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Old 02-05-2014, 12:45 PM   #15
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IF on the other hand. There IS such a law, or the moving truck swerved toward the deceased.. Murder is in order (Humble opinion) .
Is that really what you want to say? Murder is a moral issue, not a legal issue. If something is legal or illegal has nothing to do with if it is morally right. A correctly written law follows or is based on morality, not the other way around. Just because a law is written or not written does not define morality. So the fact that of a move over law existing has nothing to do with concluding if there has been a murder or not.

From a moral standpoint, to be guilty of a crime, one must make a choice. While you can argue that the driver chose to ignore the move over law, the faulicy of that argument is that it is obvious the driver did not see the truck. If he did not see the truck, he would have no basis to move over. The article states the passenger was yelling at him, but that could have been more of a distraction than a help. The level of panic caused by the passenger yelling could easily prevent the driver from focusing on the tow truck. His mind had already blanked out the tow truck's existence, so if the driver was responding to the passengers yelling, he would be looking everywhere but where he needed to, trying to see what the problem was. This has never been more clear than over the last couple of months, I am teaching my daughter how to drive. I've discovered that when and where I point out a hazard has a lot to do with if she is capable of processing the hazard and avoiding it. She is not a murderer. She is much too kind and thoughtful for that. But there have been situations where if I had not grabbed the wheel, a death could have occurred. That was my learning process of how and when to communicate.

There really is reasons why they are called accidents. Yes, we have to explore if there was conscious negligence - behavior that needs to be corrected, but it is not only possible, but plausible that the driver was no more guilty than everyone of us. I doubt very highly that anyone actually trains themselves in hazard recognition. That is very likely the only behavior change that would have saved the tow truck driver. That being the case, would we not all be guilty?

Don't forget, the only purpose of punishment for violation of the law is for behavior change. Anything outside of that is abusive. Punishment used for revenge is immoral.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:15 PM   #16
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There is a real problem with the move over/slow down law. While it may sound good in theory, it seldom works out in real practice. Traveling at freeway speeds, very often by the time you actually can see a vehicle on the side of the road, it is too late to make a safe substantial response.
I do not know both in the Motor home (Which has the advantage of a greater field of vision) and in the car (Smaller and some believe easier to stop) I have always had time to loose at least 10-15, sometimes even more MPH and/or move over a lane.. I have never gotten caught flat.

That said, I still do not know the conditions. I do know people tend to be very nasty when it comes to trucks and there may have been a car or another truck to his "other side" preventing him from moving over, and due to HIS being in the way the driver of that vehicle may not have seen the lights... And, as I and someone else both said, it may be the tow driver just stepped out in front of the truck and SPLAT.


I do know this: After I retired from telling cops where to go I told tow truck drivers where to go.. One of our drivers (Danny) got a free visit to hospital after a drunk rear ended his truck.. That was the bad news,, The good news is police were on scene and one of their evidence certified dashboard cameras caught the whole thing.

A competitor's driver was not so lucky, He was beyond hospital help. (Died). I do not know what, if any charges were filed in his case.. And some of my troopers as well (3 while they were still in Detroit) now they all survived with differing levels of disability (one temp disabled two permanent) but one of them out-state.. Doing TRAFFIC CONTROL for a Governor's convention,,,,,,, Drunk killed him. Nice trooper too, all of them.

Oh, sometimes someone tells the truth.. Just a minor fender bender but my daughter called me to advise she had been in an accident, I, and the local police, both responded. She told me what happened, the other driver told me his version, The officer listened to both as well, Then both officer and I (independently) looked at the damage and the skid marks,, Then the officer wrote it up dang near word for word the way my daughter told it (She said "ME" and "The other guy" the officer changed that to "Vehicle #2" and "Vehicle #1" by tradition #1 is at fault).. So sometimes they do tell the truth.. My observation, though I am not a trained accident investigator, fully supported both my daughter and the officer. She told it like it happened.. Though the officer did not ticket the other driver (That may have happened later though) in spite of the fact he caused the crash and admitted he wished to violate the law in other ways as well.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:39 PM   #17
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I have made it a practice for the last 52 years to turn the emergency flashers on and move over long before it was the law anywhere. It is now the law in Pennsylvania. Also, the same basic thing is done for Police, fire , and ambulance vehicles approaching from the rear. Flashers on and move to the right, give them as much room as I can so they can get by. Some day they may be coming for me and I hope no one will get in their way.....
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:47 PM   #18
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Do you also flash your flashers a few times when traffic is backing up? I notice less and less rigs on the road doing this then the past. Fun when all 18 lanes are bumper to bumper past the next interchange.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:17 PM   #19
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Maybe my perspective on the move over law is skewed by living near Chicago, and driving through Chicago almost anytime I travel in the RV. Or maybe others opinions are skewed because they rarely drive in very heavy traffic. When I lived in OH, I would not have had that perspective.

