Opinion: Provide Solutions, Not Accusations | Avi Gutfreund

I was shocked to see and hear how many people were so quick to begin pointing fingers when recent footage of a child being struck by a vehicle was published. In a matter of minutes, accusations were flying, including some that were completely ridiculous, yet still, the individual[s] saying it had complete confidence in their words. 

Some people blamed the driver of the car – accusing him of being on his phone or even being high on drugs. There is no evidence for either of those accusations, but people still have no qualms with lobbing them at a person they don’t even know. Did they take into account that at the time the accident occurred, the glare from the sun would have been intense and it is very likely – a lot more likely than the driver being on the phone or high – that the driver was simply blinded, never seeing the flashing lights on the bus or the child crossing the street? No, of course not. We just want to lay blame without thinking for a minute.

Then there were those pointing fingers at the bus driver for not blocking the road with his vehicle. I’m sorry, but show me in the bus driver’s handbook where it says they are supposed to do that. In fact, it is possibly illegal for them to do so. I support the practice, but why are we blaming the driver for doing things by the book? If you don’t like the book, change it, but don’t blame the guy following it.

And of course there are many who are blaming the LSTA for making a bus stop where children have to cross the street. Again, there is no blame to be put on them either. The LSTA has the very difficult job of trying to set up bus stops for tens of thousands of children every day. It is impossible that some of those stops will force children to cross the street; it is mathematically impossible otherwise. Is it optimal? No, of course not. But it is the reality of the situation. And, by the way, crossing streets to get to a bus are not a new thing – there is a reason busses have those flashing lights in the first place.

The bottom line here is that you don’t know the circumstances of the accident in which a child was struck by a vehicle. I don’t know them either. But at least I’m not dumb enough to think that I am so intelligent that I can pass judgment on a terrifying story without knowing a single fact. Unfortunately, there seems to be an abundance of people who have no problem doing that.

You want things like this not to happen again? Provide a suggestion. The traffic around Lakewood is very bad, we know that. In a city of 100,000 people, accidents are bound to occur. Add on top of that the level of congestion in Lakewood, and not having accidents is an impossibility. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make things better – we absolutely should, and the way to begin that is by having a discussion. But pointing fingers at people doesn’t only accomplish nothing, it causes the level of conversation to devolve into unnecessary animosity and hatred.

I don’t know for sure how to fix the problem of traffic and pedestrian accidents around Lakewood, but I do know that falsely accusing people without knowing a stitch about the circumstances isn’t it.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not arguing with your main point, but it should be noted that sun glare is not a valid excuse for motor vehicle accidents, except in very rare cases. 99% of the time, we are aware that there is glare and we are supposed to react in 1 or 2 ways: 1: put the visor down to block the glare; 2: if 1 is not effective, immediately slow down or even stop, because now, you are driving blind. No one would suggest that a blind person can drive. No one blinded by the sun can drive. Slow down or stop. By continuing in this case, the driver may have had other issues, but sun glare would not be an excuse.

    PS. The 1% exception might be if the driver had no warning that there would be glare and it happened in a literal split second.

  2. Here is a solution. Stop the insane overbuilding and that will help stop the insane traffic on roads that were never designed to handle it. Less traffic would mean safer roads.

  3. There is a constant blame put on the traffic and overbuilding in the area – I’m sorry, but almost all of us have seen a car going through a bus’ red lights, driving too fast, not stopping at stop signs, not giving the right of way, making aggressive left turns, making aggressive right turn’s on red, going too fast through yellow lights trying to beat the red, and the list goes on and on and on. We see it from our own community as well a those outside. If people obey the rules of the road, there will be less problems – simple

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