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Source: (consider it) Thread: Ethical problem solving, a particular example
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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I had an incident today occur which raises for me the question of how to decide the right course of action. Is there only one? How to weigh the factors?

In my province in Canada, the law is that a mobile telephones shall not be used, including that it mustn't be in the hand of the driver. (That using a cell phone attached to the car's dashboard or routed through the car's TV screen is legal, but certainly very distracting, aside).

I ride a bicycle year round, and also sometimes use a camera when the weather won't freeze the thing up. This morning I caught on cam a semi-trailer truck driver with phone in hand, looking at the phone, and I also have the truck licence plate and company. I see drivers take such risks frequently, doing things that endanger others.

What I did:
I banged on the passenger side door at a stop light, he rolled the window down. I told him to put it away in very firm and polite terms, and that distracted driving is dangerous. He started to explain something and I responded that the right answer was "yes sir" and to put it away. I also said I could call his company or the police. He put the phone away.

What I could also do: send the video to the police or his employer.

The consequences to him if I sent the video to police are big:
-large fines, demerit points, insurance penalties, with an immediate total of about $1800 (~£1000).
-vehicle impounded for 3-60 days if a second or higher offence, and they also seize loaned and company vehicles.
-the consequences follow the driver for at least 5 years, with increased insurance and driving licence costs for the duration. I think this adds another roughly $2000 (£1200).

If I send to his employer I wonder if he might be dismissed.

The consequences for others on the road are that this guy could kill someone or seriously injure someone.

So, is there a responsibility to prevent future harm to potential people this driver could injure, such that I should report the offence? Do I think "poor driver", and consider the consequences to him? But if he was impaired by alcohol I wouldn't hesitate to report, and the cellphone information shows that it is as bad as alcohol at impaired levels. Except that as soon as you put cell phone away, the cellphone impairment stops.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
sabine
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Not sure I have an answer to this dilemma, but it seems to me that if he put the phone away, you at least stopped him at that point. You don't know if this is a habit or a one-off. Perhaps, the explanation he was going to give might have shed some light on his propensity to use the phone while driving.

Some things to consider.

sabine

Posts: 5807 | From: the US Heartland | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

In my province in Canada, the law is that a mobile telephones shall not be used, including that it mustn't be in the hand of the driver.

Does your law also ban looking at a map on your phone (rather than communicating with it)? And does it also ban looking at a paper map?

Here's why I ask: if I'm driving alone somewhere unfamiliar, I will usually carry a small piece of paper with directions written on it. Sometimes I'll have that paper clutched in my hand on the steering wheel, so I can flick my gaze to it and back again, and so read the next instruction without being distracted for longer than a glance in the rear view mirror.

I can imagine someone wanting to do that with a map or notes on a phone or other device, and I can imagine doing that in a way that was no more distracted than my piece of paper.

So morally, I would call doing that OK. The problem is that that looks pretty much exactly the same as someone making a phone call or sending a text: it's just someone with a phone in their hand. And if what you're doing isn't glancing at a screen, but tapping in a code to unlock it, and typing some address into a GPS program, that's just as distracting as texting.

There is no question that his behaviour was in breach of your law. I can construct scenarios where he was technically in breach of the law but not actually at an elevated risk of an accident compared to legal behaviour, and in that case, the proper moral action would seem to be to tell him to put it away 'cause it's illegal, and leave it at that.

You say you have video, so perhaps you can tell whether his looking at the phone is consistent with short glances to check a direction or street address, or if it looks like a prolonged gaze.

As sabine says, you got him to put it away. Perhaps the fact that you saw him, and are quite capable of dropping him in the cacky, will act as as much of a deterrent as a police officer pulling someone over for speeding and letting them off with a warning.


(Sidenote on distracted driving: I don't know anyone who has had an accident because they've been on the phone, but I do know someone who once crashed into a large brightly-coloured mail van that was moving at about walking pace, because he was fiddling about with the CD player and not looking out of the window.)

Posts: 4745 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

In my province in Canada, the law is that a mobile telephones shall not be used, including that it mustn't be in the hand of the driver.

Does your law also ban looking at a map on your phone (rather than communicating with it)? And does it also ban looking at a paper map?

Here's why I ask: if I'm driving alone somewhere unfamiliar, I will usually carry a small piece of paper with directions written on it. Sometimes I'll have that paper clutched in my hand on the steering wheel, so I can flick my gaze to it and back again, and so read the next instruction without being distracted for longer than a glance in the rear view mirror.

I can imagine someone wanting to do that with a map or notes on a phone or other device, and I can imagine doing that in a way that was no more distracted than my piece of paper.

