Saturday, July 20, 2013

We apologise for the inconvenience, but your safety is paramount

The Boston bomb explosions, although small by bomb standards, received world wide media coverage, no doubt because it was during a sporting event and, well, Americans are a bit like us, aren't they. Cameras being close by and footage being able to go to air quickly has quite a bit to do with it.

Bombs go off in awful places all the time and they barely rate a mention. The dead, dying and injured are quickly cleared away, streets are cleaned and things put back where they were and a few hours later, no one would know anything happened.

In western countries, of course there must be a thorough investigation, which often takes days and generates its own publicity and the pursuit of the guilty persons becomes world wide news......exactly what those who planted the bomb wanted, publicity for their cause. Of course the matter should be reported by media. We have a right to know, but turning incidents into circuses for media needs to have lid put on it. I should think reporting it responsibly without cameras at the scene until the area is cleaned up might be a good start.

We were caught in a freeway traffic jam in Thailand quite a few years ago. We were in coach and impatient as it inched forward. Suddenly the road cleared and we were away. With the help of a Thai speaker, I later learnt it had been a fatal accident and traffic was delayed for about an hour. The authorities race to the scene with the prime motives of removing the dead and injured and then clearing things away to get the freeway traffic moving.

Not so here in Melbourne. A fatality would probably guarantee a six hour freeway closure. You only have to look at the truck that partially crashed through a freeway barrier a month or two ago. The driver was thrown clear, so there was no need to worry about anyone's safety, apart from those removing the truck. It took all day to remove one truck from a freeway. The best that can be said for the effort was that the authorities did get to play with their new flying drone to 'check things out'.

There must be a middle path somewhere. Yes, crashes need to be investigated and safety must be a priority, but I suspect clearing such things up is taking a lot longer than  it ought to. A lot of people have a vested interest in the delay being as long as possible and re-opening a closed road is not a high priority.


14 comments:

  1. An incident - or an 'event' as the Police prefer to call them these days - on any one of Sydney's main or secondary roads has a multiplied impact across the entire city. Even a heavy rain shower nowadays has the effect of reducing streets across the city to parking lots.

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    1. Victor, congestion in Tokyo seemed less of a problem in my eyes as they are not so dependent on big roads. When a big road in our cities goes wrong, it has such a major impact.

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  2. But surely the safety of the road users are paramount. I shudder to think of all those accidents when a good Samaritan steps out of his/her vehicle to help and end up being injured themselves

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    1. That happens at times Michael, but people in such situations need to take their own safety into account very carefully. Safety is paramount, but I am talking about what I see as needless delay.

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  3. I've sometimes wondered myself why these accidents take so long to clear up. I would think the main priority is to get the traffic moving again asap.

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    1. River, I don't know either. But I do know the longer people are on the scene of the accident, the more they earn.

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  4. no disagreement by me. whole train lines shut down for hours while coaches are called in, because some selfish* suicide his car on the line at Sunshine, when it could swiftly be towed and the timetable salvaged for hundreds of commuters who just want to get home.

    * not irony, I think suicide should be undertaken where it causes least aggravation for others.

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    1. Ann, the West Gate Bridge was the perfect place to suicide and many did. One in fact landed in front of my mechanic who was cycling with his mate. Now they have put up suicide barriers, they turn to other means, like jumping in front of trains.

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    2. for instance, Ann, people who choose to slash their wrists should do it in the shower or bath so the blood can just be washed away instead of soaking into a carpet or bed. My 2nd husband often threatened to slash himself up and I always said do it in the shower or outside, don't bleed all over my floors.

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    3. Quite so River, and the same goes for a gun shot to the head. Lie in the bath and don't splatter the walls.

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  5. It's funny you should say that Andrew..on the way into the city yesterday I checked out the workers on the widening of the Mitchell Freeway project..there was not one guy actually working..meanwhile the traffic is jammed up for miles back grrrr! Lucky I don't suffer from road rage :)

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    1. That is so annoying Grace. These works are usually contracted out and the road authority does want to know about complaints.

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  6. The amount of time taken by authorities to "secure the scene and investigate" does seem excessive, I agree. Surely, 95% of required evidence can be obtained in 10-15 minutes? And if it's a suicide, what's to investigate?

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    1. Craig, and in one hour, 100% could be obtained. Re suicide, I've seen enough Midsommer Murders to know that you have to make sure it is suicide.

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