Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Road Rager Gets Two Years For McMissile
From the title of this, you would think that the person with road rage getting two years in prison is a good thing. I cannot stand folks who take their feelings out on others when they are driving. As an ex over-the-road trucker, I have practically seen it all when it comes to how drivers act when they are angry. Road rage is getting to be very dangerous. No, that's wrong. It has become dangerous, so much so that prosecutors have had enough. I agree....up to a point. But then, there is the other side of the story. Perhaps it is time for that to be told too. I have seen both sides.
I was at a truckstop where it was extremely difficult to find a parking spot. When I thought I had one, my spouse (at the time) got out of the truck and stood in the spot so I could get there without someone else taking it. We were extremely tired at the time. I had just about had all the driving I was capable of. As I was about to pull into the parking spot, I heard the airbrakes of a truck come on. A guy jumps out of the truck with a shotgun and aims it at my truck shouting that it is HIS parking spot and I had better not try getting in there if I knew what was good for me. (you could pull through from either end. He had come from the other way) I could have tried to get the spot anyway. After all, first come, first gets the spot. (ever had that happen at the grocery store or Walmart? Yep.) However, I did not believe my life was worth a lowly parking spot no matter how tired I was. I left and found another one.
That type of road rage is becoming more and more typical. But then, the people who inspire road rage are more creative in how they try to make others mad too. One of the most terrifying moments of my driving career happened on a highway going around Columbus, Ohio, one morning in rush hour traffic. It wasn't quite bumper to bumper. The flow was going at about 30 miles an hour at about 7:30am. A car comes up beside me, driver leans down in his seat to look up into the cab of my truck. He sees me, gives me the universal number one sign (for those of you who do not know what that is...it's THE FINGER) and then proceeds to go past me, cut in front of me and slam on his brakes.
Trucks do NOT stop on a dime, no matter what anyone might think. I smoked my brakes trying to not run over this idiot. (smoking truck brakes means that a truck will be less effective in stopping because the brakes have become hot. Hot brakes do not stop. In effect, there are no brakes at all after a while.) He then sped off. I breathed a sigh of relief. A few moments later, he is back on the driver's side of my truck, once again giving me the universal salute followed by more cutting me off and slamming his brakes. This goes on for at least five or six times. I am praying for a cop to show up because I'm certain that if he keeps this up, I will be charged with manslaughter for rearending a car and killing the driver. While it would have been justified on my part, I do not want to live with that for the rest of my life.
I have no idea what started this. I have no idea when it will stop. I have no idea if I will be accused of manslaughter when, not if, I run this brain-dead individual over with my truck with no brakes. No cops show. Eventually, he tires of the game and leaves. I shakely breathe a sigh of relief and thank God that I survived and that he did.
Why am I writing all this? Because today in the news, there was a story about a lady who is being sentenced to two years in prison for throwing a McDonald's plastic cup of ice at a car after they had cut her off a couple of times. Perhaps you think that I am sympathetic to the other car. NO WAY! Perhaps you think that the ice thrower is justified. NO! However, what is bothering me is the sentence for what she did. Yes, a cup of ice can be dangerous if thrown from a moving vehicle. But the people in the other car received a bath in ice and got sticky. There was no other harm. In this case, the prosecutor is trying to make a point. Okay, I buy that. BUT I have seen cases of drunk drivers who were in court because they killed someone who got 2 years or less. HOW is this fair? One hand...drunk driver kills a kid or a family man or a wife and mother or a whole family. Gets two years. A woman throws a cup of ice. Result..people get wet and sticky. Gets two years. WHERE is the justice here?
Prosecutor, get a gripe, man! You wanted to send out a message. You are. You are sending a message that you have no sense whatsoever, that you are vindictive, that you can't see the difference between someone who injures and kills and someone who needs to do community work. The problem is that the judge has no sense either.
Okay, let's look at the facts here. The driver of the car that is cut off has three children in the car as well as a sister, has a husband in Iraq for his third tour of duty. Can you see any desperation here? Whether she is right or wrong (I think she was wrong, for what that's worth) she is defending her children from possible stupidity and harm by the other car. The driver of the cutting car has two adults in the car and no sense whatsoever. Thing is, even the people from the second car think that the sentence is too harsh. Where is the justice??? Compassion? You decide if justice was served in this case. I think the judge needs to laugh in the prosecutor's face and hand out community work and save this family.
Feb. 20, 2007 — A mother of three was sentenced to two years in prison for throwing a cup of ice through the window of a car that cut her off in traffic.
Jessica Hall, a North Carolina mother, drove down I-95 on a hot, sticky and gridlocked day with three kids whimpering in the back of the car, a pregnant sister in the front of the car and her husband serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.
This is yet another SHAME OF AMERICA post. I do hope the prosecutor of this case reads this. Oh yes, I am not alone in how I think about the case. When you read the article on the ABC news page, there is a survey. Check out the results of that.