So morally, I would call doing that OK. The problem is that that looks pretty much exactly the same as someone making a phone call or sending a text: it's just someone with a phone in their hand. And if what you're doing isn't glancing at a screen, but tapping in a code to unlock it, and typing some address into a GPS program, that's just as distracting as texting.

There is no question that his behaviour was in breach of your law. I can construct scenarios where he was technically in breach of the law but not actually at an elevated risk of an accident compared to legal behaviour, and in that case, the proper moral action would seem to be to tell him to put it away 'cause it's illegal, and leave it at that.

You say you have video, so perhaps you can tell whether his looking at the phone is consistent with short glances to check a direction or street address, or if it looks like a prolonged gaze.

As sabine says, you got him to put it away. Perhaps the fact that you saw him, and are quite capable of dropping him in the cacky, will act as as much of a deterrent as a police officer pulling someone over for speeding and letting them off with a warning.


i.e. none whatsoever.

Report him. Before he kills someone. These twats never stop of their own accord.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Felafool
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# 270

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Karl Liberal Backslider
quote:
Report him. Before he kills someone.
Agree. There is currently a case in the UK where someone is appealing their prison sentence for causing death driving whilst texting on a mobile phone. This person was a serial phone driver.

Also recently, a lorry driver was jailed for causing the deaths of 4 people while changing/searching tracks on their phone/iplayer.

This is as bad as drunken driving and should be equally socially unacceptable.

Report them. It will likely result in a warning from the police, or a charge of driving without due care and attention. This is much better than a charge of death by dangerous driving.

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I don't care if the glass is half full or half empty - I ordered a cheeseburger.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Does your law also ban looking at a map on your phone (rather than communicating with it)? And does it also ban looking at a paper map?

Yes, that is totally banned and illegal.

If you are holding a paper in your hand whilst driving and looking at it, I would expect that you would be charged here. You certainly would if you had a road map on the steering wheel. Depending on circumstances, they can also cite you for eating if you're glancing down at the hamburger in your lap.

quote:
Leorning Cniht:
Here's why I ask: if I'm driving alone somewhere unfamiliar, I will usually carry a small piece of paper with directions written on it. Sometimes I'll have that paper clutched in my hand on the steering wheel, so I can flick my gaze to it and back again, and so read the next instruction without being distracted for longer than a glance in the rear view mirror.

You'd certainly be charged if there was an accident.

The rule is if you need to take your eyes off the road, you must pull over. You may not have something in your hand that you're reading.


quote:
Leorning Cniht:
(Sidenote on distracted driving: I don't know anyone who has had an accident because they've been on the phone, but I do know someone who once crashed into a large brightly-coloured mail van that was moving at about walking pace, because he was fiddling about with the CD player and not looking out of the window.)

The CD thing is chargeable as distracted driving here. If the driver admitted it or was seen to be doing it. Link to laws here.

Depending on timeframe, we are told that distracted driving is either first or second behind alcohol with drivers causing collisions. I suspect your jurisdiction's statistics are similar.

[tangent]
"accident" supposes that the thing was unforeseen. I do not accept that it is unforeseen if you're driving distracted. Accident means a moose ran in front you and your eyes were on the road at the time. It doesn't apply when you come out of parking lot and hit me on a bicycle, nor turn your car in front of me, nor when you pass to close to me and hit me with your mirror. And if I will certainly talk to you about it if given the chance.
[/tangent]

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Does your law also ban looking at a map on your phone (rather than communicating with it)?

If you're using one of these, I'm sure it's fine.

quote:
Here's why I ask: if I'm driving alone somewhere unfamiliar, I will usually carry a small piece of paper with directions written on it. Sometimes I'll have that paper clutched in my hand on the steering wheel, so I can flick my gaze to it and back again, and so read the next instruction without being distracted for longer than a glance in the rear view mirror.
Sellotape the directions to your dashboard. No hands required. Job done.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I don't know anyone who has had an accident because they've been on the phone

I knew someone who died because some selfish bastard thought their phone call was more important than road safety. If I were np, the truck driver would already be having some uncomfortable discussions with both the police and his employer.

With all the hands-free kit you can get these days, there is never an excuse for having a phone in your hand while driving.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
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Not to defend distracted drivers, but taking it upon yourself to bang on someone's door and talk to them firmly seems like a really bad idea to me. This guy was polite. It's only a matter of time before you meet someone who isn't so polite. Call the police or employer if you want, but for your own safety, just keep a safe distance.

--------------------
"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3107 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Not to defend distracted drivers, but taking it upon yourself to bang on someone's door and talk to them firmly seems like a really bad idea to me. This guy was polite. It's only a matter of time before you meet someone who isn't so polite. Call the police or employer if you want, but for your own safety, just keep a safe distance.

