Motorists who cause fatal collisions because they drive recklessly frequently face criminal charges for their actions. Unfortunately, by the time these drivers are punished for their dangerous choices behind the wheel, a death has already occurred. While police can arrest someone for reckless or drunk driving even in cases where no accident has happened, these types of arrests and prosecutions are far less common.
Harvard law professor and noted constitutional and criminal attorney Alan Dershowitz recently wrote on Op-Ed for the New York Daily News suggesting that cracking down on all dangerous drivers would be one of the best ways to stop fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents. Dershowitz argues that police are generally not interested in responding to reports of reckless driving unless a collision has occurred. As a result, most people get away with reckless driving and laws preventing it aren’t really very effective at saving lives or making the roads safer.
Victims of a collision caused by a reckless or a dangerous driver can take legal action with the help of a Boston car accident attorney. While victims can be compensated for all losses, there is nothing that can bring back someone who has been killed in a crash or bring back good health after an injury has happened because of a careless driver. If laws were better enforced on driving recklessly, perhaps fewer people could have their lives permanently affected by a traffic accident.
Why Reckless Driving Laws Are Not as Effective as They Should Be
Reckless drivers have little to fear when they break the rules because there is a slim chance that they will actually be penalized for it. Even with one of the most dangerous behaviors of all, drunk driving, drivers typically operate their vehicles while intoxicated around 80 times before they are actually arrested according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Police will usually respond when a motorist calls in an alert of a potentially drunk driver, but may not be so quick to come when there are reports of drivers who are tailgating, speeding or doing other dangerous things. As such, laws preventing these other dangerous behaviors and punishing aggressive drivers are likely enforced even less often than DUI laws and drivers get away with these behaviors much more frequently.
Even when a driver does cause a death due to his reckless driving, there is no guarantee that he will be convicted of a criminal homicide offense. Because some drivers are acquitted or given minor penalties that don’t include jail time, this makes the laws even less likely to cause motorists to change their behavior.
Possible options to make the laws actually work better to stop reckless behaviors include increasing fines for dangerous moving violations; ticketing drivers more frequently when dangerous behavior is identified; and making the penalties more severe in situations where someone causes an accident by speeding or texting.
If every reckless driver was vigorously prosecuted regardless of whether he happens to cause a death or not, more people would think twice about whether it is worth it to take the risk of driving dangerously.
If you were involved in a Boston collision, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Wearing Headphones Increases the Risk of Accidents, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 13, 2014.