More stupidity.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by soup, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Richard

    Richard Guest

    David Hansen wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:31:32 +0000 someone who may be Michael
    > MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >
    >
    >>Thanks. That article says that 18 people were killed in 2003/4. (1 train
    >>driver, 9 pedestrians and 8 vehicle occupants.)
    >>
    >>Is that a figure to get excited about?

    >
    >
    > One is looking at two systems with grossly different attitudes to
    > safety. If 3000 people died on the railways every year there would
    > be uproar.


    If 5 people died on the railway in a single crash, there would be uproar.

    Oh, wait...

    R.
     


  2. JLB

    JLB Guest

    bugbear wrote:
    > JLB wrote:
    >
    >> I also wonder if the effects of trying to control and manage other
    >> people's risk taking are almost inevitably cancelled out by the
    >> results of making people less wary.

    >
    >
    > That's an interesting concept.
    > We could call it "risk compensation"


    You could, and so could I, but I thought I'd use a phrase less familiar,
    to slip under the radar of those who automatically deny that risk
    compensation exists.

    --
    Joe * If I cannot be free I'll be cheap
     
  3. On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 10:35:28 +0000, Michael MacClancy
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >They could build a bridge. Or an underpass.


    They could. At vast expense. On the other hand they could try
    placing photographs of the girl taken at the scene, minus limbs and
    plus blood, alongside the barriers, just to remind people what can
    happen if you ignore the warnings.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
     
  4. JLB

    JLB Guest

    Ian Smith wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 11:16:22 +0000, JLB <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I don't think anyone has a complete answer. It's not in human nature to
    >> always be careful, always follow instructions and so on. Teenagers are
    >> notoriously reckless with their own safety and welfare.

    >
    >
    > I question your assesment of human nature.
    >
    > It might be this society's typical nature, but it's not necesarily
    > universal human nature. I've had some (indirect) dealings with a
    > high-speed-rail design produced by Japanese. They have a tendency to
    > install astonishingly dangerous stuff on platforms with a sign saying
    > "don't touch". When we query whether this ought to have a fence round
    > it, or even a complete enclosure, the response sometimes tends towards
    > "there's a sign telling no-one to touch it, so what's the point of
    > goingh to teh expense of a fence (and consequent loss of useful
    > platform space)?"
    >
    > Some societies manage better at following instructions.


    I'd interpret that differently, and take it as evidence for my case, as
    explained further on in the post you quoted. The Japanese don't add on
    "safety measures", and the accident rate does not go through the roof.

    Similarly, I've talked to safety engineers who've worked in third world
    countries and the UK. They've described construction sites with almost
    none of the mandatory safeguards required here, where the workforce
    takes nothing for granted and the accident rate seems much the same as
    ours. I have no statistics to back up this anecdote.

    A further interpretation of your observations on Japan is that after a
    certain length of exposure to such risks you end up with what is called
    a "survivor population". Those that cannot obey signs are removed from
    the population. (This is not Darwinism.)

    --
    Joe * If I cannot be free I'll be cheap
     
  5. soup wrote:

    > While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    > see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer
    > have cycled across it many times ,in both directions and have
    > never felt it was at all risky,mind you I do stop if the lights are
    > flashing, barriers are coming down etc.


    Candidate for a Darwin Award, from the sound of it. Why do the rest of
    us have to suffer silly rules, inconvenience and cost because some
    people go out of their way to circumvent perfectly reasonable safety
    measures?
     
  6. Mark McNeill

    Mark McNeill Guest

    Response to JLB:
    > Similarly, I've talked to safety engineers who've worked in third world
    > countries and the UK. They've described construction sites with almost
    > none of the mandatory safeguards required here, where the workforce
    > takes nothing for granted and the accident rate seems much the same as
    > ours. I have no statistics to back up this anecdote.



    One striking example was [allegedly] the World Trade Centre site, after
    the destruction of the twin towers. Apparently, the clean-up operation
    was more or less without precedent; the workers were thus often obliged
    to rely upon their own judgement rather than formal safeguards and risk
    assessments, and the site had a much lower accident rate than would be
    expected for an operation of that size. (Obviously, that's anecdotal,
    and all sorts of biases can be proposed.) I have a very good book
    somewhere about the clean-up; I must see if I can find it.

    Re-reading, this reminds me of the "naked streets" idea.


    --
    Mark, UK.

    "A wartime Minister of Information is compelled, in the national
    interest, to such continuous acts of duplicity that even his natural
    hair must grow to resemble a wig."
     
  7. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 17:31:37 +0000, JLB <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Similarly, I've talked to safety engineers who've worked in third world
    > countries and the UK. They've described construction sites with almost
    > none of the mandatory safeguards required here, where the workforce
    > takes nothing for granted and the accident rate seems much the same as
    > ours. I have no statistics to back up this anecdote.


    No, and though I've heard it, my experience is oppositte - I've worked
    Malaysian sites, the H&S regime was pretty much entirely absent, and
    teh accident rate was much higher than teh UK rate.