It's pretty normal to do such things here. I don't always get a chance to talk to drivers and cyclists, but I certainly think we need to channel positivity. I cleared the snow from the back window of a mini-van I was beside this week and we waved at each other. Small acts of decency are required on all sides of things. It's just the kind of thing that's done here. I get in some places people don't have the same sort of cultural ways.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

The rule is if you need to take your eyes off the road, you must pull over. You may not have something in your hand that you're reading.

You never look at the speedometer, or the fuel gauge, or the milometer, or even the clock while you're driving? I look at all of those things probably every time I drive. The glances that I make at a piece of paper take no longer than the glances I make at any of the instruments on the instrument panel.

(That's why I use a piece of paper rather than a map: I've written instructions with the expectation that I'm going to be sending quick flicking glances at them, not "reading". I'd spend too long trying to orient myself on a road map.)

My understanding is that looking at a map (or paper directions) is not explicitly banned anywhere in the US (in the way that having your hand on a telephone is). If you were driving down the road reading a book, I expect everybody will have some law to charge you under.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Sellotape the directions to your dashboard. No hands required. Job done.

The dashboard is no use - I don't have a convenient bit of dashboard within easy glancing range that isn't occupied by existing instruments, and I'm not going to put the directions somewhere unsafe.

I do sometimes tape directions to the middle of the steering wheel, but the adhesive tends to be reluctant to stick to the plastic. I have found that edge of paper wedged under right thumb works better. Directions coming unstuck and fluttering down to foot level tend to be a distraction.

(The sign of my "I don't know anyone" comment wasn't that I didn't think making a phonecall while driving was unsafe, but that there are other distractions available too.)

Posts: 4745 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Does your law also ban looking at a map on your phone (rather than communicating with it)? And does it also ban looking at a paper map?

Yes, that is totally banned and illegal.

Well, if looking at a map or directions is also illegal, then there's no moral case that you're doing something equivalent to a legal thing.

Which would push the balance in the direction of reporting him.

[other tangent]
I discover that in these parts, it is legal to use a phone whilst stopped in traffic, but only if you first disengage your gears. I don't have a phone, so it doesn't affect me much [Biased]
[/other tangent]

quote:

[tangent]
"accident" supposes that the thing was unforeseen. I do not accept that it is unforeseen if you're driving distracted. Accident means a moose ran in front you and your eyes were on the road at the time.
[/tangent]

I don't think we speak the same English. "Accident" means something that was not intended. Most accidents are entirely foreseeable, and people who engage in risky behaviour are more likely to encounter them.

"Accident" doesn't mean an absence of blame. If a child is swinging back on his chair, it slips, and he falls and bangs his head, he had an accident. It was also his own bloody stupid fault for not keeping all the chair's legs on the ground.

We could reduce the likelihood of being involved in a road accident by driving slower (whether the accident involves another car, a bike, a pedestrian or a moose.) At some point, we decide that the safety gains made by driving slower aren't worth the inconvenience, and call that the speed limit.

We also reduce the likelihood of accidentally hitting a cyclist by maintaining a clear distance from them (so avoiding the risk of a minor change in trajectory of either vehicle causing a collision). And we reduce the likelihood of an accident by not being drunk, not being tired, not being distracted, and generally keeping our attention on what we're doing.

We also invent devices to ameliorate the bad effects of distraction: safety guards on power tools prevent your hand from carelessly wandering into harm's way. Some cars have lane warnings and the like that alert you if you wander out of your lane. Electrical outlets are built so that you can't fit a 20A plug into a 15A service, and so on.

Posts: 4745 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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We're using "collision" instead of "accident" these days. Because accident implies unforeseen.

Re looking at your dashboard. Yes, you can look at gauges and readouts, the law says use of phones and holding them. I am myself greatly concerned about the use of phones at all in cars, whether hand-held or not, and also about the TV screens in the cars on the dashboard. I'd personally like to see these out and for phones not to function at all in automobiles. Study: Hands-free just as distracting as handheld mobile phone use behind the wheel.

I'm still no further ahead about if should officially report this guy. I see the idea that the law is the law, so therefore report. The idea that I may have drawn his attention to the matter. That his behaviour is unlikely to change. That he might kill or hurt someone. The last one is compelling: do I have any responsibility to do something because he might repeat the behaviour? Am I to foresee the future?

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Humble Servant
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# 18391

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

What I did:
I banged on the passenger side door at a stop light, he rolled the window down. I told him to put it away in very firm and polite terms, and that distracted driving is dangerous. He started to explain something and I responded that the right answer was "yes sir" and to put it away.

