Bad drivers who injure or kill must be punished

The first news reports called it an “accident,” as if the collision between a pickup truck driven by Robert Fleming and a bicycle ridden by Susan DeSotel could not have been avoided. It could have.

If Fleming did, in fact, turn in front of the oncoming bicyclist, who suffered critical head injuries when she slammed into the truck, it is clear that he was responsible and could have chosen differently.

Police apparently had enough information to report that Fleming made the dangerous turn into DeSotel’s path, essentially failing to yield the right of way and endangering her life. Still, they declined to file charges immediately.

When a motorist severely injures or kills another person as the result of carelessness, drunkenness, recklessness or simple stupidity, there must be legal consequences.

Maybe the sight of a bad driver behind bars will inspire other motorists to learn how to drive without endangering the lives of their fellow citizens.

Do not accept less.

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5 Responses to “Bad drivers who injure or kill must be punished”

  1. 1 Dan Tucker August 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Fully agree Bernie——-Well said.


  2. 2 Monica Vernon August 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Bernie — This is a terrible tragedy. The loss of a wonderful woman, mother, biker. I will continue my follow up with our police department. We all must share the roads and follow the laws. Or, I agree, accept the consequences. My heart goes out to Susan’s family.

  3. 3 Sean August 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    The fact is that even the very words we use to describe these thinks (“accident”) suggests that motorists are just blameless souls and are never really responsible for anything. The sad truth is that the collective decision making of millions have required that most of us drive everywhere for every possible necessity, so it has become a de facto “right.” This “right” is really nothing more than a ruse and those of us with any sense understand that the majority of motorists on the road clearly have no business being there. I’d like to see law enforcement really step up their efforts and the legislatures need to increase the penalties for “routine” traffic violations. Make speeding extremely painful– perhaps a $2000 fine with the second offense leading to a loss of licensure. Get caught driving without a license and go to jail for a year.

  4. 4 Paula Sifuentes August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Please change this law so that drivers will be held appropriately accountable for their actions. In my eyes this was manslaughter. Florida has much stricter laws – Iowa should follow suit.

    As a relative of this family, I am deeply saddened for the suffering they will endure because of this senseless accident, the loss of a beautiful young woman and mother. The driver obviously didn’t adjust his driving accordingly to the situation (the sun in his eyes). If this man suffers from guilt, it is justly deserved.

  5. 5 Matt Carty October 1, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Why not suspend licenses in every collision until criminal culpability is explicitly ruled out? If drivers even **think** they’ll have to take a bus – even for a day – most will slow down and become courteous.

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