Thinking more about this, it is a well established fact that speed differential of greater than 15% substantially increases the likelihood of an accident. The slowing down aspect of the law applies to situations where it is impossible to change lanes. So if I understand the law correctly, when traffic is heavy enough that it is impossible to change lanes, then the law requires that we should try to cause an accident by slowing down by 15 to 20 mph????????
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:24 AM   #20
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More laws more laws more laws………if they decided not to prosecute, I'm sure they had a good reason. Although a terrible thing, I can't see murder charges. There's a reason they call them accidents. The public may never know the circumstances but knowing how over zealous most agencies are, I would bet they would have prosecuted if the least bit warranted. Grief sometimes clouds judgement. Had a family situation recently where grief and disbelief led to some clouded assumptions. Once things settled down we looked back at how wrong our assumptions were. Bad things happen and we all need to be as safe as possible whether driving or exposing ourselves to other drivers. Stay safe my friends but please don't subject us to more regulations due to the actions of a few when we can't enforce the regulations we have.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:21 AM   #21
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Murder implies malice. In an accident the charge would not be murder but vehicular manslaughter unless there were other factors (subject was eluding at the time).
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:50 PM   #22
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You are correct.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:03 PM   #23
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Do you also flash your flashers a few times when traffic is backing up? I notice less and less rigs on the road doing this then the past. Fun when all 18 lanes are bumper to bumper past the next interchange.
Yes I do, but never thought of it when I posted. Good catch.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:27 AM   #24
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Is that really what you want to say? Murder is a moral issue, not a legal issue.
Murder is both a moral AND a Legal issue.. this tread addresses the filing (or in this case non-filing) of LEGAL charges. So yes, that is what I wanted to say.

Morally..... That is an entirely different issue and an entirely different position.

If you want my MORAL opinion it is that the charges have already been filed in the heavenly register and when the driver who hit him goes to his eternal reward... It will be justice...

NOTE: that I am making no judgement as to what that reward will be.. only that it will be Just.. (God will decide).

But that's my opinion.. I would not deem to guess how God might decide.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #25
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Now seems like a good time for the "let's get back on topic" message.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:09 PM   #26
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There is a real problem with the move over/slow down law. While it may sound good in theory, it seldom works out in real practice. Traveling at freeway speeds, very often by the time you actually can see a vehicle on the side of the road, it is too late to make a safe substantial response. In other words, you don't want to brake very hard on the freeway because of the potential accordion affect behind you.
Actually didn't know some states made it "mandatory" to move over. There are times where I see vehicles on the side of the road, but the high speed lane is jammed with higher speed traffic. I'm pulling a tt, maybe 45' long total. At times I'm in a pickle, do I speed up to try to force myself into the high-speed lane even thou I don't have a "safe" distance to make the room and put someone including myself in danger, or slow down and "cheat" my lane to give the stopped vehicle as much room as possible. Or if room permits. "Stop" all together. And there are times regular motorist are thinking "I'm not going to slow down a hair to let this RV in because I don't want to get stuck behind it having to travel at 60- 65 mph rather than my 80 mph I need to go"....

Yes, just traveling in a car...moving over would not be as much of an issue.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:41 PM   #27
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Being a tow truck driver is a dangerous job. It is no different than any other responders. They can put all kinds of laws on the books to protect people but if they are ignored by drivers they won't help anyone. You have to be on top of your game every second your in harms way. One miss step and your toast. It is sad when someone is out there helping others and looses their life in the process. How would a person feel if it was you he was trying to help. Slow down and move over for emergency vehicles.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:59 AM   #28
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Unless you are cresting a hill you should be able to see.

That is why there are reduced speed limits in areas where an intersection is at or near the crest of a hill. Usually on two lane roads but on some 4 lane roads too.

Then there is the law of trucks not being any closer than 300 feet apart. Should allow for the first truck in the line to see the hazard and pull over, allowing the next to see the hazard and pull over too. I have a real problem with trucks that do nothing and just keep going like there is nothing there. And from the video, that's exactly what the driver Thomas Wyatt did. Felt his "right for the road" was greater than the "Right to live" was for the victim. Apparently the legal system seems to agree.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT GIVING AS MUCH SPACE AS YOU CAN TO EMERGENCY VEHICLES.

A person parked on the shoulder of the road is also in an emergency. You cannot tell if the car is empty until you are too close so pull over for them too.

Remember it could be your Daughter or Son, your Mother of Father and for sure one day it will be YOU.



Thank you everyone for your comments and support. Please continue the discussion here and with your friends and family.

Rod
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Actually didn't know some states made it "mandatory" to move over. There are times where I see vehicles on the side of the road, but the high speed lane is jammed with higher speed traffic. I'm pulling a tt, maybe 45' long total. At times I'm in a pickle, do I speed up to try to force myself into the high-speed lane even thou I don't have a "safe" distance to make the room and put someone including myself in danger, or slow down and "cheat" my lane to give the stopped vehicle as much room as possible. Or if room permits. "Stop" all together. And there are times regular motorist are thinking "I'm not going to slow down a hair to let this RV in because I don't want to get stuck behind it having to travel at 60- 65 mph rather than my 80 mph I need to go"....

Yes, just traveling in a car...moving over would not be as much of an issue.
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