You were lucky he didn't explain something with his wheel-brace. I've tried to discuss other people's driving with them on occasion, and I think you're risking your life in doing so. Just take the evidence to someone who's going to be interested and leave the offender to his own devices.
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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

What I did:
I banged on the passenger side door at a stop light, he rolled the window down. I told him to put it away in very firm and polite terms, and that distracted driving is dangerous. He started to explain something and I responded that the right answer was "yes sir" and to put it away.

You were lucky he didn't explain something with his wheel-brace. I've tried to discuss other people's driving with them on occasion, and I think you're risking your life in doing so. Just take the evidence to someone who's going to be interested and leave the offender to his own devices.
As you will see above, apparently there is something in the water where NP lives that renders all people polite and unlikely to take firm advice from strange cyclists the wrong way.

Can't say we didn't warn him...

[ 17. January 2017, 19:26: Message edited by: Og, King of Bashan ]

--------------------
"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3107 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Are you telling me that if you talk to strangers in your areas, that you will automatically be assaulted? What freaking part of the world is that? Do you really expect violence from everyone you speak to?

And it isn't water at this time of year, it is ice. Respite today, but we have had 2 weeks or -35°C and better.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
We're using "collision" instead of "accident" these days. Because accident implies unforeseen.

Well, OK. But collision doesn't even imply unintentional. If I point my car at your house and step on the accelerator, I collide with it, but I don't have an accident (unless I thought I was stepping on the brake).

quote:

Re looking at your dashboard. Yes, you can look at gauges and readouts, the law says use of phones and holding them.

...or maps, or bits of paper, apparently, which is why I was asking. Attempting to interact with some device-with-screen is considerably more distracting than glancing at a piece of paper. The glances that I make towards my driving instructions take about as long as the glances I make towards the other instruments in my car.

Actually, I find GPS systems more distracting than my paper. The GPS system displays a diagram of the road system, and changes as the car moves, which leads me to tend to want to watch it changing. My paper doesn't change.

quote:

I am myself greatly concerned about the use of phones at all in cars, whether hand-held or not, and also about the TV screens in the cars on the dashboard. I'd personally like to see these out and for phones not to function at all in automobiles.

I'm sure it's illegal here to have a TV screen (DVD player etc.) visible to the driver while the car is moving. I'm not at all a fan of the touchscreen interface that is popular on new cars, precisely because it can't be operated without looking at it.

But I will utterly oppose any attempt to make phones not function in cars, on the grounds that it is completely reasonable for a passenger in a car to use any of a telephone's functions (or to read a book, watch a DVD, use a computer, or about anything else on the long list of things that drivers shouldn't do.)

quote:

Study: Hands-free just as distracting as handheld mobile phone use behind the wheel.



This study says that talking on a hands-free set is as distracting as talking on a handheld phone. That's not surprising: the distracting thing is the concentration on something else, rather than the thing in your hand.

The handheld phone has additional problems with regard to dialling, as people tend to look at their phones to make calls, but once you're in the call, I'd be surprised if they weren't the same.

I often tell the people in my car to be quiet now, because there's a complicated bit. (To be fair, adults tend to shut up automatically.) Perhaps it's harder to do that to people on the phone.

quote:
That he might kill or hurt someone. The last one is compelling: do I have any responsibility to do something because he might repeat the behaviour? Am I to foresee the future?
Here's an analogy. At my place of employment, everyone (down to the newest temporary minion) is empowered to halt some work activity if they think it's unsafe.

This is a good thing. If you see something unsafe, you are obliged to put a stop to it.

However, it is not necessary for all of these things to be formally reported. Injuries and particular classes of near-miss have a formal reporting and tracking procedure, but if I see someone struggling under an unwieldy load and say "here - let me help you with that" and take half of it, we don't need to tell anyone. But I should tell him to ask for help next time.

I should prevent my colleague from carrying his unwieldy load alone, because he's at increased risk of dropping it and hurting someone. But it doesn't rise to the level of "oh shit - we need to fix this problem" that the formal procedures entail.

I think this is an example of the case where you should say something, but not take formal action existing. I'd also include the warnings given to drivers who were driving just a little too fast that Karl is so contemptuous of in that category.

So your question is whether your truck driver falls into this category. And I'm afraid that I think he's pretty close to the boundary, which doesn't help you know which way to jump.

It may be that his holding of the phone was some occasional and fleeting occurrence, in which case you reporting him does harm to him that is disproportionate to the risk that he poses to others. On the other hand, it may be that you saw him engaged in his normal, habitual behaviour, in which case he is often at an increased risk of an accident and you should do something.

