Let's get tougher and safer to save lives

  • Article by: LISA J. RADUENZ
  • Updated: January 30, 2013 - 10:58 AM
  • 24
  • Comments

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boboboboJan. 29, 13 8:26 PM

This is a needless tragedy. There are actually people out there that think they can do as they please on the roads without any regard for others whatsoever. Some of them think that they are smarter than others and that the laws of physics or rules of human respect do not apply to them. They get angry and attempt to intimidate others that don't drive fast enough to suit them. These people cause accidents and they are killers. They should be treated accordingly.

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undeadJan. 29, 13 8:32 PM

This is a tragedy. I am amazed, as always, what someone who is chemical-free can get do and suffer minimal penalties. If this man had been drinking, there would be a holy crusade to lock him away for as long as possible. But since he was sober when he demonstrated such poor judgement and attentiveness that two people are now dead, he receives a slap on the wrist. Not even a license suspension for someone so inattentive that he is deadly?

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furguson11Jan. 29, 13 9:51 PM

Unfortunate, but we could fill the jails and prisons with distracted drivers. The guy didn't even have any drugs or alcohol on board and at least owed up to looking at the cruise control. He could never pay back what wad lost and what's the point of more punishment. Is that going to make things better for anyone? And BTW, my brother was permanently brain injured by a drunk 22 year old 20years ago. Punishment doesn't fix that but grace helps.

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arspartzJan. 29, 1311:10 PM

Where was the acrimony last year when the Sr citizen hit two construction workers and got of with no real penalty at all?

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owatonnabillJan. 30, 13 5:55 AM

A few weeks back owatonnabill took I-35 from Finlayson to Owatonna via 35-E through St. Paul. It was a busy Saturday afternoon with a lot of traffic. During that stretch (about 160 miles, give or take) there were uncounted examples by drivers of reckless driving, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, cellphone talking and texting, one woman driver leaning backward over her seat to talk to an (assumed child) in the back, etc. etc. During that entire stretch of roadway I saw only two troopers--one just south of downtown St. Paul parked on the 45-mph stretch there, and one just north of Faribault. That was it. What good are traffic laws if they are never enforced? It would seem logical that the busiest stretch of road in Minnesota, on a heavy travel day, would have a far greater law enforcement presence than two patrol cars in 160 miles. As criminal as a lot of the driving was, it was equally criminal to have to pay taxes that for a service is oftentimes just about nonexistent. We pay good money for our Highway Patrol. We're certainly not getting what we're paying for.

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northhillJan. 30, 13 6:33 AM

This man will live with what he has done the rest of his life.What happened to him could happen to any driver.Driving a motor vehicle is a full time job.We are our brother's keeper.We are responsible for the safety of others when we drive.Minnesota should require all motor vehicle accident reports to include was distracted driving involved by one or both drivers.Treat distracted driving like drunken driving,a 3 month suspension of driver's license for the first offense.

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arielbenderJan. 30, 13 7:13 AM

I wish "owatonnabill" would stop referring to himself in the third person. That said, "owatonnabill" should take into consideration that there are 600 troopers to patrol 135,000 miles of highway in this state. One afternoon of observation by "owatonnabill" doesn't prove a hypothesis. It just provides another excuse for "owatonnabill" to complain about his self- perceived, horrible tax burden.

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firefight41Jan. 30, 13 7:33 AM

This is a tragedy. I am amazed, as always, what someone who is chemical-free can get do and suffer minimal penalties. If this man had been drinking, there would be a holy crusade to lock him away for as long as possible. But since he was sober when he demonstrated such poor judgement and attentiveness that two people are now dead, he receives a slap on the wrist. Not even a license suspension for someone so inattentive that he is deadly? ************* I would guess this man will be living with the guilt of killing 2 other human beings for the rest of his life. That is a punishment I would not wish on anyone.

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UMD1983Jan. 30, 13 7:35 AM

Don't know if the law would allow it, but a vehicle parked on the shoulder with a light bar like a police or highway patrol car, complete with strobes, would be a great attention getter. They are visible from a long distance, and it drivers think there's a chance they'll be ticketed, they'll make extra effort to behave. It wouldn't eliminate inattentiveness, but it would maximize the chance that while people were driving through the zone they were actually paying attention to driving and not doing anything else.

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owatonnabillJan. 30, 13 8:23 AM

"...but a vehicle parked on the shoulder with a light bar like a police or highway patrol car, complete with strobes, would be a great attention getter. They are visible from a long distance, and it drivers think there's a chance they'll be ticketed, they'll make extra effort to behave." ............ Indeed. Owatonna and other cities do something similar--park a patrol car that is not in use on a busy street, sometimes with 4-ways flashing, and it is amazing how law-abiding people get. But in owatonnabill's not-so-humble opinion, more is needed. Driving on a public roadway is not a right, but a privilege. You need to be licensed to do it and (assumedly) show a certain level of skill before it is allowed. Owatonnabill is no believer in restricting freedom but if you're gonna obey the law only because you fear getting caught, then with the scarce enforcement presence on our highways laws will be flouted more times than they are obeyed. Most of the freeways in the metro are monitored by surviellance cameras in real time for driving conditions. use that system, and develop others outstate, so that scofflaws are brought to justice. Sure, there are those who will yowl that a license plate does not necessarily mean that the owner of that plate is driving the car, but (to use an example that most here will understand) if owatonnabill loans his .357 magnum to a friend who then--intentionally or accidentally--injures or kills someone with it, owatonnabill as the OWNER has liability. Cars kill more than guns. Unless we do something to force people to obey current laws, then the highway carnage will just continue merrily along. What is being done now is not nearly enough.

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