Thursday, 31 December 2015

When You Deserve to be Grounded

It's one of those small stories which got noted on US nightly news.....maybe 30 seconds devoted to it.....maybe a page two item in your local newspaper.

Secret Service crew (four) were on the job up in New Hampshire.....on a detail revolving around Hillary Clinton and her campaign tour there.  She's the wife of Bill, thus requiring protection around the clock.

It's winter in New Hampshire.....real winter.

The crew were luckily in a Ford Taurus....which has a fair amount of protection.  They were going south on state road 16.  From the opposite direction.....a Mercury Sable crossed the line (double yellow) and hit the Taurus.

Accidents occur in winter up in New Hampshire all the time, and you could blame ice or snow.

The thing is....the one guy dead from the accident.....in the Sable.....45-year-old Bruce Danforth.....has had seven different occasions where he's been charged with serious driving violations.  Seven times.....his license was revoked or suspended.  Somehow, he just kept coming back.

Cops are checking the body and will do a full autopsy (drug test included).

Somewhere around age forty (2010) Bruce started having issues.  Around a year ago.....he had the most recent episode.....as various newspapers tell the story.  His license?  Suspended.  He was driving on his last day of life....on a revoked license.  More than likely.....something will be found in his system....drugs or alcohol.

I have a particular opinion about these type of drivers.  I'm a reasonable guy who believes in people getting second chances.  Beyond that.....I don't believe in third or fourth or fifth chances.

This is the kind of guy who you need to sit down after the second offense involving alcohol and an accident.....and put into some Army boot-camp atmosphere for two months.  After the third episode.....just drag the guy off to some state prison facility for ten years.

I would make a guess on any given day in the US.....there are at least ten-thousand such drivers on the road.....permanently attached to booze or drugs in such a way that they can't safely drive anymore.  Somehow.....the vast majority make it through the day in an accidental sort of way.  A couple of them will have a minor accident, and someone will have to die in some miserable accident to trigger a judge to take substantial actions.

Germany has this little understanding about such drivers.  They have a car program where if you are proven to be untrusting in your behavior.....the only car you can have in your possession is a little small twenty horse-power vehicle which is limited 25kph (around 17 mph).  It's like an enclosed go-kart....with no hyped-up speed.  It's adequate to go and get groceries or see the doctor.....or to drive to work (figure a 90-minute drive if your job is 25 miles away).  It's built in such a way that if you got real foolish and caused an accident.....you'd be guaranteed to be the person killed.

At least for the four Secret Service agents.....they are bruised up and probably won't be on duty for the next month....but they will survive.