There is perhaps another aspect. Imagine that he were drunk, rather than using his phone. You would have no hesitation in calling the police, but they also wouldn't be charging him based on your word. You'd call the police, say that there was a guy driving such-and-such a truck on this road, and that he was drunk / had a bottle of scotch on the passenger seat / whatever, and it would be down to the police to pull him over and administer a breath test.

In this case, you suggest that you would present to the police your video of him on the phone, and they would mail him a screenshot and a demand for a large cheque. That's a rather more direct involvement, and perhaps why you're more hesitant.

Posts: 4745 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Stercus Tauri
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# 16668

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

The rule is if you need to take your eyes off the road, you must pull over. You may not have something in your hand that you're reading.

You never look at the speedometer, or the fuel gauge, or the milometer, or even the clock while you're driving? I look at all of those things probably every time I drive. The glances that I make at a piece of paper take no longer than the glances I make at any of the instruments on the instrument panel.

But you don't read a speedometer or other gauge in the same way that you read a text or concentrate on a conversation. Your brain registers the position of a gauge needle and you already have a mental reference for comparison, or ought to. This is why digital car gauges are a bad thing - you have to read them. It takes a small fraction of a second to check an analogue gauge.

I have no wish to share the road with anyone who is doing anything except driving, and that includes bus drivers, police drivers and any number of other people who know better. A rap on the knuckles isn't the remedy for anyone who thinks he or she can keep on getting away with it. If you are confident that you can prove an offence was being committed, then shop him. It's a problem that gets worse daily, it seems. Confrontation is dangerous, and not to be recommended, especially in the USA, though Canada isn't as mellow as many would claim. Most bizarre is to see someone hurtling downhill in a traffic lane on a skateboard or a bike while texting. What the blazes do you do about that?

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

Posts: 857 | From: On the traditional lands of the Six Nations. | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Are you telling me that if you talk to strangers in your areas, that you will automatically be assaulted? What freaking part of the world is that? Do you really expect violence from everyone you speak to?

Obviously not. But you just don't know who you are about to engage with, and a lot of people will regard a stranger banging on their door in traffic as an aggressive opening. Based on behavior I have seen on the streets and on the news, I'd be careful. If you ever do call the police, let them know that you confronted the man yourself, and see if they suggest that you might not want to do that in the future.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Stercus Tauri:
But you don't read a speedometer or other gauge in the same way that you read a text or concentrate on a conversation. Your brain registers the position of a gauge needle and you already have a mental reference for comparison, or ought to.

I read the numbers every time. Not all speedometers have the same range.

quote:
This is why digital car gauges are a bad thing - you have to read them. It takes a small fraction of a second to check an analogue gauge.

The milometer is digital (an analogue one would be much harder to use, and take longer to read.) The clock is digital (digital clocks are faster to read than analogue ones). The fuel economy indicator is a digital readout. The fuel gauge is analogue-ish, but also 25% off in calibration, so I do a mental recalibration every time I look at it.

But I don't read them in the sense of staring at the numbers until I understand what they say. I flick a glance at them, and then process my memory of the image.

That's how I read my directions, too. They're not "a text", they're compact descriptions designed to be easy to read in this way. Quick flick of the gaze, get a picture of the line of instructions I was aiming at, look back at the road while I decode what I just saw. Realize that I didn't register the name of the road I need to turn on to, and flick a second glance to record that.

quote:
Most bizarre is to see someone hurtling downhill in a traffic lane on a skateboard or a bike while texting. What the blazes do you do about that?
At least the bike has brakes. I find the things I see people do with skateboards quite terrifying.

[ 17. January 2017, 20:38: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

Posts: 4745 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
...This morning I caught on cam a semi-trailer truck driver with phone in hand, looking at the phone, and I also have the truck licence plate and company. ...

What I did:
I banged on the passenger side door at a stop light, he rolled the window down. I told him to put it away in very firm and polite terms, and that distracted driving is dangerous. He started to explain something and I responded that the right answer was "yes sir" and to put it away. I also said I could call his company or the police. He put the phone away.

What I could also do: send the video to the police or his employer.

...
So, is there a responsibility to prevent future harm to potential people this driver could injure, such that I should report the offence? Do I think "poor driver", and consider the consequences to him? But if he was impaired by alcohol I wouldn't hesitate to report, and the cellphone information shows that it is as bad as alcohol at impaired levels. Except that as soon as you put cell phone away, the cellphone impairment stops.

What is the ethical dilema?

Legally, the RCMP website says:

quote:
If you see a hazardous driver swerving or driving erratically, safely pull over with your hazard lights on and call 9-1-1. Gather as many details as you can, including the direction in which the car was going, the street it was on, and the make and model of the vehicle. Knowing the licence plate number can help too.

