Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Laying the Blame

Slightly on the other side has been posting in the last few days on a road accident in Wales where four cyclist got killed by a car. The circumstances of the event are not terribly clear but it seems from what I have read on Slightly's blog entries on the subject that no one is truely responsible except perhaps the bad weather. The posts have however apparently started a discussion on blame and responsibility in the comments. I just joined the fray and since my comment was so long that it had turned into a post in itself, I have decided to post it here (I have made a few changes from what I originally posted in Slightly's comments):
I know that you are a keen cyclist and that you have had problems with inconsiderate drivers in the past, however, I do not think you are being very fair here. Your post (and your point of view in general) is, I think, clearly biased towards cyclists and against drivers.

You assume that the driver involved in what happened had no truely justifiable reason to be in his car in that place at the time. Something you don't know if it is true.

But even if that was true, you forget another point just as important.

I am very much aware that we are living in a society where pleasure and instant gratification are increasingly touted as paramount to anyone's well being. However, if we follow the reasoning you are applying to the car driver, the fact that cycling "in bad weather is fun" doesn't not seem to constitute a much better reason to be on the road for the cyclists than getting "some milk" would be for the driver.

What happened IS terrible but I am afraid accidents do happen and it is not always possible to prevent them even by being as highly (and I would contend, as unrealistically) reasonable as you are here requesting people to be. I don't think laying the blame will help in anyway either.

As far as I can see (and I admit that I have only got your posts on the subject to base my opinion), the situation which led to those deaths did not arise from any particularly dangerous or irresponsible behaviour from any of the parties involved. I am also pretty sure that similar situations can be found all over the world on a daily basis without the same terrible results.

I am not saying either that there are no irresponsible drivers. I just don't think that this particular event is the right one to vent your anger against them.

I simply think that what happened is, as they say in France, bad luck's fault.

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  1. I have replied to argue this on my own blog

    Naturally I disagree :0)

  2. It's true, although the clear answer is that the fault is yours, totally, dude.


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