leg’ view of life. I would love to be be proved wrong, though. Will have to see what the effect of that legislation is.

  3. Nick Says:

    “Hit-and-run isn’t already illegal?”

    What they’re trying to address here is that hit-and-run is a crime of intent, in order to be convicted you have to have done it deliberately. A defense is unintentional hit-and-run: you didn’t realize you had hit something you had to stop for, since it’s only hit-and-run if you hit something that causes damage to another person or their property. What they’re trying to create here is a duty to stop and find out what it was you hit.

  4. Jack Says:

    Our laws need to change. An act of hit-&-run should not be nullified by simply claiming ignorance. In addition, penalties for moving violations, especially when someone is hit, requires license suspension if we want our laws to be effective.

  5. Lee Watkins Says:

    I find that strange. Why is hit and run a crime of intent? I think if you ask anyone on the street what hit and run means, they will tell you it means you hit something and kept going. What does intent have to do with it? If there is not already a legal obligation not crash into things?

  6. grace dunn Says:

    I wish the driver of the semi would have stopped. He knew he hit something a normal person would go and check. That was my family member I do think a law should be passed. No jail time for an animal struck. But a person shouldnt there be some penalty.

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

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