Do NOT call 9-1-1 if you spot someone using their phone who is not displaying dangerous driving behaviour. Instead, call your local police's non-emergency line to report it. Find the number for your area on your local police services website.

If you witness a crime and fail to report it, you are partly to blame if that criminal then injures or kills someone during the commission of that crime. At least morally and ethically, if not legally. Send the video with details of when and where to the police.

And, yes, send the video to the employer. Now. Please! Hopefully he will be fired on the spot.

Disclosure: I have a friend who is dead because of a distracted driver, and his daughter is seriously brain damaged.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
...

Report him. Before he kills someone. These twats never stop of their own accord.

That must be the right answer, because Karl and I have almost never agreed on anything.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Martin60
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Good man np. You told him what you COULD do. Being old school, I'd have to leave it at that. Sleep on it.

You could email the company and make it THEIR call. Ask what the consequences would be if you gave them the film.

Could they warn all of their drivers first?

Unless I woke up with the conviction that I have to report him. To the police.

[ 17. January 2017, 21:01: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Obviously not. But you just don't know who you are about to engage with, and a lot of people will regard a stranger banging on their door in traffic as an aggressive opening. Based on behavior I have seen on the streets and on the news, I'd be careful. If you ever do call the police, let them know that you confronted the man yourself, and see if they suggest that you might not want to do that in the future.

I have never been assaulted nor threatened here; I don't confront or talk with everyone, but about obvious safety things, I generally do. Have never been threatened in such circumstances, in nearly 60 years.

The bang on the truck guy's door is to get his attention. He knew that immediately, when he looked at me, I am making my hand like a cell phone and shaking my head. I don't believe in involving the authorities in everything. This one has me at the intersection of should/it's okay not to. I don't know the guy, but he's a human being, he made a mistake, he knows about it. Empathy I guess, myself in his place.

I talk to the police too. Almost all of them are polite and genial. Just like everyone else. It's the bare minimum to expect; their attention to homeless in cold weather can only be commended. We're all part of a community for goodness sakes.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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I accept that others posting on this thread are going to disagree with this.

Nevertheless, on 'whether one should shop someone', I'd have thought the starting position has to be that, however angry you feel, it is the wrong thing to do unless there is a clear reason why you have a duty to do so. Examples are obvious, where someone has been injured, property has been stolen, somebody intends to injure or steal, you know otherwise that the wrong person will otherwise take the rap, etc.

I'd also seriously question whether I can offhand think of a situation where it is right to shop someone, when the crime is one created by the law, rather than by the law of nature. That is so even when the moral reason why it has been made a crime is fairly obvious.

In a situation when you do not have a duty to do something, but have a choice, it also seems to me, that the choice should normally be 'no'. The exception to that is where the reason why there is a choice is because an injury has been done to you personally, and there might be the question 'do you wish to press charges?' I don't think that choice automatically obliges you to say 'No. I will forgo that'.


No prophet, if you would say, 'but it is my duty to be a good citizen here', let me ask you some other questions.

First, if, in stead of rising to your anger, the driver had said 'Yes, Sir. Thank you for pointing out my error. I won't do it again', would you still be thinking about reporting him?

If you wouldn't have been, he has still committed the crime. Wouldn't that be compounding it? Wouldn't that have made you as guilty as him, for not reporting it?

No. Of course it wouldn't.

So what is driving your inner debate is actually your anger and not your zeal that this jerk should be turned into a righteous man, or that innocents, fortunately in this case conjectural, might be protected.


Let me ask a second question. Is it your calling in life to go round enforcing the law? If you believe it is, aren't you in the wrong job? Shouldn't you apply to join the police? But if not, shouldn't you leave this to them? And is it their job to pursue your anger for you, to enable you to get your own back on a jerk?


Let me ask a third. If you say that we all have a duty to do our bit to make others law abiding, would you take action to enforce all laws you see broken? I don't now what the laws are in your province, but does that mean photographing people who drop litter, fail to pick up dog messes, or cycle without lights? What about those you suspect of fiddling their taxes?

And what about if you commit a crime. It would (and this is not a question but a simple statement) oblige you to report yourself. You cannot allow yourself any leeway if you don't allow it to others.

And for none of these can you say, 'it depends how serious the offence is'. That has to be the decision of the magistrate, not you.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7233 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
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I'd report him.

This man in the UK killed a cyclist after ignoring SEVEN previous convictions for texting at the wheel.

His pusishment should have been far greater the very first time.

These people don't care [Frown]

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12543 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Enoch's thinking is about where mine is. I came full circle on this, where indeed my first instinct was to report and let the authorities do what they will (or employer). Because there is potential for future harm.

I put into the context of having been injured three times by inattentive drivers, and tried to determine if I was transferring from past unrelated situations into this one. I think on the emotional level, I am doing so.

