Does anyone take responsibility any more?

I believe that ethically and morally in today’s society, the boundaries of responsibility are starting to blur. In todays ‘blame’ culture, it’s always ‘someone else’s’ fault, often despite overwhelming evidence.
Paula wrote on the blog a few days ago  ‘I have a 26 year old son of my own who I have observed driving around late at night while I have lain awake worrying. If he had been the driver of that car that night I would not have let him get behind the wheel of a car again until he faced up to his responsibilities’
This I feel has given a different perspective to the debate now. Who should take the responsible lead in this hypothetical situation where a person is killed by a young driver in a car accident? Should the driver’s parents take the moral high ground as adults and frog march the driver to the nearest police station to make a confession? This in effect would be a form of ‘self-policing’ the last question about removing the license. Or should they take the low ground and for example provide the driver with another car until the case goes to court?
Often in these cases when the offender eventually does get to the police station by invite, they can just say ‘no comment’ in the interview, and that’s a whole new debate for perhaps later.

So, the moral maze questions for today are?
1. As a responsible person, if your child was the driver of a car that had killed or seriously injured someone, would you agree with Paula, and act responsibly by ‘grounding’ the offender until the case goes to court?
2. Regardless of the fact that the other passengers have a choice about getting into a car, ultimately, the driver needs to take full responsibility for their actions. Would you agree that a driver needs to consider his passengers safety, firstly and foremost, whether paying or non-paying?

4 thoughts on “Does anyone take responsibility any more?

  1. Today’s society seems to have become a place where people feel that it’s not their fault, there’s someone else who can be blamed.
    In answer to 1. Yes I would agree that grounding or perhaps even a curfew which allowed them to go to work but no more would seem in order.
    It could be argued that people are innocent until proven guilty, but if the person is either guilty or somehow responsible and they know that fact, it becomes a different matter.
    In answer to 2. The driver of a vehicle is responsible for the safety of their passengers and themselves, as well as others who they may encounter on their travels (other drivers, walkers or the general public).

    The judicial system that allows people to refuse information without penalty is a massive subject. But there must be a way of penalising someone who does this.
    My personal opinion is that there must be a sufficient deterrant to stem the rise in law breaking.

  2. When you get behind a steering wheel, you are ultimately responsible for that vehicle, passengers and other road users.

  3. I would have to agree with Brenda Robinson’s comment. If myself or a child of mine was in circumstances of being in a car accident and a passenger was seriously injured or killed I would certainly believe they would have to take responsibility and therefore hope that they would be aware of the consequences and affect it would have on other people and how they would then conduct themselves afterwards.

  4. In answer to these two questions:

    1. Some parents would no doubt stop their offspring driving, others would do nothing.
    Having said that, the situation is governed only by the Law. The Law dictates that for some offences bail is allowed, for others no bail is allowed, despite the fact that the consequences of differing offences may be very similar.
    If unconditional or conditional bail is not allowed, inevitably the wheels of justice turn slowly and the alleged offender is a free individual until tried.
    The British legal system appears to be based on cause or offence rather than effect. This is not ideal, especially in relation to potentially dangerously negligent behaviour (e.g. getting drunk and glassing someone or driving a car into a wall) which could have the same practical effect as murder or manslaughter.

    2. The answer to question 2 is a sine qua non. Yes obviously – driving a one ton guided or un-guided missile demands exerting the utmost care towards pedestrians, other cars, passengers et al. Absolute and total responsibility.

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