A week ago today, in a horrific hit and run "accident", two local women were killed by white pickup truck who ran through the intersection and hit them in a marked crosswalk. Here is a link to the original story....http://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/index.ssf/2014/01/two_vancouver_mothers_killed_i.html
As of this morning there have been 2 arrests made in connection with the investigation but neither person is the driver. The two women are accused of witness tampering and are supposedly close to whomever it was that was driving the truck. The police already seized the pickup and are still processing it for evidence, and reports are that the registered owner and everyone close to him are not cooperating with the police and appear to be actively working to help the perp in any way they can.
The disturbing part about this is that it is not an isolated incident by any means. Just last week a local jury convicted a 19 year old young woman of two counts of hit and run and vehicular manslaughter, because she swerved to drive through a pile of leaves that had two little girls playing in it. The driver felt a hard thump, but kept on going to her home. Her brother came back to the scene, discovered what she had done, and then went home to help cover up her involvement.
Last year there were two twenty something women who left an event in Portland very drunk, hit and killed a pedestrian and left the scene. Six people were convicted of helping her cover up the crime until the body shop her boyfriend took the car to for repairs saw the damage, heard about the accident and called the police.
And of course we have a number of examples of shooters, including police officer shooters, whose family members are all convicted of helping said killer by making up a cover story to account for the shooter's presence anywhere but the scene of the crime, but that's a different rant....
It isn't just hit and run that has somehow become so normal that if an accident does occur and the driver remains and cooperates with the police, it is so exception that it is always prominently noted in the news story, but the number of other people who are willing to commit major felonies themselves by tampering with evidence, covering up heinous crimes where someone innocent has been brutally killed, and felonious witness tampering and conspiracy to commit all of it by making sure others don't say anything or cooperate in any way with police.
Every time I drive locally I have to be hyper alert to avoid being slammed by someone who simply does not stop at a stop sign or a stop light. If they do stop they are blocking the crosswalk and their entire car is well past the stop line. I've lost count of the number of times I have seen a person in the crosswalk nearly hit by someone who simply refuses to stop for anything.
Every time I drive I encounter someone (usually in a Prius, but that too is another rant...) who insists upon driving 20 MPH under the posted speed limit.
Every time I drive I encounter another someone (BMWs are usually to blame) who insists on driving 20 MPH over the posted speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic without a care or a turn signal in sight.
I see multiple violations of bike lanes every day. There is always someone so busy talking on their cell or texting to notice that the light has turned green or that they are driving 15 MPH slower than the speed limit.
I could go on but you catch my drift. It has become so hazardous to drive any more, I try and limit the amount of driving I do. Even just around town here, between my house and the Home Depot, I normally have 3-4 close encounters a week at least, depending on how much I have to drive. I dread going to Costco any more because it is a magnet for the driving impaired, as evidenced by many of the same behaviors in the store that you see out on the road. People drive their shopping carts no more effectively than they do their cars.
The simple answer is to dump it all on the police and let them start writing tickets, but that does not solve the problem of the ongoing poor example our own driving habits set for the younger generation. And I am at a complete loss to understand how we have an emerging social norm that says it is OK to do your best to cover your friends when they commit horrific crimes.