I came up with the following: that I could contact the company and tell them that I had observed an employee doing the wrong. Without singling out or targetting the person, but letting them know that I clearly saw it, that I'd discussed with their driver, and perhaps they'd like to review with all of the employees.

What do you think of that? Notwithstanding that I am not in law enforcement, isn't there a little extended responsibility?

[tangent]
Cycling here is probably quite different than many places, given that this is winter. They do plow snow from some roads, but most (even the multi-lane roads) have snow on them with clear areas where tires touch the road, and snow between tires, and snow between lanes. Cyclists take up one tire track, thus blocking a lane and the cars must avoid us - which is why also we avoid multi-lane roads whenever possible, and why cars must pass like they are passing a car. There's a level of courtesy and also a level of impatience with travel in winter. We have some fully separated bike lanes, and some path/trails which are of course much better (they are cleared more thoroughly than roads, and there's enforcement of clearing for foot and bike paths). In the winter, drivers are much, much more cautious about cyclists in winter. Plus it is dark and we are well lit; I have 4 lights, helmet and bike. Studded tires also make cycling safe; I have 316 per tire (26x2½), on a mountain bike. I have never had any incident in winter. We like it hard frozen; melting is nasty. My commute in all weather is one of the things I look forward to.
[/tangent]

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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I think it's a fair compromise if you can't bring yourself to report him.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Are you telling me that if you talk to strangers in your areas, that you will automatically be assaulted? What freaking part of the world is that? Do you really expect violence from everyone you speak to?

Obviously not. But you just don't know who you are about to engage with, and a lot of people will regard a stranger banging on their door in traffic as an aggressive opening. Based on behavior I have seen on the streets and on the news, I'd be careful. If you ever do call the police, let them know that you confronted the man yourself, and see if they suggest that you might not want to do that in the future.
You have to remember that in Canada, it is generally safe to assume that nobody is packing heat.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

Posts: 5334 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
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Yeah, I know, Americans are violent, the rest of the world is so much more civilized, la la la.

Do a youtube search for Canada road rage if you think this doesn't happen north of the border. The idea that Canada is somehow immune to aggressive driving behavior is ridiculous.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3107 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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Road Rage is a universal. It's what access the enraged have to firearms that I think Soror Magna is referring to. If an angry driver hasn't got a gun, he (usually he I suspect) can't draw it on you.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7233 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Yeah, I know, Americans are violent, the rest of the world is so much more civilized, la la la.

Do a youtube search for Canada road rage if you think this doesn't happen north of the border. The idea that Canada is somehow immune to aggressive driving behavior is ridiculous.

Of course it is. Everything happens everywhere, at least some of the time. But no where near the rates in the USA, both in terms of total numbers and the rate. I don't live in Toronto or one of the other large Canadian cities. I live in a small city, in a province 3 times bigger than Great Britain where the population density is less than 1 person per square mile. We have had a major crime of the person against a family member so, yes, bad things happen.

It is usual that if we meet someone we don't know that we will know someone who knows them at the max level of 2 intermediary people. Weirdly, small cities in western Canada are leaders in the rate of assaults, but it is easy to see that these rates are due to our indigenous peoples, and most often substance abuse related.

I would recognize this man if I saw him again, and I wonder if I will. This is one reason I am invariably polite frankly.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
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As much as I appreciate the great respect y'all have for the responsibility of driving & taking your own and others' lives in your hands, as I'm reading this I can't help thinking, "clearly none of you live in L.A." Today I passed a woman using an eyelash curler while driving to work. Just a normal Wednesday here.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10910 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Yeah, I know, Americans are violent, the rest of the world is so much more civilized, la la la.

Do a youtube search for Canada road rage if you think this doesn't happen north of the border. The idea that Canada is somehow immune to aggressive driving behavior is ridiculous.

Of course Canadians road rage. (Sometimes I play road rage avatar when I'm a passenger.) But Canadians road rage mostly with baseball bats and golf clubs and hockey sticks, not guns. I find it easier to read for comprehension when my knee isn't jerking.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

Posts: 5334 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Palimpsest
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I almost got run over in a crosswalk at a fork in the road by a woman who then parked and got out to get coffee while still chatting on her phone. She had run a red light. I told her what she had done and then walked away to avoid her thinking I was threatening her.

I've gotten less happy since then to give people a pass on cell use while driving. That's in part because the roads are getting worse with congestion here and people are doing weird driving. I've had times when half the people weren't driving with the flow of traffic.

If you complain about it, it's likely that the company or the police will give a warning here, given the lack of evidence. How would you feel if the driver later showed up in a case having run down some pedestrians?