    For example, here if a crane topples it's big industry news. There
    when a crane toppled on teh site I was on they pushed it back upright
    and carried on. The crane toppled because teh safe load wotsit was
    disconnected, and teh driver did something obviously stupid.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  8. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Ian Smith wrote:

    > No, and though I've heard it, my experience is oppositte - I've worked
    > Malaysian sites, the H&S regime was pretty much entirely absent, and
    > teh accident rate was much higher than teh UK rate.


    My father worked on a contract in South Korea repairing some bridges.
    The scaffolding over the river was 'interesting' so he insisted four of
    the scaffolders who had put it up jumped up and down on it together
    before he would set foot on it. The standard improved dramatically from
    that point on.

    ...d
     
  9. Al C-F

    Al C-F Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 10:04:39 +0000, Richard
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Graham Dean wrote:
    >> A truely sad and distressing story.
    >>
    >> Given that "The Kirknewton crossing has in the past been labelled the most
    >> notorious in Scotland due to the high instances of accidents and motorists
    >> jumping red lights." it does raise the question what else really does need
    >> to be done in addition to the *technical* safety measures - some mechanism
    >> for raising the social, cultural and emotional engagement in the risks
    >> concerned.

    >
    >Unfortunately, an incident like this often does just that.
    >

    I'd suggest a career sitting in a wheelchair, telling her story and
    begging for coppers.

    That would improve safety at the crossing no end.
     
  10. Andy Morris

    Andy Morris Guest

    Richard wrote:
    >
    > Some children are not as daft as people think. I was walking past a
    > farm in the depths of the Lake District; there was a small
    > substation/transformer unit there, behind a low stone wall which had a
    > "Danger of Death" sign on the gate. The small child I was
    > accompanying (not mine) turned to me and said seriously, "Don't go in
    > there. The electricity will kill you dead." He was all of five at
    > the time.

    Generally they are more daft at 15 than at 5.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this:
    Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  11. Biggles

    Biggles Guest

    soup wrote:
    > While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    > see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer
    > have cycled across it many times ,in both directions and have
    > never felt it was at all risky,mind you I do stop if the lights are
    > flashing, barriers are coming down etc.
    >
    > Full story at :-
    > http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=285742005&20050317093650
    > or
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/3nvcm


    Sounds like the sort of simple mistake anyone could make - assume that
    the crossing is still closed for the train you just got off. She may
    have done the same thing before and got away with it - lowering her
    perception of the risk. Very sad.

    Biggles
     
  12. bugbear <[email protected]_papermule.co.uk_trim> writes:

    >JLB wrote:
    >> I also wonder if the effects of trying to control and manage other
    >> people's risk taking are almost inevitably cancelled out by the results
    >> of making people less wary.


    >That's an interesting concept.
    >We could call it "risk compensation"


    When my kid was little I encouraged him to climb all sorts of things
    his mother freaked out about, just making sure that I could catch him
    if he fell off. I wanted him to learn a realistic attitude to falling
    off things, so that his natural and realistic fear of injury would
    keep him safe when I wasn't there. I got his mother to agree not to
    try to communicate the ridiculous fears her own mother had inculcated
    in her.

    I sometimes took him to rocky places with other little friends. Some
    of them were dangerous lunatics, who swarmed up anything climbable in
    complete idiotic disregard of the risks. Others refused to climb
    anything. Both these kinds of kids had mothers who refused to let them
    do anything remotely risky. The lunatics had decided that mother was
    an over-cautious fool who could safely be ignored, but the problem was
    that they had been prevented by their mothers from learning any useful
    risk assessment of their own.

    Getting painfully injured now and then, such as in skinned knees, is
    an essential part of acquiring realistic risk assessment.
    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  13. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > They could. At vast expense. On the other hand they could try
    > placing photographs of the girl taken at the scene, minus limbs
    > and plus blood, alongside the barriers, just to remind people
    > what can happen if you ignore the warnings.


    They could, and it might do some good until people became de-sensitised
    to it, but I think it should be up to the young woman herself whether
    she wishes to allow herself to be used in this way. Her punishment for
    a moment's stupidity has been severe in the extreme. Is it fair to add
    such an invasion of privacy to her suffering and that of her family?

    --
    Dave...
     
  14. On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 09:09:59 +0000 (UTC), Chris Malcolm wrote:
    > bugbear <[email protected]_papermule.co.uk_trim> writes:
    >
    >>JLB wrote:
    >>> I also wonder if the effects of trying to control and manage other
    >>> people's risk taking are almost inevitably cancelled out by the results
    >>> of making people less wary.

    >
    >>That's an interesting concept.
    >>We could call it "risk compensation"

    >
    > When my kid was little I encouraged him to climb all sorts of things
    > his mother freaked out about, just making sure that I could catch him
    > if he fell off.


    Hmmm, isn't that just teaching him that when things do go wrong Daddy'll
    be there to catch him?

    > I wanted him to learn a realistic attitude to falling
    > off things, so that his natural and realistic fear of injury would
    > keep him safe when I wasn't there.


