Posts Tagged ‘drinking’

        Did you ever stop to think about the ways in which a driver can be impaired?  I mean besides the obvious impairment of drinking or drugging, and then driving?  I read a very sad news story recently about an elderly driver who ran a stop sign and killed another person.  That elderly man has recently had to go before the court on charges of killing another human being.

         Did that driver intentionally kill the other person; no, he did not.  However, it is alleged that because of his age…his driving skill was impaired.  It is said that his reaction time was greatly diminished and he should never have been driving.  This man is in his 90’s and will possibly, upon sentencing…be serving time in jail.  He didn’t mean to cause the death…but still, someone else’s loved one died. 

          It is a fine line in knowing when a persons driving is impaired because of age, disability, irresponsibility, or illness.  I think about all of the young men and women who have physical or mental disability who see their peers hitting the milestone of turning 16 and getting their driver’s licenses.  I know their heart aches to do the same. 

          It is up to the parents to decide when and if their child is able to drive and make appropriate choices when doing so; whether that child is disabled or not.  If they are disabled physically, emotionally, or mentally; and, it will impair their driving skill…it is up to the parents to withhold the priviledge of driving.  It is hard to deny them that priviledge but sometimes necessary.  It is better to have them dissappointed or angry than to have them dead or causing the death of another person.

           The same holds true when it comes to being the adult child of a parent who is past the ability to drive safely.  No one really wants to give up their freedom to drive when they have done so throughout their adult years…but, when an elderly person has gotten to the point to where their driving skills are in question…it usually falls to the adult child to have a discussion about giving up the right to drive.  Maybe there is a medical condition that causes concern…or a medication that hinders safe driving.  Precautions must be taken for everyone’s sake.  This is a delicate subject; care must be given to not treat the person as a child.  Alternatives have to be considered for how that elderly person is going to come and go in their everyday lives.  Think about how they feel…get their input on how to resolve the situation. 

            That is not an easy conversation to have with an elderly parent.  It is not an easy conversation to have with a child who has disabilities.  It is not an easy conversation to have with anyone who is impaired by anything that affects the drivers safety or the safety of others on the road…yet, it is a conversation that must take place if you care about that person.

             Back to the elderly person in the news who now bears the responsibility of having taken a life with his driving.  The picture of that man in the police booking photo would break your heart.  It is the picture of a broken man.  It is terribly sad to look at that photo and put anyone that you care about in that picture frame.  It is sadder yet for the person who lost a loved one to such a situation. 

             Please take the time to evaluation the decision to allow the people you care about to drive.  If your teen wants to drive but makes reckless decisions…wait a while longer until they prove more responsible.  They might be angry…but at least they wont be in the position of that elderly man.  If your disabled loved one is not ready to drive…don’t let them just because they are of age.  It is a burden they might not be ready for.  If you know someone who is consummed with road rage…talk to them about not driving.  If you know someone who is constantly distracted on the road…they should not be driving.  If your aged love one is past the age of safe driving; and, is making mistakes on the road…have that conversation with them in a caring way.  Respect them…but, be sure to explain your concerns.  Take their feelings into account and think about how you want to be treated in the same situation when the time comes.

           It is hard…but, if you know that accidents are happening that shouldn’t; and, you don’t do or say anything to them…and something horrible happens…can you live with the consequences of death or jail time that will affect that person? 


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     Today’s announcement that Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were “unlawfully killed” because of the actions of her driver and the paparazzi photographers who were chasing them through the streets of Paris makes her the $6 Million Dollar Woman.  This is the amount of money the inquest cost, only to tell us what we already knew.  If not for the actions of others, Princess Diana would not have died in such a manner.

       The world was waiting to hear if any proof had been uncovered about rumors of palace intrigue, murder allegations, engagement, and pregnancy, during the inquest.  In the end, all that was said was that there was no proof; and, that what was known was that the driver was drinking and that Dodi and Princess Diana were unlawfully killed; which is on the level of manslaughter in charges…the highest verdict allowed. 

       Will this verdict change people’s feeling that there is more to the story?  Probably not.  But still, in reality, no amount of hearings and inquests can change the fact that three people died because of a lack of control.  The driver because he did not have proper control of the vehicle due to the drinks that he had on that evening in question; and, the lack of control regarding the press/paparazzi’s disregard for the value of human life and proper boundaries. 

        In 2002, five short years after the death of these three people; nine photographers, who had been charged in France, were let off from charges of manslaughter because the charges were thrown out. 

         In 2006, three photographers were charged and convicted for invasion of privacy for taking pictures of Diana and Dodi.  This is small consolation as it does not bring them back to life, nor does it seem to hinder those paparazzi around the world who seem to think it appropriate to chase people with beauty/fame/fortune just to snap a picture to make money for themselves…no matter what the cost to others!  

          The unlawful killing of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed as well as driver Henri Paul robbed the world.  There isn’t much known publically about Henri Paul.  But, Princess Diana did much with her charitable works.  Dodi Fayed whether he was indeed her fiancee or not…had great wealth at his disposal.  Who knows what they would have done with their lives had they been given the opportunity to live on. 

        So, let’s all remember that when standing in the grocery line and temptation beckons to purchase and support the latest rag plastered with pictures of the rich and famous at their best and at their worst.  Don’t contribute to the mindset of devaluing human life by purchasing those papers.  It only allows those who make their living off of the habit of chasing and snapping pictures of people who dont want them to.

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