Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How to set a really bad example

Define irony: a sheriff's executive is charged with driving under the influence.

The L.A. Times reported that Division Chief Michael Aranda, a top-ranking Los Angeles county sheriff’s executive, is facing charges of misdemeanor drunk driving charges filed by prosecutors. He was arrested on suspicion that he was driving while intoxicated. See the report at Los Angeles Times.

This is an indication of a very sad state of affairs, when authorities who should serve as role models are going the wrong direction. Drunk driving is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed and not exemplified. It causes death and personal injury, not to mention an immeasurable damage to families who lost a loved one to DUI.

According to this article "Drunk Drivers / DUI", the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that over half a million people get injured in alcohol-related accidents annually, or roughly a person per minute. The group added that in 2003, a total of 17,013 fatalities were recorded in alcohol-related crashes. This is probably the reason why some law firms now specialize in DUI accidents and injuries.

This is how serious the problem on DUI is in the United States, it is one of the major causes of deaths and personal injury. While both the government and the private sector work together to drastically decrease the number of DUI-related accidents, it really does not help the cause to see prominent and popular personalities getting caught driving drunk, especially people like Aranda.

In some countries, the penalties are higher when imposed against government officials convicted of committing common crimes. I consider it a good idea to open the debate on raising penalties against government officials in this case.

Friday, November 9, 2007

When Air Bag And Seat Belt Fail

The news article, “The Recent Automobile Accident Involving Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey Shows Just How Devastating Injuries Can Be From a Vehicle Wreck” is not just your ordinary story of car accident .Or, probably it is. Anyhow, it is news because it involved Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey.

Accounts said the governor was riding his SUV when another vehicle, who was trying to avoid a collision, ran into them that resulted into a car crash. The governor was severely injured. His femur bone split up, he had a broken sternum, 12 broken ribs, a head cut, and a fractured vertebrae. He was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

An interesting aspect in the incident was that the air bags in the governor’s vehicles failed to deploy during the accident. It also appeared that the governor did not also wear his seat belt and he was running at high speed.

Again, this puts to question the safety of air bags and seat belts used in most of our cars. In reading the news article, however, it is unclear whether it was the failure of the air bags to deploy or the governor’s inadequacy that aggravated his condition. Nevertheless, I think stricter laws on the quality and safety standards of air bags and government should impose seat belts.

At any rate, air bags and seat belts in cars must be regularly checked to ensure that they are functioning properly. Laws on the safety standards in the manufacture of air bags and seat belts must be reviewed if only to ensure that they passed the tests and are fit to use by consumers.