    I've never bothered with that too much - I've taken the attitude that
    so long as they don't do anything which might likely result in
    permanent or dangerous injury they they can get on with it. I've
    sometimes had to go somehwere else, mind - it's difficult to watch
    your offspring do things that you know could hurt them if they went
    wrong, the natural reaction is to say "Don't climb on that branch, it
    looks too thin and might break".

    They're all still alive and healthy, with no obvious scarring or
    disfigurement :)

    --
    Trevor Barton
     
  15. Simonb

    Simonb Guest

    Chris Malcolm wrote:

    > I sometimes took him to rocky places with other little friends. Some
    > of them were dangerous lunatics, who swarmed up anything climbable in
    > complete idiotic disregard of the risks. Others refused to climb
    > anything. Both these kinds of kids had mothers who refused to let them
    > do anything remotely risky. The lunatics had decided that mother was
    > an over-cautious fool who could safely be ignored, but the problem was
    > that they had been prevented by their mothers from learning any useful
    > risk assessment of their own.


    Surely after one painful fall all of those kids learned pretty quickly?
    Isn't that how most kids learn?
     
  16. "Simonb" <[email protected]> writes:

    >Chris Malcolm wrote:


    >> I sometimes took him to rocky places with other little friends. Some
    >> of them were dangerous lunatics, who swarmed up anything climbable in
    >> complete idiotic disregard of the risks. Others refused to climb
    >> anything. Both these kinds of kids had mothers who refused to let them
    >> do anything remotely risky. The lunatics had decided that mother was
    >> an over-cautious fool who could safely be ignored, but the problem was
    >> that they had been prevented by their mothers from learning any useful
    >> risk assessment of their own.


    >Surely after one painful fall all of those kids learned pretty quickly?
    >Isn't that how most kids learn?


    There appear to be times when learning certain things is easy, and
    times when it is very hard. I suspect that some of these skills, like
    learning to speak a foreign language, are best acquired at the same
    time as the associated motor skills are being formed. That's why we
    have so many adults who find it impossible to learn a foreign language
    properly, and IMHO why there are so many adults who are unable to
    learn the risk avoidance skills that they were prevented from learning
    as children, despite the injuries they suffer as a consequence.

    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  17. JLB

    JLB Guest

    Andy Morris wrote:
    > Richard wrote:
    >
    >>Some children are not as daft as people think. I was walking past a
    >>farm in the depths of the Lake District; there was a small
    >>substation/transformer unit there, behind a low stone wall which had a
    >>"Danger of Death" sign on the gate. The small child I was
    >>accompanying (not mine) turned to me and said seriously, "Don't go in
    >>there. The electricity will kill you dead." He was all of five at
    >>the time.

    >
    > Generally they are more daft at 15 than at 5.
    >

    Yes. Sometime between 5 and 15, there is usually an epiphany, possibly
    involving Santa Claus, that transforms the bairn's trust of parental
    honesty and knowledge in general.

    --
    Joe * If I cannot be free I'll be cheap
     
  18. David Hansen wrote:
    > http://www.hse.gov.uk/railways/liveissues/levelcrossings.htm is your
    > starting point to understand the issues. In my view 9 pedestrian
    > fatalities at all level crossings in 2003/04 is not something to get
    > too excited about.


    Remembering also that there were 2 fatalities on stairs on railway property
    in 2002. (Don't have current figures)

    A
     
  19. Al C-F

    Al C-F Guest

    On 18 Mar 2005 01:34:13 -0800, "dkahn400" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Her punishment for
    >a moment's stupidity has been severe in the extreme. Is it fair to add
    >such an invasion of privacy to her suffering and that of her family?


    She wasn't punished, she suffered a natural consequence of taking a
    risk and that risk occuring. It certainly sounds as though she chose
    to ignore the many and varied warnings.

    Now, she has, no doubt, cost the tax payer a great deal of money. She
    could make a small contribution by discouraging others from taking the
    same risk.

    Or, she could campaign for everyone to be protected from their own
    stupidity at great public expense.
     
  20. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 20:11:09 +0000 someone who may be Al C-F
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >She wasn't punished, she suffered a natural consequence of taking a
    >risk and that risk occuring. It certainly sounds as though she chose
    >to ignore the many and varied warnings.


    http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/hsc/iacs/riac/070704public/levelcrossinghse.pdf
    appears to be a series of slides from a talk. Anyone interested in
    the current position in Scotland may like to have a quick look.

    The first photograph shows a fairly typical half-barrier crossing.
    It is on a single line and so does not have the "another train
    coming" sign that there is at Kirknewton. It is difficult to imagine
    anyone genuinely missing all that, even in the dark. The only
    reasonable conclusion in my view is that she decided to walk across
    the crossing, ignoring the warnings. She is the author of her own
    misfortune. I have limited sympathy for her, but every sympathy for
    her family and friends, together with all those involved from the
    train driver to those who cleared up.



    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.
     
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