Traffic Terrorism Strikes Again: Because governments care more about fast traffic than human lives


It wasn’t my intent to post another item so soon about cars (and the environment, by extension) but two news items made it necessary.

In the city of Leeds, England, a heroic woman named Deborah Chapman (age 52) works as a street crossing guard (“lollipop woman”) near a school.  Nicknamed “Jolly Lolly”, she stops traffic so that children and families can cross streets safely.  Chapman has had to physically prevent people from being run over by reckless drivers.

Unfortunately, traffic terrorists in their cars view human beings as impediments to “their right to drive fast”.  She has been repeately subjected to verbal abuse and death threats, drivers yelling out that they will come back and run her over.

Chapman obtained a recording device (paid for by parents in the community) and took video and audio of drivers as she worked.  Their behaviours and words changed when they knew they were being recorded.  However, due to incompetent politicians and corrupt laws, Chapman was ordered to stop wearing the device to “protect the drivers’ privacy” (read: protect their ability to threaten violence against innocent people).

Angry Leeds drivers abuse this lollipop lady every day but she has been banned from wearing bodycam

Deborah Chapman, 52, doesn’t feel safe in the job she has done in Beeston for almost ten years

By Jasmine Norden

17:55, 15 NOV 2021

A Leeds lollipop lady has said she feels so unsafe doing her job at the moment parents decided to buy her a bodycam.

Deborah Chapman, 52, said she deals with ‘horrendous’ abuse everyday from drivers as she helps kids cross the road outside Beeston Primary School.

The problem has become such that parents took it upon themselves to raise money to buy Deborah a bodycam to keep her safe.

She told LeedsLive: “The drivers are horrible. They are always angry and think we are a nuisance.

“It happens on a daily basis – I get people swearing at me or revving up behind me. I get called horrible names like s**g or s**t or even the c-word. I see lots of dangerous driving.

[. . .]

“The kids call me the Jolly Lolly. I’m confident doing my job and protecting them and I will stand my ground – but it’s getting harder and harder to take all of the abuse home with me.”

In one recent incident, Deborah said a driver threatened to come back at the end of her next shift and ‘mow her down’.

Note the date on the above news item: November 15, 2021, which makes the item below the fold all the more appalling.

In Shropshire on November 11, 2021, four days before Chapman’s story, a three year old child was murdered by a hit and run driver (age 24)The little girl was crossing the street on a zebra crossing (crosswalk) with her parents, proving once again that drivers kill innocents, not “scofflaws”.

Shropshire is about 160 kilometres from Leeds.  And it’s a kilometre from Shrewsbury, where a friend of mine lives with her husband and their one year old baby.

Girl dies after being hit on zebra crossing by hit-and-run driver

UK News Published: Nov 12, 2021

West Midlands Police say a 24-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

A young girl has died after being hit by a car on a zebra crossing in Birmingham, police have said.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested following the collision, in which the girl was hit by a silver Ford Galaxy on Reddings Lane in the Yardley area just before 2.40pm on Thursday.

She was taken to hospital but died. Police say she was with her family at the time she was hit.

West Midlands Police say the driver of the car failed to stop at the crossing but a man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after officers took witness accounts and statements and located the vehicle.

That’s not the only incident from recent weeks.  In September, a 16 year old driver was harassing a group of cyclists with his triple-sized Ford pickup truck before running over the group, falsely claiming it was an “accident”.

16-Year-Old Texas Truck Driver Who Hit Six Cyclists Charged With Felonies

After running over six cyclists on September 25, a 16-year-old driver from Waller County, Texas, was indicted on November 8 with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is currently in the custody of the local juvenile justice department. The charge is a second-degree felony with a punishment of two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

As a juvenile, the driver has only been identified as the son of Jason and Jennifer Arnold, according to a blog post by Bike Law, whose affiliated attorneys are representing the cyclists.

Unfortunately, judges treat drivers murdering cyclists the same way that Bruce Schroeder is treating Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin: as if “he’s doing the world a favour”.  A drunk driver in Texas got 20 days in jail for killing a cyclist.  A woman in Singapore with a history of speeding and reckless driving got a two week driving suspension while her victim has lost most use of his arm.  A driver in San Francisco served only 16 days in jail for killing a cyclist.  A Colorado driver got 18 months despite intentionally running over a cyclist and causing multiple broken bones and spine.  A driver in Ontario was “sentenced to 12 months home confinement” after she in her SUV ran over a murdered a man on a bicycle.  An Ohio woman received only probation after a hit and run that left a cyclist permanently disabled and guilty of evidence tampering.  A Chicago man on probation after murdering a 93 year old woman with his car ran over two cyclists, a hit and run attack.  An Ontario man got only two years probation after running over and killing a cyclist.  A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced to three years of probation after murdering a cyclist as she texted while driving.

And all those stories are from this year alone.

The only “serious” sentences I could find from 2021 were a driver in Las Vegas getting sixteen years in prison for murdering five cyclists and a Maryland man who got 20 years. I guess the judge decided being high on methamphetamine meant he wasn’t responsible.

Asking “what were the cyclists doing?” is as inappropriate as asking “what was she wearing?”

Although I hate firearms and the US attitude towards them, I understand and empathize with the actions of a cyclist in Houston (July 2021) who shot a driver that had been harassing he and his wife, hitting her with his vehicle.  The driver survived.

 

Comments

  1. sarah00 says

    I don’t understand the claim the bodycam violates GDPR regulations. According to Big Brother Watch all sorts of officials wear bodycams including council officials and traffic wardens, and there’s no specific regulations around their usage, something that really should be rectified given their growing usage.

    I don’t like the fact we are being filmed almost all the time we’re in public but this feels like it’s just an excuse made up by the council. Especially given that the same Council has given its own staff body cameras to combat increased violence.

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