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  UN Road Safety Week 2015

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Latest Crash News US court orders Toyota to pay $11 mn for fatal accidentWashington, Feb 4 2015

A jury in the US city of Minneapolis has found Toyota partially responsible for a 2006 accident which left three people dead, and ordered the Japanese carmaker to pay $11 million in damages, according to media reports.
The jury said Tuesday that the 1996 Toyota Camry had a design defect which was partly to blame for the crash in which three people died, including two young children. But the jury also found Koua Fong Lee, the car’s driver, 40 percent responsible for the collision with another vehicle in which Javis Trice-Adams, his son Javis Adams and his nephew Devyn Bolton died.
The court ordered Toyota to pay $2 million to Lee and the remaining sum to the victims’ families. Lee argued that the accident was caused by a design flaw in the car that caused it to accelerate suddenly. After the crash, Lee was convicted of responsibility for the accident and sent to prison. However, after serving two-and-a-half-years in prison, the prosecution decided to award him a retrial when it discovered numerous reports of sudden acceleration problems in Toyota cars. The Japanese company has denied that Lee’s car was not subjected to the recalls of many of its vehicles over acceleration issues.

 Editorial 2015

A year of do-it-yourself

red spanner - CopyWhat does this spanner signify? Following a crash at the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix, Sir Jackie Stewart was left trapped in his overturned BRM soaking in fuel. With no tools to help him, stewards had to wait for other drivers, Graham Hill and Robert Bondurant to help after borrowing a spanner from a spectator. From now on, Jackie Stewart would tape a spanner to his steering wheel, travel to races with his own doctors whilst his team supplied a medical truck for the benefit of all.Steering Wheel

That spanner is there to remind you that if you want road safety, it is in your hands to do something about it, because despite years of effort, the National Safety organisations have made little or no impact on crash and casualty reduction. Your churches may be interested in your souls but they also have shown no interest in saving your life on the road.

Jackie Stewart took his own initiative to reduce the risk of injury and death. If you want Road Safety in Africa, then for the foreseeable future, you will have to do something for yourself. So what can you do?

Jackie Stewart made a remarkable contribution to motor-racing; he took the world championship three times. When it came to making a dangerous sport safer, Stewart led the way. “People were dying …how could I just do nothing?” He became the butt of jokes and criticism. An uncompromising stance on safety even generated death threats.  Another driver, Innes Ireland, mocked Jackie with chicken noises while flapping his elbows. Jackie was no coward. He was facing facts. “Imagine an eleven year window…when you lose 57, repeat 57 friends…watching them die in horrific circumstances…I didn’t have to imagine.” It was real.

If you have been following these pages over the past years, you will have seen and read about the devastation and loss caused by traffic injuries. You can do something. You can help yourself and you can help others. The Community Action Plan gives you some ideas to start with. Do not accept poor results and excuses from people who are being paid good money to provide Road Safety (that you fund) and then fail to deliver. If these people are innefective get them removed, seek political help, write to your President. Doing nothing is a poor alternative. red spanner

Remember the Spanner.

If you want some advice or guidance, please use the Leave a Reply box below.

 NEWS. US Government says it is fining Honda $70 million for not reporting to safety regulators more than 1,700 complaints that its vehicles caused deaths and injuries, and for not reporting warranty claims. It’s the largest civil penalty levied against an automaker. In May 2014 General Motors was fined $35m and agreed to take part in “unprecedented oversight requirements” over its massive recall of cars with faulty ignition switches that have been linked to 13 deaths. See Decade of Hypocrisy.

 

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