Jake’s Law

There is a modern phenomenon that pisses me off somewhat.

A child dies in some unfortunate incident, and the parents [or more usually the mother] feel it's incumbent upon them to demand changes in the law to "protect" possible future victims.

A child accidentally hangs itself on a window blind cord and immediately there is a demand from the parents that all window blinds in the world have to be modified.  A child dies in a tragic quad-bike accident and immediately there are demands that quad-bikes be regulated out of existence.

There is a case here in Ireland where a child was knocked down on the road outside his house.  That was tragic and I feel for the parents……

but……..

they just have to start a campaign to impose Draconian speed limits everywhere.  Their demand is for a thirty kilometer [20 mph] limit in all built up areas throughout the country.

I understand a parent's need to grieve, but demanding yet another law, and even worse, using their child's death as emotional blackmail is just not on.  The mother is relentless in her campaign to introduce what she calls "Jake's Law" so that "he didn't die in vain".  She want's this law to be Jake's legacy so that she can feel fulfilled and the rest of us can suffer.

So far, I'm delighted to say that she has so far been thwarted on the grounds that it's too expensive and complicated but she still hasn't given up.  She is on a fanatical crusade and is determined to impose her demands on the rest of us.

She really needs to think about this campaign of hers.  If she is successful and gets her "Jake's Law" passed, Jake will indeed be remembered.

His name will be cursed by every urban driver for countless years to come.

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Comments

Jake’s Law — 19 Comments

  1. Hi, we are ahead of you in Sweden. We have 40 kilometer per hour all over the place (25 mph?). At schools 30 km/h. They are discussing deep and hard if it should be 30 km/h everywhere. 

    I’m thinking about walking instead. 

    Take care.

  2. Take it to its logical conclusion. 

    Ban all cars busses trucks and trains from the road altogether.

    Zero road deaths.

    Job done!

     

     

    • You'd have to dig up the roads too.  Those surfaces are quite hard and a child could injure itself if it fell?

  3. As you'd appreciate, our experience running the TT over here each year gives us a different approach. We have no speed limits outside built up areas, kids can drive at 16 and so wise up quicker, and there's a variety of flashing light warnings etc. to remind you to slow down as you get near island schools – where by rota there tend to be cops watching out for reckless driving.

    Seems to work – the point is a number on a clock means zilch, you can drive recklessly at almost any speed and if you do and don't heed the first friendly warning (with the TT an all, our plod are very laid back rather than rush to prosecute) you deserve a ban. 

    I'd say the bigger problem over here is all the yuppie mums who deliver Tarquin and Tabitha to school in Chelsea Tractors. They pay no heed to double yellow lines, pedestrians or passing motorists and, if reminded, tend to pull the old "Do you know who my husband is" line (to which the answer is "Why, are you too drunk to remember?").

    • I have always maintained that speed is not a factor in the cause of accidents.  The cause is drivers who are unable to judge road conditions and the likelihood of possible danger.  Bad drivers, not speed.

  4. Wonderful to see democary in action. Happens here too young chap kills himself and three other young ones by driving too fast for the road and his mother sets off on a campaign which wins 'cross party support' in the elected members and bang a sensible 60 mph limit is shrunk to a pointless 50 mph.. All concerned conveniently ignoring the fact the young man was driving in excess, way in excess of the existing 60 mph limit when he killed himself.

    Most ignore the 50 and drive at 60 cos the road is safe to drive at 60.
     

    • Basically I have two cruising speeds – slow for built up areas [60 kmph] and open road [fucking boot down].

      Driving slower than an optimum speed means constantly shifting gears and watching the speedo which is far more dangerous.

  5.  

    It is probably unspeakably nasty of me to say this, but she might have tried supervising her child whilst it was near the road. Then,just maybe, she might not feel the need to punih the world for her own feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

    • You're only saying what most people are thinking, and I agree fully.  Kids should be taught that roads are a dangerous place and not a playground.  If a child is a wanderer or disobedient, then tie the gate with some fucking string.

    • Dont be stupid personal reasonability isnt something she needs to worry about its something she wants to impose on everyone else cause female logic 

    • M.Cooper- If you hadn't said it first, I would have. Not be unsympathetic about it but I wonder if anyone bothered to ask the mother why the kid was in the road in the first place. And exactly who was watching the child at the time?

  6. Over here if a road doesn't have a posted speed limit you have to suppose that the limit is 25mph.  That's bullshit but that's the law.  If highways aren't posted then the speed limit is 55mph!

  7. I did the Ring of Kerry yesterday where the speed limit was 100kph (60mph) for most of it. It would have been sheer lunacy though to travel more than 30mph around most of it. Narrow twisting roads with the odd tour bus coming the other way, not tomention the sheep crossing. Grandad hit the nail when he said you drive within the limits of the road conditions, weather included. 

    • Those 100kph signs in Kerry amuse me too, especially as you hit the National Park from the Cork side. Always thought it would make a good location for Top Gear one day. Ah well!

  8. I once heard a lawyer (and an American one at that!) in a TV interview saying that “We should all be immediately suspicious of any proposed law which has someone’s name attached to it – James’s Law or Sandy’s Law or Freddy’s Law.  They are generally passed in a frenzied knee-jerk reaction to some tragic occurrence, are rarely thought through properly and are invariably bad laws which fail to achieve their hoped-for objective.  The law should be a mechanism whereby we try to curb the excesses of unreasonable behaviour by what is, in reality, a small number of unreasonable people.  It must, of course, apply also to the vast majority of people who behave perfectly reasonably – the nature of the law is that it must apply to everybody equally – but for that reason we should ensure that laws are sensitive to this fact and do not unreasonably penalise people who have done nothing wrong, and have no intention of ever doing so, by intruding too greatly into their lives.  It should not be a bandwagon onto which lawmakers can jump to give their popularity ratings a boost by showing how “caring and compassionate” they are, and neither, if I may be so bold, should it be used as a tool by grieving families to try to assuage the pain of their loss – no matter how understandable it might be that they might wish that to be the end result – if for no other reason than that it usually fails in this objective just as much as it fails in its legal one.”

    • Welcome Jax.

      That is the whole issue wrapped up very neatly.  One child is killed.  One mother is grieving.  Everyone gets hammered by an unreasonable law to assuage that mother's grief.  Roads have become dangerous places and kids should be taught that.  While I appreciate that kids sometimes do run out on roads, it doesn't happen too often and the vast majority of motorists are well aware of the danger and will react accordingly.

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