Category Archives: Safety

British Airways Takes A Stand for Safety

British Airways passengers who refuse to submit to what is an astonishingly controversial full body scan will be barred from boarding their flights.  FANTASTIC!  And they also eliminated the ban on scanning children under the age of 18.  FANTASTIC!  Wow.  To know you’re not going to have to worry about the guy next to you lighting up a bomb in his private parts is a blessing.
Now why would anyone be against this?  Well think of conspiracy nuts, “big brother” nuts, and people who are anti-Western civilization, as well as those who are anarchists.  As far as I’m concerned, they can all ride a bus or get some exercise on their bicycle or rent a little boat and cross the ocean on their own.
Oh, and by the way, the image generated by the body scanner can’t be stored or captured, nor can security officers recognize individuals from viewing the images.
This is not (as some naysayers proclaim) an indication that the “bad guys” have won.  It’s a technology which thwarts their means of killing us.  Issues of life and death take precedence over silly sentiments of “modesty” when our media has elevated immodesty to a perverted art.

Death by Texting

It’s bad enough when people drive and talk on the phone – they don’t have the use of their phone hand for maneuvering the car (and in many states, talking without a hands-free headset is illegal), and they are totally absorbed in a conversation, meaning they’re not looking alertly for pedestrians, bicyclists, a herd of buffalo or other cars.  What’s even more egregious is the texting craze which has the driver looking down and reading or dialing or writing and not even looking ahead at the road for several seconds, which could mark the difference between life and death.

For Victoria McBryde, 24, those few precious seconds meant her death.  22 year old Phillipa Curtis has been convicted of the death of Ms McBryde – caused by texting while driving.  The victim’s car had broken down and was by the side of the road with all its lights on and emergency lights blinking – a bit hard NOT to notice.  Nonetheless, she was killed instantly when her car was rear-ended by the texting Ms. Curtis, who will spend only two years in prison for this crime.

This all took place in Britain, which has added jail time to a conviction for killing by texting and driving.  Ms. Curtis’ phone records indicated that she had exchanged nearly two dozen messages with at least five friends, mostly concerning her encounter with a celebrity singer she had served at a restaurant where she worked.  That’s what was so important?  For that, someone had to die??  Death due to dangerous driving (e.g., texting) is on the level of drinking while driving, and can earn four to seven years in jail.  Apparently, the perp was a pretty, seemingly sweet young thing, and so her jail time was minimized by the judge – a sentence that was met with anger by the victim’s family as well as the by the prosecutor…and by me.

Ironically, it was also discovered that the victim herself had sent a text message and talked on her cell phone using the speaker function while driving before her car broke down. 

Please don’t think you are invincible, and the laws and recommendations about driving safely apply to everyone else, while you are “special.”  The lives of these two young women are forever changed.  One life was forfeited; the other woman is jailed and living with the guilt of having killed another human being because she just had to gossip to five friends about seeing a rock star.  Sad.

Happy Anniversary to the Seat Belt

Here’s a trivia question:  Who invented the car seat belt?

The answer?  Volvo’s first safety engineer, Nils Bohlin, who invented it in 1959.  Prior to this invention, Bohlin designed a catapult ejector seat for airplane pilots. 

This month is the 50th anniversary of the three-point safety belt, an invention that has saved hundreds of thousands of lives globally.  Volvo also made the patent available to other car makers, because they were convinced of the life-saving potential of this invention.

Of course, just about everybody was against it at first:  it added cost to the car, no one wanted to promote cars as “death traps” by saying seat belts were there to save lives, and some people envisioned themselves trapped by a seat belt while a car was aflame or sinking into a watery grave. 

Facts eventually won out over emotional responses, and safety experts estimate that seat belts increase your chance of surviving ANY collision by roughly 50 percent (according to a Fox News story).

Of course, these days, there are many more safety precautions available to the average driver:  front and side air bags, pre-tensioners which tighten the safety belt straps when a collision is imminent, anti-lock braking system, and cars that talk to you when you’re too close to a wall or to another car. 

Nonetheless, all roads lead back to the seat belt.  You’re just plain stupid if you don’t use seat belts, and excuses like “it pinches,” or you don’t believe you’ll ever have an accident or you forget just don’t fly.

The facts are that you will more likely die by ejection if you don’t buckle up.  If you insist on not using your seat belt, please take out a million dollar life insurance policy for your family and friends.  That way, they can at least enjoy some benefit from your being so stubborn!