Texting at the wheel? Why not go the whole hog and fire a gun out of the window, too?
ANYONE who texts while driving a car is a deliberate killer. He or she knows the risks and can be said to have the intent to kill. The only thing that separates this from murder is that the killer does not care whether or who he kills. He knows his action could be fatal, and he still does it. If he fails to kill anyone, he is morally no different from a wouldbe murderer who shoots but misses.
If we ever did have the sense to restore the death penalty, I would be happy to see it applied to such persons, for example to Peter Morrison, whose moronic, selfish, savage behaviour killed Highways England traffic officer Adam Gibb and paralysed his colleague Paul Holroyd. These good men were out in filthy weather, trying to clear up after another crash.
Morrison was driving his show-off Mercedes car at an average speed of 81mph on the M6 in rain so heavy one witness said it was like being in a car wash. Yet he was seen shooting past other cars ‘like a missile’.
The killer, convicted last week of causing death by dangerous driving, admitted his use of a phone at the wheel was ‘ unwise’. But he denied it was dangerous.
While he did this ghastly thing, he was preoccupied with football, sending 25 WhatsApp messages in 17 minutes – one 96 seconds before he slewed off the road to kill Mr Gibb and ruin many other lives besides.
Could this ‘happen to anyone’? I do not think so. But something like it could ‘happen’ to someone you know, today. And someone else you know could be killed or terribly injured as a result. Every day, I still see people on their phones while driving. And if I reprove them, they jeer that I can do nothing about it because the police don’t care, which is true. Does anyone in this country not yet know that it is dangerous to text while driving? Is there the remotest excuse for this? Even at 20mph, those who do it risk killing or injuring a child on a suburban road.
What will stop them doing it? It makes me so angry that I am tempted to suggest a few public hangings at motorway services, with the killers’ heads left to rot on spikes along the central reservation, Game Of Thrones style. But even I recognise this is going a bit far.
LET us compromise on the reintroduction of police traffic patrols, which have vanished as totally as police foot patrols. Speed cameras do not remotely make up for their disappearance. And they have disappeared. A friend of mine recently drove from London to Glasgow and did not see one patrol car. I am sure this is quite typical. I know they are busy painting their nails and doing Gay Pride parades, but couldn’t they spare a few hours for this task as well? It is no good making the fines bigger and bigger, as we keep doing, if people are confident they will never be caught.
If the moron Morrison had been caught texting, and properly punished, he wouldn’t now be the broken, astonished creature he is, amazed at the consequences of his own folly and doubtless full of selfpity. And his victims would still be happy and healthy, and their families would not be devastated. Yet somehow it is nobody’s priority to do anything about this.
HAPPIER THAN THE REAL THING: An artist at work on Mrs May’s waxwork