Posts: 2974 | From: Seattle WA. US | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
I find it easier to read for comprehension when my knee isn't jerking.

[Roll Eyes]

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Stercus Tauri
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Another ethical question, and it ought to be easy, but for some reason I am not finding it so.

Yesterday I bought some supplies from a business that is owned by a friend, a decent and generous individual. The salesman (not my friend) found that the debit/credit card reader wasn't working, but luckily I had enough cash on me. He doesn't have a cash register, so it went into a tin box. I needed a receipt, so he gave me a blank with only the amount handwritten on it and didn't keep the copy. I am fairly sure he was ripping off his employer, but I can't prove it. I don't want to possibly falsely accuse someone, and I don't want to sour a friendship, so I'm still working on it. Have I missed an obvious point somewhere? Always conscious of, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" and so on, or even mistaken witness, for that matter.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

Posts: 857 | From: On the traditional lands of the Six Nations. | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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Just guilelessly ask your friend, 'Gotcher card reader working yet?'.

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
As much as I appreciate the great respect y'all have for the responsibility of driving & taking your own and others' lives in your hands, as I'm reading this I can't help thinking, "clearly none of you live in L.A." Today I passed a woman using an eyelash curler while driving to work. Just a normal Wednesday here.

I have been thinking much the same thing. And I'd never bang on a stranger's car door.
Posts: 24368 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
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And to call me "Sir" in reply - doubtless touching his forelock at the same time.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Might be useful:

"Car Talk's Driver Distraction Center Produced in partnership with the University of Utah and University of Kansas" (CarTalk)

I'm not sure how recently the resources were updated. One of the hosts died a couple of years ago ( [Votive] ), so the show is in permanent reruns on NPR. The blogs are still active. And you can listen to episodes on the site. Great, funny but serious show.

Re the truck driver:

Banging on the cab door, in traffic (even at a stop), is apt to freak most people out. They don't know who you are, what you want, are you trying to carjack them or worse. At best, they won't be kindly predisposed to you and what you have to say. At worst, they'll commit verbal or physical violence.

So don't bang on the door--unless the truck is catching on fire, and you need to warn the driver.

Given the situation, I like the stated idea of just *generally* reporting to the company to remind their drivers.

In the future, if you feel the need to do something in the moment, take the posted advice from the RCMP and call their non-emergency number. You might also see if there's a "How am I driving? Call this number" sign on the vehicle. Some businesses here have that.

And, of course, there's the paradox of how do *you* safely get the license plate number and call the police. If you're in traffic and call, you may be breaking the law. If you pull over, you may not remember the plate number, and it wouldn't be safe to write it down while in traffic. You might be able to get the number with your camera. If you can do that, and wait 'til you're off the road to call, that would be safest, IMHO.

Thought: if you think you might want to report someone in the future, you might put the non-emergency police number on your phone.

FWIW, YMMV.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17647 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Stercus Tauri:
Another ethical question, and it ought to be easy, but for some reason I am not finding it so.

Yesterday I bought some supplies from a business that is owned by a friend, a decent and generous individual. The salesman (not my friend) found that the debit/credit card reader wasn't working, but luckily I had enough cash on me. He doesn't have a cash register, so it went into a tin box. I needed a receipt, so he gave me a blank with only the amount handwritten on it and didn't keep the copy. I am fairly sure he was ripping off his employer, but I can't prove it. I don't want to possibly falsely accuse someone, and I don't want to sour a friendship, so I'm still working on it. Have I missed an obvious point somewhere? Always conscious of, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" and so on, or even mistaken witness, for that matter.

How close a friend? If he's a close friend, how does loyalty to him and his interests affect this? If that isn't emotionally the question, how true is it really to describe him as a friend, rather than an acquaintance?

If it was your business, your employee and your cashbox, and your friend who had bought something, what would you want your friend to do?

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7233 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

I came up with the following: that I could contact the company and tell them that I had observed an employee doing the wrong. Without singling out or targetting the person, but letting them know that I clearly saw it, that I'd discussed with their driver, and perhaps they'd like to review with all of the employees.

What do you think of that?

I think that you had the choice to report him or warn him not to do it again, and that either choice was valid.

But that having chosen to warn him, there's a possibility that he has taken your warning to heart and mended his ways. And that to then get him punished is not helping anyone and is reneging on the implied deal "mend your ways or I'll report you".

You've acted. You've chosen.

Telling the company - without letting on to them that you can identify which driver - seems like a good way of reinforcing what you've already done. More pressure to reform.

PS: not entirely sure how it's safe for you to use a camera while on a bike...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2978 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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Head cam. Good collective consensus.

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Love wins

Posts: 16587 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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